New York Law Firms

New York Law Firms

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New York Law Firms


What Makes a Good New York Law Firm?

NY law firms are like termites, only they don’t cause damage; but they certainly come out of the woodwork! Is it any wonder why many prospective clients want to bang their heads on the question of which firm to choose (and an even tougher decision, which lawyer to hire!)? So it begs the question: what makes a good NY law firm?

There Are Two Kinds, First Off

1. The “Small” New York Law Firm

2. The “Large” New York Law Firm

Now you’re probably wondering if it’s that simple, and what does size have to do with it. Quite frankly – it’s everything. It can lead to the right lawyer if you know what you and your case needs in terms of the advantages. And, yes, that’s right: these two types of New York law firms have their own unique advantages.

And depending on the kind of case, the advantages can be either insignificant or useful; knowing which advantages to weigh the most is the key.

Starting With Small NY Law Firms….

1. Small New York Law Firms Don’t Cost as Much

2. In Addition, They Tend to Work a Lot Harder

3. They Emphasize Business “Relationship” Over “Contract”

4. They Tend to Be More Specialized in a Given Niche

5. Localization Can Be an Advantage

That’s pretty impressive when you think about it; but know this: not every case can be handled by those small NY law firms well.

For starters, yes, the smaller New York law firms charge less – sometimes much, much less. Whereas a giant law firm with multiple offices will expect hefty retainer fees, a smaller NY law firm will only charge an hourly rate, and maybe a contingency fee for any cases involving a settlement.

That’s always a deciding factor when it comes to choosing to hire an attorney. But sometimes it leads to inexperience; and that’s to be expected.

Furthermore, chances are a NY law firm on a smaller scale will work a lot harder for specific reasons, such as:

1. Client Retention

2. Basic Love for the Law

3. Less Workload

These smaller firms must retain their clients; because it’s typically more difficult to obtain new ones. The larger ones? They don’t have any problem finding new clients. So the natural work level for a lawyer in a small office is pretty high. These lawyers will bust their butts to earn their rates and/or fees.

This also tends to clue in a client on the fact that a lawyer working in a small office might really have a passion for the law in which he or she practices. That’s not to say attorneys in larger firms don’t have any passion; it just means that lawyers in the smaller offices tend to show it more.

Plus they tend to have less cases currently being worked on. A lot of that stems from the fact that they may not have legal assistants or paralegals working in the office. Everything on the case is typically done by the lawyer in the office. Period. Hence, they’ll work a lot harder to get the job done.

Now because they work so much harder, they end up developing more of a business relationship with clients. The fewer the clients, the closer they get to knowing those clients; likewise, clients will know a small-time lawyer quite well and may then trust that lawyer even more.

That’s priceless in the legal industry.

Also, there’s something to be said about being “local.” First off, when they specialize in a given legal niche, there’s a true advantage if the case matches the niche. Secondly, a local office may have a much better understanding of state laws than any other large firm out there, or at least will have much easier access to those laws.

So if the case directly involves certain state laws, a smaller office extremely skilled in handling those laws may be a very good choice for a client.

On the Other Hand, Larger Firms in New York Have Their Strengths

And what are those strengths? Read on….

1. Major Teamwork

2. Better Experience in the Courtroom

3. Tremendous Track Record

4. Better Technology

Don’t be fooled by the fact that I listed six strengths for smaller firms versus only four here. Because these four are pretty big ones.

First off, you’d probably recognize the grand photo headline for some law firm web sites with all the attorneys seated like in a school picture – principle partners and associates all together – smiling brightly and big. If you were to count all the lawyers in the picture, it would be anywhere from ten to twenty attorneys.

And guess what – those attorneys know each other so well that they have one huge advantage over smaller offices. It’s called teamwork.

Now depending on the severity of the case, having more than one lawyer in the mix can be a good thing. Of course, the cost of legal representation goes up, but if something heavy’s on the line with a case or dispute, I’m sure no client would object.

This also accounts for the fact that no lawyer gets overworked at all. Each lawyer can devote his or her entire attention to a case; and furthermore, may not even have to worry about expending any energy in filing appropriate documents, even interviewing witnesses, or even handling the whole court case.

There are legal assistants, paralegals, writers, interns in a larger firm. They handle some of the tasks on which the trial lawyers can’t waste their time. It takes a lot of energy to perform in a courtroom, and a good trial lawyer will operate a lot better if not having to stay up late at night for weeks on end trying to write out a polished opening statement or closing statement.

This can account for the extremely positive track record. Make no mistake about it: larger law firms tend to win their cases. It’s only a statistic, though, and it of course depends on what the case is about.

And don’t even get me started on the technology advantage – think about tablets, cell phones, research and organizational technology.

It just makes for a better well-oiled machine all the way around.

So There You Have It

Keep in mind that these are guidelines, though. Think about your case, diversify your shortlist of lawyers in New York, and you’ll have a good chance in picking out not only the right firm, but a good firm.

Whether it’s a large or small one? It doesn’t matter. Just strive to pick the best one of the bunch!

 

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