Many solo practitioners and attorneys at small firms mistakenly believe that joining a larger firm will mean less money. They think this because of the high overhead and less freedom due to red tape. Many times, that’s simply not the case. In reality, there are several reasons that a larger firm with a more full-service platform can result in more money. And leaving behind all of the administrative responsibility can give you more freedom to focus on client service and development. So how do you know if it makes sense for you to join a larger law firm?
Here are 5 Reasons Why It Makes Sense to Join a Larger Law Firm:
1. YOU ARE REFERRING WORK OUT BECAUSE YOUR FIRM LACKS PRACTICE AREAS
This is a big one for a lot of solo practitioners. Since no single lawyer can be an expert in every area of the law. Solos (and small firms and boutiques) are often asked to do work where their firms don’t have the expertise. Therefore, they must refer this work out.
Unfortunately, every time an attorney refers work out there is a risk the client won’t come back again. This is because the client stays with the second firm. Or, just as bad, they go to a third firm that is able to handle all of its legal needs.
2. YOU DON’T HAVE A BENCH TO PULL FROM WHEN MATTERS HEAT UP
If you’re a solo practitioner (or part of small firm) there aren’t extra people around to help. There is no support to shoulder the burden when you get busy. There are a couple of consequences. This may put you at a disadvantage to the firm on the other side. The adversary is able to pull staff from other departments. They have help with caseloads and can consult on different areas of the legal matters.
It may also mean that when a big case is going to trial or a major transaction is getting ready to close, you have to turn down new matters. Then when the case finally settles or gets tried, or the big deal closes, you are left scrambling for work.
3. YOU WOULD BENEFIT FROM CROSS-SELLING AND CROSS-MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES
Joining a large firm with a collegial atmosphere is often a way to market your skill set to clients who are already using the firm for their other legal needs. A client that already has a positive association with the firm may be happy to meet a partner that can handle more of its legal needs. This allows the client to keep all of its work at one firm. And at a firm with the right culture, you’ll have ready and willing partners to introduce you to their clients. This can certainly give you a head start when it comes to marketing.
4. FOCUS ON CLIENT SERVICE AND BUSINESS GENERATION, INSTEAD OF ADMINISTRATIVE WORK
Solo practitioners (and managing partners at small firms) inevitably spend much of their time on administrative tasks. This limits the opportunity to focus their attention on client work and business generation.
If you join a larger law firm, you get the benefit of a billing department, professional marketing staff, and many times even a non-lawyer CEO or COO. Depending on the size of the firm, you may have many other non-legal professional staff. All of whom are tasked with making sure you can perform your work as efficiently as possible.
5. YOUR CURRENT AND POTENTIAL CLIENTS MAY FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE GIVING THEIR WORK TO A LARGER FIRM
Solo practitioners (and managing partners at small firms) may have a harder time landing the larger clientele they need to boost revenue. The reason for this is that these clients often have many different areas they need legal advice in and so they are more comfortable giving their work to a larger firm that can handle all of the areas. It makes it easier for the client to have one law firm handling everything rather than multiple law firms handing all the different aspects for them. It makes it easier when they have one place of contact and don’t have to think about who is the right firm to help with that particular issue.
I invite you to sign up for a 15 minute, no obligation call with me to discuss if moving to a larger law firm would be a better fit for you. You can choose a time that works for you here.
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