Office Hours: I've founded the only law firm exclusively representing marginalized and under-represented founders and fund managers.Featured
Hi everyone! I’m Aravinda Seshadri. In the middle of last year, I founded my law firm Venturous Counsel, to exclusively support marginalized and under-represented groups in tech as outside general counsel. I went to Stanford Law School: I knew I wanted to work with startups, so I joined a large law firm with a good reputation for working with tech startups. I quickly learned that large law firms aren’t optimized for working with small companies. The economic incentives aren’t aligned: they’re often out chasing huge IPO and M&A deals because they bring in a lot of money for the firm (and staffing the attorneys who thought they’d get startup work on those deals!). I joined a colleague of mine who felt the same way and had left to found Silicon Legal Strategy, focusing on early stage startups and investors investing in that space. I was happy there for 8 years, and as a partner for 5 years, but began to realize a disconnect: even though our firm was diverse, our client roster wasn’t.Although boutique law firms are better at representing startups, they don’t do a lot of marketing/outreach (no budget), which means that people outside their networks don’t know about them. And even worse, most boutiques prefer clients who were referred, further segregating networks. This leaves under-represented founders at a loss, looking for good legal counsel and often ending up with a large law firm that overcharges and underdelivers. Of all of the people paying that large law firm “tax” in startup, I didn’t want it to be the under-represented founders and fund managers, who already face all sorts of other hurdles. Instead, I wanted to make sure those people had an even better chance of succeeding, with seasoned, practical and mindful legal counsel. That is what led me to found Venturous Counsel. Now my days are spent ensuring the people I want to see more of in tech are matched with the right legal resource and my newfound mission has been transformative in how I feel about my job and my life.All of which is to say, I’m super excited to be here to answer your questions! Ask me anything about my journey, random legal questions, or anything else! If it’s a detailed legal question, I might have to set up a time to discuss it with you offline, but I can promise that my goal is to see you succeed and I will do my best to that end in whatever way I can!