The Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Boutique Law Firm
Why You Benefit from One-on-One Attorney Relationships
Bigger is not always better. This is especially true when it comes to hiring a law firm. Just as with many large institutions, an individual can easily become just a number in a large firm.
Boutique-sized firms, however, give you the attention and unique consideration that you and your case deserve. There are many benefits to going with a small firm – here are just a few.
1. Big Fish, Small Pond
In a small pond firm, there are no small fish. Every client and every case is a big fish and is treated as such. Everyone in our office knows your name and is familiar with your project. We’re never handling hundreds of cases at once, causing us to have to prioritize some over others. Because we’re small, we’re selective about the clients we take on. You can rest assured that, if we have decided to work with you, we’re fully committed to your success.
Boutique law firms are not a one-stop legal shop, and that’s a good thing. Unless you’re looking for a firm to handle a wide variety of legal needs, there’s no reason to hire a huge firm. Look for a company that specializes in the area of law that you need. If that’s all they do, chances are, they do it very well.
Think of it this way: If you’re looking for a contractor to remodel your kitchen, would you rather go with a large company that does it all or a small business that focuses all of their energy on kitchen designs? For my money, I’d prefer someone who lives and breathes kitchens.
The same goes for lawyers. While a long roster of diverse legal services may look impressive on paper, it’s fairly pointless in practice. You need one good attorney who knows the ins and outs of the area of law that’s relevant to your case.
When you hire a company to do a very important job, you expect to be treated like an important person. This is especially true when we’re talking about a sensitive legal case that can seriously impact your life. It’s critical to build a personal relationship with your attorney, who can begin to deeply understand you and the background of your case while working with you over time.
Many large firms have one case handled by several attorneys, any of whom you may end up speaking to or meeting with. Though this “team” of lawyers may be used as a selling point, it’s actually a drawback. When multiple people handle a case, there can be breakdowns of communication which lead to misunderstandings, needless errors and lost time. How would you like to pay for two attorneys’ hourly rates on a mundane conference call?
With a boutique firm, however, you always know who you’ll be talking to, and it will always be one attorney with a thorough knowledge and understanding of your situation. This personal relationship and attention sets your mind at ease and results in a better outcome for your case.
When you pay by the hour, you want to be positive that you’re not paying for wasted time or redundant tasks. Big firms tend to shuffle your documents around, requiring several lawyers to see them and approve them. Not to mention, that everything might have to be cleared with a senior partner, who may be extremely busy and hard to reach. This is not an unhappy coincidence – all of that shuffling results in increased billable hours.
Small firms, like ours, prize efficiency. Your interests are our priority and we never try to “nickel and dime” you by adding useless steps. Our main concern is your success and your time. We understand that wasted time is your wasted money, so we work to conclude projects quickly and effectively.
Like many other boutique-sized firms, we make ourselves available to clients day and night. When you call, your attorney answers, not a secretary who puts you on hold for 10 minutes. Our clients have our office numbers, cell phone numbers and personal e-mail address and can depend on the fact that we’ll respond quickly.
While large law firms have some advantages, efficiency and specialized, personal attention are not among them. Boutique firms are able to offer clients a unique level of access and commitment, usually at a lower rate. Since we don’t have a huge overhead, we don’t have to charge clients extra just to cover our operational costs.
The next time you have a legal need, look for a small firm that focuses on the area of law your case requires. You’ll see that size does matter – smaller is often better.