San Diego Law Firms

San Diego Law Firms

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San Diego Law Firms


What Makes a Good San Diego Law Firm?

California’s known for the glitz and glam, and for certain San Diego’s famous for the being the actual birthplace of the state. Would anyone wonder what it takes to find a good San Diego law firm?

No matter how much glitz or glam there is, the law encompasses everything, making it a priority to know where the good San Diego law firms are.

For starters, there is one thing to know about San Diego law firms:

There Are Two Kinds

1. “Large” San Diego Law Firms

2. “Small San Diego Law Firms

Now that might seem pretty simple. But know this: these two types differ greatly. And knowing the differences can help determine whether or not any particular San Diego law firm is a good law firm – or a not-so-good law firm.

Both Kinds of San Diego Law Firms Have Their Own Strengths

This is the way to find the right lawyer for you. Examine the San Diego law firm in which any lawyers on your list work.

For starters, the larger San Diego law firms out there are characterized by several aspects:

1. Large Skyscraper

2. National or Even Global Presence

3. Broad Practice

This means you’ll expect to see a ton of people working for the firm – mail clerks, legal assistants, paralegals, interns, secretaries, maintenance.

And for sure, this type of business may span far beyond that of the state and will cover multiple offices of the same name in other states and maybe even in other countries. It’s pretty impressive, actually.

That, of course, means that generally a larger San Diego law firm will tackle several different niches within the legal industry – it could be anything from:

1. Family Law

2. Copyright Law

3. Criminal Law

4. Malpractice Law

5. Personal Injury Law

6. Estate Planning Law

The sky’s the limit, really. Expansion means more clients. More clients mean more money.

But know this about a larger San Diego law firm….

Disadvantages of Larger Firms

Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean ‘better.’ Why? Here are some things to keep in mind:

1. They’re Expensive

2. Not Enough Personal Attention

3. Not Enough Experience in a Specialized Niche

It may not seem like a whole lot of negatives, but depending on the professionalism of the firm, these negatives can pack a wallop.

For instance – rates and fees.

There’s no way around it. Lawyers don’t come cheap. But they’re especially not cheap in a large firm. Almost always a firm will ask for a “retainer” fee. And in case you were wondering what a “retainer” fee is – it’s simply a down payment on services even before they begin.

And typically this “down” payment can be a hefty amount of money.

You are, of course, getting what you pay for. But just know this: there are so many lawyers and so many clients involved in a large firm that sometimes any particular client might simply feel like a ‘case number’ not getting any of the personal attention required of the case.

Moreover, because larger firms are so spread out, they may lose some experience in dealing with some of the finer legal niches out there that a smaller, local firm might be able to tackle due to knowledge of state laws.

So, you can see that bigger doesn’t necessarily mean ‘better.’

On the Other Hand, the Smaller Firms Can Have Their Weaknesses

You’ll notice a smaller firm by the tiny office, sometimes inside a business complex. And typically the law office will have four or five rooms with maybe one small library.

Walk into one of those tiny offices, and you may find some real experience – but because of the lack of staffing, resources, and all of that, any particular client might gather that this particular firm would have some drawbacks…. Such as….

1. Overworked

2. Understaffed

3. Mediocre Track Record

4. Lack of Viable Resources

Again, though, it’s not a deal-breaker – but if any particular law firm shows a great deal of any of these disadvantages, the particular law firm may lose a great deal of points.

First off, because the firm is so small – having one, two, or three lawyers at the most – may be overworked or unable to take on a new client. Moreover, legal assistants and/or paralegals are pretty much a negative in these types of offices. So in other words, lawyers don’t get a lot of assistance.

A lawyer is solely responsible for every facet of the case assigned to that lawyer. No attorney gets any kind of help.

Chances are smaller firms do have less of an impressive track record. That’s not to say they never win. But the chances are questionable if facing a larger firm assigning two or three or maybe even four lawyers on the case! That would be one lawyer against more than one lawyer. Quantity does tend to win.

And with the lack of staff and the lack of wins (although smaller firms do manage their own finances quite well), there’s also the lack of resources. While an attorney in a larger firm will have access to a company library and powerful internet access, a smaller firm might have to travel to a separate library for certain cases outside the research level of the small office.

What’s the Verdict on This?

That depends on the case. This doesn’t mean that a larger firm trumps a smaller firm. And vice versa.

What it does mean is that any potential client must diversify the shortlist of lawyers for a better selection and see which type of firm works best. You never know….

A divorce case might require a very seasoned local lawyer specializing in family law. On the other hand, if you’re dealing with a copyright issue, go with a big name out there that knows the ins and outs of federal copyright law.

The choice would be up to you. But the good thing is this: you at least have the knowledge on which firms in San Diego are the good ones, and which ones are the bad ones.

 

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