Largest Law Firms

Largest Law Firms

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Largest Law Firms


What are the some of the Largest Law Firms?

The term “largest law firms” refers to legal formations created by one or more attorneys to engage in the practice of law. Largest law firms typically employ—as stated by the American Bar Association—at least 20 legal professionals. Roughly 14 percent of lawyers/attorneys are employed in the world’s largest law firms. The primary difference between largest law firms and their smaller counterparts is that the largest law firms possess multiple offices, resources and highly-skilled legal attorneys. Largest law firms also possess a concrete hierarchy that promotes vertical progression. In summation, the world’s largest law firms operate like large corporations; the world’s largest law firms operate under a bureaucratic mold. 

As an employment industry, the field of law is highly competitive; the world’s largest law firms require their lawyers/attorneys to work strenuous hours and fulfill highly-complex legal tasks. Because of these tasks, legal professionals employed by the world’s largest law firms are awarded lucrative salaries and bonuses.

The primary services offered by the world’s largest law firms are to advise clients (individuals or businesses) with regards to their legal rights and responsibilities. These services help clients find a legal solution or help a business conduct a maneuver that adheres to the laws regulating it. If, after providing these legal services, the client wishes to engage in a legal suit, the hired firm will litigate on behalf of the client in a formal court of law. 

The world’s largest law firms represent clients in either criminal or civil cases or business transactions. These firms also facilitate the formation of business contracts, mergers and/or acquisitions. In general, largest law firms help clients with a variety of legal issues, including business transactions, lawsuits (defending or prosecuting), licenses/deeds etc. 

Depending on the founding lawyer’s desire, the world’s largest law firms may be structured in a variety of ways. Decisions regarding formation are primarily based on the following criteria: the location of the firm and the type of law it practices. In general, the world’s largest law firms are organized in the following structures: 

General Partnership: The founding legal professionals of the firm equally share liability and ownership responsibilities

Sole Proprietorship: Under this formation, the employed lawyers of the firm act as the owners of the operation. Because of this, individual attorneys are responsible for the firm’s profits, losses and liability. 

Professional Corporations: These types of largest law firms issue stock to their employees in a similar fashion to a corporation

Limited Liability Company: These types of firms offer membership to their employees. As an acting “member” the employees are not held liable to third party creditors.

Professional Association: Largest law firms of this formation operate like a professional corporation  or a limited liability company 

Limited Liability Partnership: Under this formation, lawyers are partners within the firm; however, no partner is liable to any creditor of the firm nor are partners liable for the negligence of their fellow employees. 

These firms are taxed as partnerships but enjoy the liability protections offered to corporations. 

Benefits of Working at one of the World’s Largest Law Firms:

Approximately one quarter of all attorneys in private practice are employed at one of the world’s largest law firms. Employment these firms offer unique benefits, including: 

High Salaries: The world’s largest law firms rank among the highest paid employment environments for legal professionals. Employees of these firms are granted substantial compensation packages, primarily when compared to small-firm, government or non-profit law firms. 

Challenging Work: The majority of high-end law firms handle complex and transactional legal work, which in turn, attracts high-caliber talent and other resources. 

Highly Skilled Co-Workers: Highly-skilled lawyers, because of the lucrative benefits and challenging work, are attracted to the world’s largest law firms. To secure top talent, these firms typically recruit only the best law students from the top law schools in the country. In addition to lawyers/attorneys, the world’s largest law firms attract the best help; paralegals of these firms typically possess—at a minimum--bachelor’s degrees and a few years’ experience within their specific legal specialty.

Diverse Client Base: Clients of these firms are more diverse (and larger) than those of smaller firms. A diversified client base minimizes a large firm’s risk; with a diverse client base, a large firm is less likely to encounter financial problems if a client decides to seek the business of a competitor.

Extensive Resources: The world’s largest law firms enjoy substantial on-site resources. The world’s largest law firms possess extensive law libraries, full-service copy centers, in-house gyms and full-service cafeterias. 

Large Support Staff: The world’s largest law firms boast extensive support and administrative teams. These units are comprised of skilled legal secretaries, marketing specialists, legal administrators, paralegals, IT personnel, librarians, file clerks, messengers and court filers. 

Locations and Offices: The world’s largest law firms enjoy luxurious offices that feature an assortment of amenities. The offices of the world’s largest law firms are often located in the downtown areas of large cities. 

Well-Developed Training Programs: The world’s largest law firms often establish well-defined mentoring and training programs for paralegals, associates and other professionals of the firm. The bulk of the world’s largest law firms possess summer associated programs and in-house educational services that provide learning opportunities and continued growth for their employees.

Advancement Opportunities: Many of the world’s largest law firms operate under a complex organizational hierarchy; this structure promotes vertical mobility. For instance, the career path of an lawyer in one of the world’s largest law firms may progress from a junior associate/entry-level to mid-level associates, to a non-equity partner, to a senior associated, to an equity partner and then eventually to a senior partner.

Prestige and Name Recognition: Working for one of the world’s largest law firms affords the lawyer a certain level of prestige and status. 

Pro Bono Initiatives: The majorities of the world’s largest law firms establish public service and pro bono service programs that encourage lawyers and paralegals to commit to an established number of hours for community service. These programs provide aid to underserved populations such as the elderly or children. 

Contacting Large Law Firms:

If you are facing legal troubles or simply want to consult with one of the world’s largest law firms, you can contact them by engaging in the following steps:

• If you need legal advice concerning a business transaction or have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should start your quest for legal aid by accessing the Internet. 

• To find a suitable large law firm in your area, conduct a geo-specific Internet search by using a search engine such as GOOGLE or Bing. To specify your search, click on the “maps” tab and type-in “largest law firms” and the search engine will provide you with a list of the largest law firms in your area. To narrow your search, type-in the area of law your legal matter revolves around. For instance, if you need advice concerning the development of a business proposal or business contract, you must search for one of the largest law firms that specialize in business law.

• Internet searches allow you to compile a list of the largest law firms in your area.  After amassing this list, you must cross-reference each firm by contacting your state’s BAR association, the respective firms’ website and all reviews offered by previous clients. The ability to accrue information will illuminate the respective firm’s efficiency; information will help you evaluate a prospective firms’ credentials and skills. If your case is complicated and dire, it is essential to review as much information as possible. All attained information will illuminate a firm’s pool of attorneys and more specifically, each attorney’s educational background, reputability, skill set and experience. 

• After fulfilling these steps, you will have a better understanding for your area’s largest law firms. Moreover, you should seek advice from friends and family or anyone you know who has been involved with a similar legal predicament in the past.

Fees Associated with Largest Law Firms:

The world’s largest law firms operate under different fee arrangements depending on the type of legal matter they are litigating over. Depending on your legal matter, a largest law firm will operate under one (or more) of the following payment schedules: hourly, retainer or flat fees.

Under an hourly schedule, a largest law firm will charge hourly for services rendered. A flat fee requires you to pay a lump sum before the largest law firm takes your case. Additionally, largest law firms may require you to pay a retainer before services are rendered. 

And lastly, a retainer acts as an escrow account; under this arrangement, you are required to place a flat fee before the largest law firm works on your matter. The funds in escrow are then taken as services are rendered. 

 

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