Difference Between Big Law Firms & Boutique Law Firms
Whether you are looking for legal representation or are looking for work in the legal world, trying to decide whether big law or a boutique firm are right for you can often be a difficult process. Both big and boutique law firms come with their share of pros and cons, either of which will vary depending on the person and the situation being regarded.
Before deciding which route to take, it is important to understand the difference between big law firms and boutique law firms apart from how they vary in size.
Big Law Firms
Big law firms are considered full service. They cater to a variety of legal scenarios and offer years of experience.
If you are seeking to hire a lawyer, choosing the route of big law will often leave you with more options. However, with big law firms, there is a higher chance that the firm you choose may not accept your case due to a number of reasons. If your case is accepted, you can be sure you will be represented well and have a team of lawyers with exceptional qualifications and experience behind you.
If you are seeking a position within a law firm, there are many factors to consider regarding big law. One of the top factors to consider is necessary qualifications. The candidate pools for large firms are extremely competitive. Additionally, you will have to work long days and nights to ensure reaching your billable hours for the year, and it often takes a lot longer to work your way up within the firm.
In saying that, the salaries offered by big law firms are very generous, you will have the opportunity to work amongst highly credentialed professionals, and will experience a diverse clientele.
Boutique Law Firms
What is a boutique law firm? A boutique firm is a smaller law office that generally specializes entirely in one niche.
As someone looking for legal aid, you may have less options available in terms of boutique law firms because of how specialized they are. It is very dependent on what your situation is. However, you know your lawyer will have quality experience handling similar cases. There is also less of a chance of being turned away due to a conflict of interests for the firm, and you will receive more personalized attention. In a boutique firm, every case is equally as important, and your team is more readily available to support you throughout the process.
As a professional looking for work, finding a position within a boutique firm may not be the easiest task. Boutique firms are founded on their expertise in specific fields, so if you have little to no experience, you will likely have a difficult time finding a position. However, if you do have experience and are looking to transition to small law, boutique firms do have their benefits.
As they are smaller, you will have less competition and more opportunity for larger cases, your schedule and work environment could be more flexible, and you will have greater opportunity for client contact than you may in a large firm, where significant cases and one on one with clients are often handled by more senior lawyers.
Evidently, both big and boutique law firms are characterized by various advantages and disadvantages. It is important to take in all of these considerations when choosing between the two whether you are seeking legal representation or are applying for positions within a firm. Knowing the difference between big law firms and boutique law firms and making an educated decision can make a world of difference in your case or your career.