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Is bigger always better when it comes to choosing a law firm to work in??
With the announcement of a further round of redundancies within one of the Top 10 National firms, this time to ‘rebalance the shape of front line fee-earner resource’, should this prompt experienced solicitors to begin looking at boutique or smaller practices as an alternative to large commercial practices? These are my thoughts on some of the possible advantages of working for a smaller, or boutique, firm.
There is no doubt that larger firms are beginning to offer their staff better flexibility in working patterns, but it is generally still true that a smaller firm has a more adaptable environment. Many smaller firms can boast an excellent work-life balance and options for flexible working.
Opportunities for progression
A smaller firm naturally has less in house competition, increased viability for high performers, and fewer layers of management. If you are looking for partnership then your achievements may be recognised sooner and as such opportunities for partnership arise sooner.
You may find that a smaller firm allows you the opportunity to work with a greater degree of autonomy at an earlier stage of your career. This ‘autonomy’ often leads to the opportunity of having greater client exposure that in larger firms can be reserved for senior team members. You will also be able to begin building your own relationships that will be an asset later on in your career.
Have your say
With less beauracacy and less layers of management you will often have more opportunity to have input on the issues that affect you day to day. If you are looking to control your own destiny then you may well enjoy having an input on the processes and procedures that are relevant to you.
When deciding on the environment that is right for you there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ rule. Working for a large commercial firm gives you prestige and generally excellent quality work but don’t discount other options, which can be equally as rewarding. Approaching your career with flexibility may open up options that you hadn’t initially considered, you never know you may find the perfect fit outside the Top 100.