Is a small firm right for me?
There are trade
offs between small firms and large law firms. In
a small law firm your case will usually be of
more importance to your lawyer. If a big firm
represents multi-million dollar clients, when
those clients call, your case may be shuffled to
the back burner. In a small firm, by necessity,
your case is more important to the firm.
If a client has consistent needs for specialized
representation in several areas, a big law firm
may be the best choice for that client. However,
for clients who need generalized representation
most of the time, with specialized
representation only occasionally, a small firm
can be a better choice. It may be wise to
examine the large firm business model to help
Big law firms are a lot like HMOs. If a client
has a problem outside of the expertise of their
primary lawyer, they are referred to a lawyer
inside the firm, just like general practitioners
refer to specialists inside their HMO. For
example, Acme Manufacturing is a long time
client of Paula, a partner at ABC Large Firm.
Paula, a good lawyer in her own right,
recognizes that Acme has a tax problem. More
than likely, Paula will refer Acme to another
lawyer in ABC. This may be the case even if a
world-famous tax lawyer practiced next door to
ABC. The compensation arrangements at large
firms are oftentimes structured to reward
partners like Paula financially for the business
they bring in and keep in the firm.
Mark E. Shelley, PC is structured differently.
We simply will not take cases that we are not
qualified to handle. If an existing client
develops a problem that is outside our area of
expertise, we work with that client in selecting
the absolute best lawyer in the area to handle
that particular problem.
We may not profit financially in the short term
like a partner at a big firm, but we believe
than in the long run, professionally, ethically
and even financially, that putting a client’s
best interests first is the best solution for us
as well as the client.