Solo v. large firm

January 26, 2009
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There’s not a definite end in sight to the current economic downtown we’re experiencing, but who’s better off to ride it out – solos or large firms?

There are compelling arguments for both sides. Solos may be able to adapt better and more quickly to changing client needs in legal representation and billing matters. They don’t have a huge payroll to support, health benefits, or other amenities a larger firm may offer to its employees.

But larger firms can cut staff, focus more resources on marketing (if they haven’t cut their marketing staff), slash bonuses or other amenities to stay afloat, and possibly rely on brand name recognition in gathering more business.

I’m leaning more towards solos or smaller firms riding it out better than larger firms because of their ability to change focus quickly, adapt to client needs, and maybe even become more of a boutique-type firm. It seems like across the country, and even here in Indiana, we constantly read about larger-sized firms merging. Whatever reasons the firms claim as for why they merged, you have to think the current economic downturn played some role.

What do you think? Who’s in a better position in this economy – solos or larger firms?

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