Legalese for the creatives and innovators

08 Aug 2019

Legalese is defined as a noun referring to the legal jargon frequently used by legal professionals in their everyday conversations and business writings. It not only renders legal documents incomprehensible for the layman on the street, but even for practicing attorneys who often need to consult their legal dictionary to confirm the meaning and interpretation of a word. Legalese is a common characteristic of a BigLaw practice, operating on the traditional, billable hour model of a law firm. It’s use however is becoming less typical in the world of NewLaw, where alternative legal service providers are practicing law in a new and innovative way.

Apart from being a noun referring to the formal and technical language of legal documents, Legalese is also a creative legal agency which provides affordable and accessible legal services to creatives, entrepreneurs and start-ups with a unique service offering including, but not limited to legal advice and assistance on cannabis business ventures, drones and aviation. Situated in Bo-Kaap, Cape Town and Sandton, Johannesburg, Legalese is not your typical law firm. Having redesigned the provision of legal services through the utilisation of modern technology and innovative thinking, they provide corporate commercial legal services to start-ups and creatives, with a wide range of fair and reasonable pricing packages that suit the financial means of all, from the musician to the freelancer.

Eitan Stern, the founder of Legalese, had always had a great passion for Social Justice and Public law, having founded E-Label, an integrated network of internet and mobile applications promoting economic sustainability and consumer protection, and whose research on same has been academically published and acknowledged at local and international legal conferences. However, it was only once he had exhausted the project capital for his tech-start up and had commenced articles at a boutique commercial law firm, John Taylor and Associates, that Eitan discovered he had a real passion for commercial law. He soon realised that there was a share of the market that was not being catered for by traditional law firms and legal practitioners. Subsequently, he had the idea to do things differently – to service the creatives and innovators that were not being serviced by traditional lawyers and firms. And so Legalese was born, to offer legal services to creatives, start-ups and tech based business.

Having incorporated Legalese from the ground up, Eitan acknowledges that growing an alternative legal services business is tough – placing one foot in front of the other, taking it day by day, invoice by invoice; zoning in on new legal models and alternative ways of offering legal services – breaking away from the traditional BigLaw.

Regardless of whether or not NewLaw is the law firm of the future, legal innovation is opening the entire legal industry to different opportunities and challenges. In order to not be left behind, lawyers must be open minded to the possibilities of tomorrow, learn to surf the flux.

Join Futures Law Faculty for an evening of personal stories from Eitan Stern and others who broke free of BigLaw and its traditions. Discuss the reasons they broke away, the challenges they faced and how they feel about the future of law on 15 August 2019, at 17:00 – 20:30 at Inner City Ideas Cartel, managed by Nina Van Deventer Property and Project Management.

For more information and tickets please see – or

See also: BigLaw’s slow death toll?

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)

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