First, you have to give away work product. Okay, for the two or three of you that are still with me, let me explain. Large corporations are rebelling against the large bills they are paying for legal opinions that have to be recreated by lawyers at high billing rates, when in all likelihood the answers already exists within the database of other law firms. The concept involves law firms placing their knowledge on Legal OnRamp free of charge in the form of “legal updates, FAQs, forms, templates, and the like” on particular legal issues.

For the one or two still with me, it really is just a variation on a blog, where lawyers freely demonstrate their expertise on various subjects within their area of expertise. Legal OnRamp is another way to impress corporate counsel on your capabilities for when they need to hire a lawyer/law firm for that issue. It won’t be formally announced until later this year, but firms can start contributing now.

I may not have looked hard at this idea, if it weren’t for the article “New Routes Into The Corporate Door” by Terry Carter in this month’s ABA Journal online; and the person, Cisco Systems general counsel Mark Chandler, who came up with Legal OnRamp. No lightweight there. Also, I was impressed with the law firms, such as Baker & McKenzie, DLA Piper, Eversheds (U.K), Linklaters (U.K), Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliff, to name a few which have already signed up. You can see who else is on board here.

So, what can you as an individual lawyer or law firm do? First, read the ABA article, and another in InsideCounsel to learn more about the program. If interested, think about your niche areas that could be part of this program. Then go to the Legal On Ramp site and see how you can join their team, and use this tool in your business development efforts.

You could get ahead of the curve on this one.

If I didn’t believe in blogs, I wouldn’t give this concept the greatest of chances.  But I do, and I do.