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Are you thinking about making the switch to a smaller or even solo firm? Maybe your BigLaw gig didn't turn out the way you expected it to, or you've just been thinking about a change. While it may not seem like it -- attorneys working in small firms are actually the majority.
So, should you join them?
Choosing to be a part of a small firm practice over a large firm has some advantages that you may not know about. While it may seem like being in a mega-giant firm is the ultimate pipe dream, you may be surprised to learn that a small firm could be more ideal for you, after all. Here are three big perks to working at a small law firm, that you may not know about.
1. Actual client relationships
In general, junior associates at smaller firms have far more client contact than junior associates at large firms do. In many big firms, the lower-level associates rarely interact with their clients, merely fulfilling whatever request or task the senior associates, who tend to conduct most of the client interaction, assign.
At a small firm, there’s simpl less staff and because of this, you often are the person solely responsible for your client’s case. This means a far more intimate relationship, and complete responsibility for the case. You get to work with your client from start to finish, and you will be the face of the legal representation that they’ve chosen.
2. More variety of work
Again, because there is a much smaller staff and less of a pecking order at a small firm, you will encounter a much more varied level of work. New associates at small firms are often thrown into direct client intakes (and the pleadings and discovery that follow) within the very first week. At a big firm, junior associates are more likely to be stuck with the tedious doc review, research, and other annoying work that senior associates will hand off.
3. Autonomy, Sort of
The environment at a small law firm tends to be more adaptive and flexible. Also, because you are more likely to have the more of a say in your caseload and work, this will lead to you having a far greater handle on your schedule. Sure, there are still billables just like any other firm, but you will likely be at one partner’s beck and call (as opposed to several partners and numerous associates who outrank you), and this means a bit more freedom for you to live your life accordingly.
Who knows, you might get Sunday off!