Updated: Apr 8, 2021
In the world of legal practice, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, there’s been a growing trend of high-powered attorneys and freshly minted law school graduates opting out of the impersonal trappings of the megafirms for the chance to make a difference in a more reasonably-sized boutique firm. Working at a smaller firm allows attorneys to have more hands-on experience, interact and build relationships with clients, and more opportunities to grow and develop in their area of law.
The manifest shift in talent has encouraged many to consider forgoing BigLaw in favor of a more intimate engagement. What they lack in size, they tend to make up for inexperience, resulting in several advantageous benefits.
Curious what those might be? Keep reading to find out the top benefits of working with a small law firm.
What is a Boutique Law Firm?
Before we can dive into the various benefits, it’s important that you know what a boutique firm actually is, since the word can be used quite liberally. At its essence, a boutique firm is about specialization. Typically, they’re smaller operations with approximately 5 to 20 employees, consisting of attorneys, paralegals, and law clerks. Each lawyer in the firm brings a specialist’s knowledge to a specific field of law in order to maximize their potential client base.
Unlike mid-sized and large lawgivers, which have structured themselves in order to provide a wide array of services, smaller practices tend to concentrate their areas of emphasis. They’re more discretionary about who they take on as clients. It might surprise you, but quite often, if a client enters their doors that doesn’t fit their particular niche, they’ll refer them to another boutique firm that would be a better fit. A specialized approach ensures that each client is receiving the best service possible with a team that has extensive experience. This referral system creates a mutually beneficial network wherein relationships, expertise, and integrity matter.
Benefits of Working With a Boutique Law Firm
There are various benefits to working with a boutique law firm, these include:
Enlist a specialist – As touched upon, boutique firms are big believers in specialization. Instead of vainly attempting to be a jack-of-all-trades, smaller practices understand that it’s better to know everything there is to know about one subject as opposed to knowing a little bit about every subject. Naturally, a tax lawyer who has to remain up to date with volatile state and federal tax codes will be better positioned to help you with tax matters than an attorney who runs a general practice.
Pay less – Although you can get a specialist when you work with a megafirm, you’ll also wind up paying for a hundred amenities or benefits that, in all likelihood, you’ll never end up using. On the other hand, boutique law firms offer comparable services at far reduced prices. Instead of paying for a prestigious name, you’re paying for quality. As a result, a boutique firm costs approximately a third as much as a large general practice firm. Reasons for this include:
Lower overhead costs
1. No minimum threshold for billable associate hours.
2. Smaller retainers
3. Decreased administrative costs and needs
4. Ability to outsource business functions to external services
5. Increased focus on efficiency
6. More stability due to lower turnover
Personalized Services – At a boutique firm, everyone in the office should know your name and face, the details of your case, and be personally invested in the outcomes. Since they aren’t juggling hundreds of cases at a time, bigger client’s needs are not prioritized over your own, and the smaller client list ensures a more individualized experience. So, if you are retained as a client, you can rest assured that the entire team is fully committed to your success. This results in the following:
1. Fewer mistakes and distractions
2. Attorneys who are highly motivated to win for both you and the firm
3. A team who has stakes in your case by putting their reputation on the line
Easy Access – Few things are as frustrating as trying to track down the hot-shot lawyer, which you’ve already spent thousands of dollars upon, to no avail. If they’re busy hob-knobbing, schmoozing power clients, or working on other cases, they’re not much good to you.
You want someone that you can pick up the phone and call knowing that you’ll receive a punctual callback, if not an immediate answer. The intimacy of a smaller firm ensures that your call, email, or text won’t get lost in the milieu. Instead, any concerns will be addressed posthaste.
Why Innovative Legal Services?
Innovative Legal Services ("ILS") is a boutique litigation and compliance firm that specializes in areas of employment, labor, commercial, employee benefits, and immigration law. Its attorneys are experienced litigators and counselors from top law firms of the country.
Different from big law, ILS's vision is to provide in-depth expertise with individualized legal service tailored to the needs of its clients. It emphasizes on litigation prevention and risk mitigation. Where lawsuit becomes unavoidable, ILS aims to resolve the matter with efficiency, achieving victory for its clients both in and out of the courtroom.
Clients love ILS because it offers the best of both worlds: experience of top-tier law firms combined with individualized attention of a small boutique.