About Chris Brown

Part-time Kansas City startup lawyer, full-time entrepreneur.

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Things I Like:

A move to the other side of the table

I made my entrepreneurial jump in 2013—I resigned from a mid-size Kansas City law firm and became a full-time entrepreneur. In the years since, I’ve created and sold a legal marketing company, sold my family’s BBQ sauce in stores and online, mentored thousands of entrepreneurs and freelancers, and so much more.

Today I spend part of my time representing Kansas City startups, freelancers, and small businesses through Venture Legal and part of my time building Contract Canvas, a digital-contract platform for creative professionals. I love working on two companies at the same time because it gives me the opportunity to do different things every day and the ability to provide incredibly practical advice to my law firm clients.

A different approach

Most entrepreneurs and freelancers complain that law firms are out of date and can’t keep up with modern business trends. That’s why I designed Venture Legal to run more like a business and less like a traditional law firm. My pricing is transparent and I use fixed-fee, project based billing whenever possible. I also use the same tools as you: Dropbox, Asana, G Suite, DocuSign, Xero, Stripe, and more.

Perhaps more importantly, while many attorneys focus on reasons you can’t do something, I try to provide “yes if” answers rather than just answering “no.” And you’ll probably like my use of what Google calls Horseback Law.

Creating what you want

I always pay attention to what you want from your attorney.

Rather than billing in six minute increments, I’ve standardized many of my services into “legal packages” and even include them on this website (I even list typical fees for many of them). And for entrepreneurs that aren’t ready (or don’t need) to hire an attorney, I even sell downloadable contract templates in the Venture Legal Contract Shop and I offer hundreds of pages of Free Entrepreneurial Resources.

Community

An advocate for the future of Kansas City

Through volunteering, speaking, mentoring, writing, and more, I’m constantly involved with building a better future for our city. I’ve been very lucky to have a voice in city hall for positive change and I’m always advocating for forward-thinking policies in the areas of technology, job creation, and better public education.

Awards & Recognition

  • Recipient, WeWork Creator Award, 2017
  • Finalist, WeWork Creator Awards, 2018
  • Silicon Prairie Service Provider of the Year Finalist, 2013 & 14
  • Top Ten People KC Entrepreneurs Should Meet, SPN, 2014
  • Top Ten Law Firm Website, Lawyerist.com, 2014, 2018
  • Rising Star, Super Lawyers Magazine, 2013-2018
  • KCMBA Bar Leadership Academy, 2011-2012
  • Most Outstanding Law Review Writing, 2010

Past & Present Community Involvement

  • Board of Advisors & Policy Committee, KC Tech Council
  • Policy Committee, Kansas City Startup Foundation
  • Director, KC Legal Hackers
  • Subject Matter Expert (Law), Kauffman FastTrac
  • Expert Reviewer, Edison Awards
  • Associate Member, The Freelance Exchange of Kansas City
  • Judge, No Coast
  • Judge, MECA Challenge
  • Co-Host, American Royal Tech BBQ
  • Mentor, UMKC Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Mentor, Startup Weekend Kansas City
  • Mentor, The Sprint Accelerator
  • Mentor, Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts
  • Mentor, The Lean Lab
  • Mentor, Coffee + Design
  • Speaker, ECJC Workshop Series
  • Speaker, Kansas City Art Institute
  • Speaker, WordCamp Kansas City
  • Speaker, Kansas City Design Week
  • Member, Think Big Coworking
  • Member, WeWork
  • Founder, Innovative Professionals for Entrepreneurs
  • Graduate, KCMBA Bar Leadership Academy
  • Member, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Member, Missouri Bar
  • Member, Kansas Bar

Education

UMKC School of Law

Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, 2010

World Intellectual Property Organization

International Intellectual Property Certificate, 2007

Belmont University

Bachelors of Business Administration, 2005

  • Emphasis in Music Production
  • Focus in Record Production and Engineering

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