Try as they may to be innovative, law firms are nevertheless associated with an abiding and often restrictive sense of tradition that can make it cumbersome—if not altogether prohibitive—to explore new service delivery models. Allegiance to the billable hour, for example, has often tripped up progress on alternative fee arrangements. Now the question of equity might be doing the same for hiring inside firm tech subsidiaries.

An inability to grant workers equity was one of the reasons the founders of Joinder, a solutions-based engagement platform that originated inside Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe’s corporate group, felt their new venture would fare better in a traditional startup environment instead of the protective umbrella of a law firm. Joinder CEO Don Keller told LTN that one of his concerns was the ability to attract tech talent like the fledgling company’s chief product officer Jim Brock.