Notice: Undefined variable: apf_rel_post in /home/blogsites/powerzone/www/wp-content/plugins/add-post-footer/add_post_footer.php on line 373

Law students have many areas to work on. You just have to decide the field or the area and continue searching for jobs of your choice. Once you have secured the right opportunity you can take your career forward to a position which you want to see it at in a few years. But before you take any decision make sure you have a complete knowledge of the field of your choice and also about the other fields. This will help you take a better decision for your career. You can even switch fields later in your career, but making a proper decision early on will lay a strong foundation for your future.

You have to decide where you want to work and where your interests lie. Do you want to go for general practice at a law firm or do you want to work in a smaller boutique atmosphere? Working at law firm and at a boutique is different. It will be very difficult for you to decide in a later stage of your career to shift from a large general practice law firm to a smaller boutique. Shifting to a smaller boutique environment asks for a great deal of adjustments on your side. A. Harrison Barnes, the owner and creator of, suggests you to take the decision earlier on in your career.

For making the right decision in your career, A. Harrison Barnes suggests that you know the difference between a boutique firm and general practice one. A boutique firm is a group of lawyers who have specialized in a particular area of law and have chosen to continue in a particular field. But general practice is different from a boutique set up. The boutique is specialized in a particular area but general practice handles various legal issues for their clients. The attorneys cannot make exceptions. The count of clients at a large general law firm is more than a boutique due to this very reason. Even the attorneys have a higher scope to progress in their career than the attorneys of a boutique. At boutiques you have less billable hours but it is more with the larger general practice firms. Since their client base is huge, there is always work that will pile up in a general practice firm.

A. Harrison Barnes knows many people who have shifted from large law firms to a small boutique and have ended up criticizing their decisions. It is so because a law firm is a better place to practice law than a small boutique. A sudden shift in can have a negative impact on the daily practice of an attorney. He needs t o adjust himself to deal with only one particular type of law with a lesser client base. This can be detrimental in the longer run if the lawyer fails to adjust himself.

Culture Difference

A. Harrison Barnes from his experience says that the there are many small boutiques that have got excellent culture but at times there exist people who are difficult to deal with. In small boutiques avoiding such people is impossible. But this is not in case with a large law firm. You can easily avoid such people who are difficult to be with by simply concentrating on your work. This will help you avoid any confrontation with that particular associate.

Difference in Clients and Work

Smaller boutiques also have got sophisticated clients but the number of such boutiques is lesser than the equivalent number of larger law firms. With a sophisticated client comes the sophisticated work that adds to the company’s profile and image. Evaluate the top ten clients of the organization and the duration for which they have been associated with the firm. That should give you a fair idea of the boutique and of its client handling skills.

Economic Conditions Affecting the Stability of the Organization

If a boutique specializes in a particular law area then chances are it can suffer during adverse economic conditions if they have not diversified their business. Boutiques generally specialize in a particular area of law and thus their financial condition worsens in case of a down time in the economy. The large law firms however deal with various areas of law and hence they can spread their losses if any due to current economic scenario, over a wider spectrum. Their attorneys are specialized in different fields of law. A. Harrison Barnes believes that this helps them bring stability if one of their practicing fields is in danger during such economic situations. Always consider the short term and long term impact of a slump in the economy on boutique firms.

Few People Make Decisions

In a small boutique, only a few people make almost all the decisions related to the firm, its associates, and its clients. They control everything; make decisions that will help the firm grow and often decide the growth or progress of the associates working in the firm. Always check and see if it will be viable becoming a partner, considering the time span and so on in such a firm. Ensure that you do your research and only then go ahead with your decision.

Moving from large general practice firm to a small boutique has both advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you to decide which suits you the best In terms of your personal goals and requirements and it will definitely help you further in your legal career. Adjustments are just one need to make to bring in the changes, says A. Harrison Barnes.

Post Your Resume to 65+ Job Sites
Resume Service

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post