Hiring a Small Law Firm for Divorce : Advantages
The following list lays out the major advantages of hiring a small firm for divorce or family law cases. I encourage you to consider these issues when deciding on retaining a divorce or family law attorney.
Cost savings may be the most significant advantage of hiring a small law firm for divorce. Small law firms have less staff to pay. They also have less organizational overhead, lower advertising costs, and less expensive office space rentals. In any law office, these expenses will inevitably be pushed off onto the client, usually in the form of higher fees.
For example, some big law firms in downtown Minneapolis charge a minimum of $400 an hour with paralegal fees of $300 an hour for divorce and family law cases. In addition, initial retainers may run between $6,000 and $10,000. In a smaller firm, initial retainers are typically closer to $3,000 to $4,000.
Specialization with Divorce and Family Law Cases
Small firms often, although not necessarily, are more likely to specialize in the practice area they work in. For example, Majeski Law works only with family law cases. This includes divorces, child custody, child support, order for protection, and grandparent rights cases.
Usually you can tell, through the firm’s advertising, website, or after calling, what areas they practice in and deal with on a regular basis.
In addition, this specialization amplifies an attorney’s experience. An attorney who was worked ten years with only family cases will have much more family law experience than an attorney who has worked ten years in a general practice firm.
When you work with a small firm, you meet all the staff. Along these lines, you always know who is working on your case. Unfortunately, just because you meet with the partner of a big law firm, doesn’t mean that he or she will actually be the divorce attorney working on your case.
With some bigger firms a divorce case may get passed off to a less-experienced associate. Or the case may bounce from one attorney to another in the middle of a case.
Instead, with a small firm what you see is what you get. Staff at a small law office get the opportunity to know you and your case on a personal level. Every divorce case is different. It’s important to have an attorney who knows what’s going on with your case and what you want.
In a small firm there are less people to get through. There are less receptionists, assistants, associates, etc. when you want to talk to your attorney. Staff are easier to get a hold of and more quickly available when you need them.
Also, in a small firm staff will not be working on a high volume of different kinds of cases that they may not be as familiar with.
Please keep in mind that these are the common differences between small law firms and big law firms. There are additional factors you should take into consideration as well when choosing your divorce lawyer.
For other divorce or family law questions, please consult the list to the left or the FAQ page. If you’re interested in retaining an attorney to help you, please feel free to contact my office for a consultation using the contact information on the left or the contact form on the Majeski Law home page. For Court rules, please click here.