When it comes to law firms, bigger is not always better.
The definition of a “small” law firm can change depending on the location and type of practice, but according to the American Bar Association, nearly 70% of all private sector attorneys work at firms with fewer than 20 lawyers. People may initially shy away from small law firms, assuming that they don’t have the breadth of experience or ability to handle a new client, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In a blog titled “The Changing Definition of the ‘Small Law Firm’” on legalproductivity.com, writer Mike Moore discussed how small firms are becoming more efficient than larger firms thanks in part to technology and changing client needs. “Today, a good lawyer practicing alone or with a handful of colleagues can accomplish far more than that same lawyer or team could’ve several years ago.”
Small firms usually come in one of two varieties: general practice, which means the attorneys on staff practice multiple types of law; and boutique, which means they specialize in a very specific type of law such as estate, patent, litigation, real estate, etc. At Davis Law Group, we are a blend of both boutique and general practice. Each of our five attorneys focuses on a specific practice area to make our firm a diverse and robust place for our clients. This means each attorney is an expert in his or her field, but that our firm also offers many different kinds of legal counsel. We enjoy this blend of boutique and general practice because it means we can serve our clients in various ways. A client who may initially come to us for a real estate closing may need us later in life for a business transaction, estate planning or even litigation. In each case, we have an attorney with expertise in those areas so you are always getting the best advice and representation possible.
There are many reasons why we (and many others in the legal field) believe small law firms are the best choice for clients, but here are just a few that we think our firm displays particularly well.
1. Reduced Cost to Client
Fewer employees, less office space and generally lower overhead than larger firms means a small firm like us can pass that cost savings on to our client. You’re not helping pay the rent in a fancy high-rise office or for a dozen clerks to be on the payroll. Instead, you’re simply paying for sound legal advice and counsel, which is worth every penny.
2. Better Communication and Access to Your Attorney
When you’re working with an attorney at a smaller law firm, chances are when you call their number you’re going to reach them. Your attorney will keep direct lines of communication open with you through your preferred method - whether that’s email, phone or even text. If you have a question or even an emergency, you can be sure that you’ll be able to get in touch with your legal counsel fast.
3. Quicker Results
Smaller firms can be nimble and respond quickly to their clients’ needs. Things don’t have to be run up and down a long chain of command. Also, attorneys at smaller firms are more likely to have good working relationships with each other and can help each other out if something outside of their expertise comes up. Say the attorney you’re working with is helping you put together a will, and in the process you run into a sexual harassment issue at work. All they have to do is walk down the hall to their colleague who specializes in employment law to get you an answer or give you a referral you can trust.
4. Flexible Payment Options
Attorneys at small law firms work hard to create a relationship with their clients. This includes understanding budgetary and financial constraints and requirements. Small law firms are more likely to be able to work out payment planning with you so that you’re never overwhelmed with legal fees and are still able to get the help you need.
5. Client Relationships Are Everything
Having fewer clients than a large firm means we get to know each of our clients very well. We take the time to sit down with you and really get to the bottom of your legal issues, estate needs, or business goals. Our intention is always for you to have the best results - not to bill the most hours, have the highest profile clients or to make the most money. We want our clients to succeed. Your satisfaction is our measure of success, period.