The small law firm is often overshadowed by BigLAW. Law schools across the country pound into the heads of its students to get a BigLAW job out of law school. However, coveted associate positions at a large 500+ attorney firm are few and far between. That’s just the reality of the situation.
Small law firms have their own unique set of benefits that make them an attractive alternative to their BigLAW counterparts. Below are three advantages of working at a smaller firm.
Diverse Work Experience
Unless the firm has a specific, niche law practice, most small firms are generalists. This is particularly attractive to those that want a diverse work experience that spans across multiple practice areas. On any given day you can handle a matter in family law, personal injury or even employment. This is a distinct contrast to the often high degree of specialization seen in many of the large law firms.
Substantive Legal Work
Many new associates at large law firms are tasked with doing research, drafting documents and document review work. However, due to the limited staff at a small firm, a new attorney is able to perform more substantive legal tasks and hit the ground running actually practicing law. It would not be uncommon for a new attorney at a small firm to be asked to argue a motion in court or to conduct a deposition.
One of the joys of being an attorney is getting to help your client. However, associates in larger firms rarely get any facetime with the actual client, since that’s typically reserved for the more senior partners. However, at a small law firm, associates are able to have more interaction with the actual client which makes the work you’re performing all the more worthwhile.
Due to the often fast-paced environment, working at a small law firm is a great way to get diverse and substantive experience practicing law. What are some other advantages of working at a small law firm? Let me know in the comments below.