Boutique Small Firm. What does this all mean and why are we telling you this?
For a lot of people in our society, having constant contact with a lawyer is not very common. Often most people will not need a lawyer for almost all of their first 20 to 30 years of life. For people of this age group (possibly yourself) usually they may not be are not aware of the benefits of smaller legal firms over bigger firms, especially when it comes to your issues. Because you have never had a need for a lawyer, you may not be well versed in what law firms do. So when that time comes to prepare a will, buy a house, start or buy a business, have an issue with a neighbour or borrow money you will might turn to a big name law firm who has spent money on advertising.
Whilst these law firms are seemingly well performed, taking care of your individual matter is not likely to be high on their priority list. This is fine, they no doubt have very pressing matters coming across their desk, however for you, who is making one of their few forays into the wild world of courtrooms, negotiations and legal spiel, and this can leave you slightly undervalued.
Let us draw a comparison between legal firms and supermarkets/grocers. When you go to a massive shop it is easier to go to your big chain supermarket because they have all the resources in one place and are well prepared for your week shopping haul.
However if you are preparing a special, one off steak dinner for your special person, you might head to your local butcher, someone you know will understand the importance of this dinner to you. You want it to be special!
The local butcher makes sure that he selects the right steak, by asking questions about what meat you and your partner prefer, how skilled you are when it comes to cooking a steak and what sides you plan to serve with the steak.
Legal firms can often be the same. Big law firms have the resources to handle large scale cases, such as class actions and they do it well. However, much like your local butcher, a smaller firm have the ability and desire to get to know you and your case, which gives them insight into finding out the real problem.
Once the problem has been truly uncovered and understood all the proceeding legal documents can then be drafted, edited or changed to suit your situation.
It is a common misconception that almost all legal documents are files saved away on a hard drive ready to opened and printed for every case. These documents should be developed to suit the client and their situation, and a local law firm, with the time and knowledge to treat your situation properly will ensure that the documents you sign and read are appropriate for you.
One of the most important things for any lawyer or law firm is to ensure that their client is aware of every single option they have.
Often clients, especially in personal cases that are tinged with emotion, will have their judgement clouded or have their heart set on one particular outcome. It is a lawyer/law firms duty to make sure that the client has every option presented to them, and that they are given the appropriate advice and information to make an informed decision.
This is more likely to occur with a smaller legal firm. Smaller firms will have more time and more compassion for clients, as our butcher did earlier on! Smaller firms have the freedom to go the extra distance for their clients.
This is because small firms are more dependent on consistent, detailed performance. A small firm, like our local butcher cannot launch massive marketing campaigns to make sure people have they face or name, locked away in the back of their mind.
Small firms are reliant on word of mouth, positive reports and people coming back to them with all their legal matters in the future. There are no multi-million dollar deals with big chain supermarkets, there is a personal bond and a level trust which has been built up with the local butcher.
Small firms cannot afford to treat a case with anything but 100% devotion. Small firms cannot afford to just share the law with their clients. Small firms must show compassion, they have to provide every detail, they have to understand not just you and the case, but what this case means to you. Small firms don’t treat a case as your problem they’re helping you fix. They see it as their problem to solve as well.