I’ve often thought that small and mid-size law firms have an edge, especially in tough economic times.  Apparently, I’m right.  Law.com reports on a select consortia of these same firms called Meritas.

In using their search function to locate firms in Kentucky only one firm was listed.  So then I got curious about how firms and attorneys could join the network.  Color me shocked that this alliance has been around since 1990.  Meritas is a network of “like-minded” members that are “vetted and invited.”

No big firms honing in by paying bigger fees for more space here.  So you’ve joined the club but how do you stay in?  Members of Meritas must agree to operate under” Quality Assurance Program”.  This is a great way to maintain that like-minded membership in case of mergers and firm attitude adjustments.  Seems like a pretty good operation based on the information I’m finding online and through their site.

From a seeking standpoint the site is clean and easy to use with simple browse features.  This is a great tool to use for locating local counsel.  Add to that an easily accessed “Doing Business” publications page and you find me downright impressed.

A few facts about the organization:

  • Operates as a non-profit
  • Headquartered in Minnesota with a staff to administer the QAP
  • Governed by a Board of Governors
  • Satisfaction scores readily available

All in all I’d say that Meritas is a great resource to keep in mind when seeking quality firms and attorneys in any of the 60 countries that participate.

What prompted me to perform this review of Meritas is the Law.com article referenced above.  The pricing seems to be a key satisfaction factor.  As corporate counsel continues to find ways to curb their outsourced legal costs,  gems like Meritas will be much sought after.  Indeed, their model may influence the business model of those un-invited firms.  Innovative firms will offer alternatives, options and satisfactory solutions.  Are you innovative?

Constance Ard August 25, 2009