Does Law Firm Size Make a Difference?

Individual Practitioner Versus Large or Small Group Practice?

You have identified several attorneys at different law firms who can do a good job representing you. At your initial consultation, ask each attorney a few questions to help you narrow the field.

How Law Firm Size Affects Potential Conflicts of Interest

A large law firm will review their client lists and disclose to you if there is a conflict with an existing client or clients whose interests directly or indirectly conflict with yours. This could occur, for example, if you want to negotiate a contract and the law firm represents the company you are dealing with, even if the law firm is not representing the company in this particular negotiation. Large law firms have policies in place which ensure that attorneys with conflicting representations can be shielded from access to each others files, often referred to as a “firewall”. You may be asked to sign off on the conflict of interest as part of your engagement agreement.

Does Law Firm Size Make a Difference with Costs?

The Internet revolution has empowered smaller law firms to economically conduct online legal research and prepare pleadings and court filings on a par with the largest law firms. Unless your legal needs are of a uniquely complex nature, a smaller law firm can produce competitively-priced work for you.

The Personal Touch Versus a Legal Team Approach

In a small law firm you likely will deal with one attorney or legal assistant. If they are busy or called away on an emergency, you may feel left adrift. In a larger law firm you can be confident that there will be competent backup if your primary attorney is unable to deal with an urgent issue.

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