Small Law Firm vs. Large Law Firm: What to Know Before You Hire a Lawyer

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America is home to one of the largest and most dynamic law industries in the world. About $310 billion is spent each year on tort litigation. The decision to hire a lawyer is often the best investment someone can make when faced with a legal issue. This is because the alternative of losing a case can have far-reaching consequences.

So, what kind of lawyer should you hire? With roughly 446,887 law firms to choose from, this decision can be difficult. One factor to take into account is the size and scope of the law firm you choose. Both large and small firms have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, there are also some important differences between the two. Here’s a look at five important distinctions between a small law firm and a large law firm. 


Level of Personalization

Large firms tend to focus on providing mass-produced legal services. In contrast, smaller firms typically offer much more customized and personalized services.

This difference can be largely attributed to the size and structure of each firm. Large firms often rely on a rigid hierarchy, with many layers of support staff and attorneys. This makes it difficult for clients to develop lasting relationships with any attorney or staff member.

Conversely, small law firms may not take on as many cases. This allows for more direct communication between clients and lawyers. This increased level of personalization is ideal for individuals who are looking for customized support and guidance in their legal matters.



Large firms tend to take a top-down approach, starting with a set of guidelines for all cases. Depending on the circumstances, there is typically a set hourly rate that is discussed. Or, the law firm will collect a percentage of the awarded settlement.

Smaller firms, on the other hand, have more freedom to create customized pricing plans that meet clients’ needs and budgets. 

Given the differences, injured victims have the option to pick their selection based on the payment structure. Both firms can offer high-quality representation at lower costs, but it’s important to clarify these details before signing any paperwork. In addition, the firm you choose should be responsive and attentive to your unique needs and concerns. 


Access to Resources

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Small law firms tend to have less access to financial resources than larger firms. This is due, in part, to the fact that small firms typically have fewer clients and earn a lower revenue per client. Thus, these firms have less financial flexibility when it comes to investing in up-to-date technology or hiring specialized legal professionals.

For example, some cases will require “expert witnesses,” like tenured physicians or accident reconstructionists to prove liability or damages in a car accident case. The costs of including these types of witnesses in a case can be very expensive.

On the other hand, by virtue of their greater size and higher revenue, large law firms are able to attract a much larger pool of top legal talent and invest more heavily in advanced technology. This gives them an edge when it comes to tackling complex legal cases that require specialized expertise.


Range of Legal Services

While small firms typically focus on providing legal help in a limited number of areas. Large firms typically offer a much broader set of services, acting as something of a one-stop shop for clients.

One key reason for this difference is that large firms are able to scale up their operations to support a more diverse range of practice areas. Due to their size and the extensive resources available to them, these firms can hire specialists in each area. In contrast, small firms tend to be more limited in terms of the services they can provide. They generally do not have the same access to additional personnel or other resources.



Compared to large, multinational law firms, small law firms tend to have a different set of clients. Large firms typically cater to corporate clients and are often hired for complex legal matters. These include major business transactions or high-stakes litigation.

Small law firms tend to work with individual clients on more routine legal matters. Many of these attorneys deal with personal injury law. That said, there are lots of small law firms that represent businesses in more complex issues.

Individual clients (as opposed to businesses) may actually benefit more from using a small law firm when it comes to certain aspects of their legal needs. For example, small firms often are better able to take the time to understand a client’s particular situation in detail and provide tailored legal advice accordingly. Thus, in many cases, it can be advantageous for an individual client to seek out a small law firm when seeking representation.


Which Should You Hire?

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In the end, whether you hire a small law firm or a large one will depend on your personal injury accident, along with your own needs and circumstances.

Small firms are often best for clients seeking affordable legal services in straightforward matters. Larger firms may be better suited for handling more complex cases, involving more than one at-fault party, and that require additional resources.

Hire a Lawyer Who’s Right for You

The decision to hire a lawyer can be one of the smartest you make when facing a legal issue. However, it is important to consider the differences between a small and large law firm when making this decision.

Factors such as access to resources, range of legal services, and clientele can impact which type of firm will be best for your needs.

Did you or a loved one suffer an auto accident injury or another personal injury accident? Consider engaging the services of a personal injury law firm to help you get the compensation and justice you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with The Law Offices of Daniel Kim and get the legal help you need to recover compensation.