September 27, 2010 (Mountain View, CA) – FLEX, Fenwick & West's new attorney placement service, was recently featured in the Daily Journal article entitled "Fenwick Gets Flexible With In-House Temp Firm for Clients."
In July 2010, Fenwick & West became the first traditional law firm to manage its own temp agency for in-house legal departments with the implementation of “FLEX by Fenwick,” a program developed to fill ad-hoc needs for their existing clients. In 2009, Ralph Pais, Chair of the firm's Technology Transactions Group, began to notice a problem familiar to large law firms: as companies grow, they find it too costly to ask large law firms to handle day-to-day commercial transactions. As a result, those companies would send that legal work to small firms that had lower hourly rates.
"I started thinking about whether we had to lose that business, or whether there might be some other way we could capture it," stated Pais. Pais sought out a workable solution, and found one. The firm launched the FLEX program with Alexandra Smith, a former Fenwick attorney who now serves as the program's administrator.
The FLEX program appeals to large companies who are in need of short-term help in matters ranging from product launches to temporary in-house counsel guidance from a top-notch team of FLEX attorneys. Pais and Smith describe FLEX as more of a consulting entity than a temp agency due to the fact that the attorney ranks encompass extensive legal experience that includes on average 10 to 15 years. To date, the FLEX program has placed attorneys on nine assignments and has signed on for over fifteen others.