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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mega-firm to solo...

If the above is something you're considering, grab an issue of the October 2006 Chicago Lawyer (sorry it doesn't link to the piece). It includes a very extensive piece that profiles three big firm attorneys that have gone solo. I've never been big firm, save one summer job during law school, so this is a very eye-opening viewpoint and simply new to me. One of the lawyers profiled had left McDermott, Will & Emery and another Sidley Austin.

What's changed for them...their perspectives:

Although they still have some Fortune 500 clients, mainly the transition to solo meant serving smaller businesses. One's comment was that big companies hire big firms for "comfort level."

Cost efficieny. One of the lawyers mentioned billing at about 40% of his big firm rate, but, since he keeps 80% of his revenue versus the 30% he used to keep, he's a better deal for clients.

Be able to tell clients that you can put a team together. One of the lawyers interviewed talked about the fact that for 90% of cases one lawyer is enough, but for those 10% of cases where you're getting papered to death and need greater breadth, he knows the players/experts well-enough to get a team together to compete with the big firm.


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