Inc. 5000

Hilgers Graben PLLC is a complex litigation firm that specializes in complex commercial and intellectual property disputes around the country.  The ranks of the firm’s litigation team are filled with former AmLaw100 attorneys, judicial law clerks, and graduates of top law schools.  The firm has been trusted by big and small clients in disputes around the country, from Oregon to Delaware; from Texas to Nebraska.

We have skilled litigators of the type you would find at top firms around the country.  Why are we different?

We are different because we believe we are disrupting the business of law. Over the last decade there has been a chorus of criticism within the legal industry regarding the ever-increasing billable rates at big law firms. The criticism has not led to meaningful change.  We believe that there are objective business reasons for the inability to meaningfully drive down rates, and we further believe that we have built a firm that addresses that challenge in a unique way. Our model, our team, and our clients have fueled significant growth for the firm—Hilgers Graben recently was named to the Inc. 5000 "Fastest Growing Companies of 2017" List (#891).

How have we done this? Our model is based on a number of observations of the legal industry.

The first observation is that where value-driving business methods have been applied in other industries to lower cost while improving service, the legal industry has not implemented those methods (and often has done the opposite).  Where other industries charge more only where there is demonstrable value--e.g., an upgrade to a flight, extra features for a car, or more power for a computer--the legal industry charges more based on mere longevity (a poor proxy for experience, talent, and ability to perform).  Where other industries recognize the value of sourcing talent in low cost areas to drive down costs, big law firms flock to the most expensive cities and real estate in the United States. Ultimately, other industries produce, over time, innovations that make their products and services better and cheaper; in contrast, the price of complex legal services seems to rise at a 5-10% annual clip because of nothing more than inertia and industry practice.

The second observation is that clients want to pay for legal services and not non-legal overhead.  By locating in some of the highest-cost cities in the United States, big law firms create an incredibly high level of overhead that must be recouped through hourly rates.  Those costs, which themselves constantly rise, limit big firms' ability to creatively lower rates for clients.  

While the legal profession is unique, we believe that the same techniques and tools in other industries can be used to drive value in the legal industry. Specifically, focusing on the true talent and experience of the lawyer, while at the same time lowering non-legal overhead, frees our firm to provide the most value to our clients.

Last, we realize the practice of law is an intense place, filled with deadlines and challenges.  We believe that by recruiting excellent people, treating them like we would want to be treated, and supporting them as a family, that we can foster a positive culture that will benefit both our team and our clients. That is why we have focused carefully on developing our core values, which we live by every day.

To execute our model, we have carefully identified and recruited talented, experienced, customer-service first attorneys. We have surrounded them with the infrastructure and support to deliver first-class legal services. At the same time, we have leveraged technology to strip out unnecessary overhead and expenses and are constantly innovating to drive down costs.  The result is high-level, complex legal services at far lower rates (and with more creativity and flexibility on alternative rate structures) than big firms.  The proof is in the numbers. A 10-year attorney at Hilgers Graben (who went to a top school, trained at a top firm, and has significant legal experience and ability) has a lower bill rate than many paralegals at most AmLaw100 law firms. And, where we have taken on recurring projects for clients, we have demonstrated the ability to drive down costs by eliminating inefficiencies and improving work flows.

Contact us today to see what Hilgers Graben can do for you.