Running a Successful Law Office in Our Current Economy
Although every lawyer has his or her own unique way of doing things, most law offices share a surprising number of similar characteristics in terms of how they do business. Understanding some of them will help you to get more effective legal representation.
Law offices range in size from sole practitioners, to firms with literally hundreds or even thousands of lawyers. While all of them charge for their time in one form or another, there are some practical distinctions to keep in mind that can roughly be broken down by the following categories.
Once a lawyer has passed the bar exam, it does not take much more to start his or her own practice other than renting office space and hanging up a shingle. Thus, it is not surprising that law offices of sole practitioners are probably the biggest single category of practicing lawyers.
Sole practitioners can be excellent lawyers and you may want to consider retaining one if it makes sense, given the nature of your legal problem. Although no two lawyers are the same, there are potential benefits of hiring a sole practitioner.
There is often a more direct one-on-one working relationship with your lawyer. Your case is not going to get lost in the shuffle because it is not going to be handed off to another attorney.
There are sometimes lower fees and costs. Although not always the case, sole practitioners generally have lower overhead a larger law firm.
Thus, it is not unusual for a sole practitioner to charge less than a big firm might charge for doing the same type of routine work. As another potential benefit of being able to charge less, a sole practitioner may be more inclined to take the smaller cases that are not cost effective for a big firm.
You may also enjoy the privilege of a more informal working relationship. You are likely to get to know everyone in your lawyer's office if he or she is a sole practitioner.
This can lead to a better one-on-one working relationship, which may make you feel more comfortable. Conflicts of interest are also easier to handle.
Generally speaking, a law firm cannot handle a legal matter when it gives rise to a conflict of interest between clients of the firm that they are not willing to waive. Depending on the size of your community, the larger the law firm, the more likely there may be conflicts of interest.
Things tend to be more cut and dry with sole proprietors and the smaller law firms. A law office with two to ten lawyers can be characterized as a small law firm.
The benefits of working with one of these establishments can include one or more of the factors mentioned above for a solo office. However, there are some unique benefits as well.
In a firm environment, lawyers are better able to develop areas of expertise since they do not have to be all things to all people. Some small groups are called "boutique" firms because they tend to specialize in a given area.
A smaller group can handle a broader range of legal matters. Some cases are simply too complex for a sole practitioner to handle.
No lawyer can be available all the time, so a benefit of a small law firm is having other lawyers to help out on a matter. It is always helpful on a complicated legal matter to be able to talk to other lawyers to pick their brains on legal strategies.
A small place is a great environment in which to do this. A mid-size law office would be a firm of perhaps ten to fifty lawyers.
Potential benefits of hiring a mid-size firm are as follows. A mid-size may have many of characteristics of a small one, yet at the same time have the legal resources to do battle with the big firms.
The balancing process can be a difficult one, but many mid-size firms are successful in preserving it. A mid-size may truly be able to provide effective legal representation in every major area of practice.
Thus, it may be able address all of your legal needs. No matter what size you choose to go with, they work efficiently together to provide you the best services possible-accept nothing less...
About the Author:
Ignacio Lopez has years of experience as an attorney. If you are facing a DUI charge he recommends (http://www.iwin4you.com) Sturm Law in Los Angeles.
No. of Times this article has been viewed : 323
Date Published : Dec 5 2010
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