Legal Service Providers…from Law Firms to ALSPs


The simplest way to describe an alternative legal service provider (“ALSP”) is any business that is not a law firm, but which provides legal or related support services. ALSP is an umbrella term used to describe a wide variety of businesses in this space.

Some law firms are choosing to work with ALSPs or operate more like them. Likewise, some ALSPs are choosing to work with law firms or operate more like them. As a result of this and the increased use of ALSPs (see Thomson Reuters’ 2019 report on Alternative Legal Service Providers[1]), the distinctions between traditional law firms and alternative legal service providers are fading. Some people in the industry are saying we should drop the word “alternative” from the “alternative legal service provider” moniker because these providers are becoming more mainstream. Here are a couple of other names that are being used in place of “ALSP”: “Legal Service Provider” and “Law Company.”

Which name do you like best?
  • Alternative Legal Service Provider (ALSP)
  • Legal Service Provider
  • Law Company

The table below provides a basic comparison of traditional law firms vs. alternative legal service providers. As ALSPs become more sophisticated and capable of providing services traditionally provided by law firms, the winners will be whichever firms and/or companies have the highest-performing models for the business of law. Will yours be one of them?


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