The Advantages of Working for a Boutique Regional Firm
If you’re currently working in a Biglaw firm environment, you may be considering a change of scenery. Though in-house exit opportunities are common, many attorneys interested in more specialized work would do well to consider a boutique regional firm — experience at a boutique firm can give the right attorney a number of significant advantages.
Looking for new opportunities in the legal industry can be challenging, if not somewhat overwhelming. As a general rule, there is a serious information asymmetry when it comes to the day-to-day reality of firm life — attorney-candidates interested in a “fresh start” may feel anxious about joining a new firm, only to find that they are bound to suffer the same problems as their old firm. We recommend getting in touch with a legal recruiter for further guidance. Legal recruiters have the contacts necessary to properly evaluate opportunities, including those at smaller, boutique firms.
Consider the following.
Manageable Firm Size
Though not always, boutique firms tend to be smaller than competing Biglaw firms. This has sweeping consequences. Fewer attorneys means less competition, but it also means that there is more pressure to perform up-to-par with the rest of the firm. As such, ambitious attorneys will likely find that the boutique environment gives them ample opportunity to showcase their skills and be rewarded for it.
Focused Service Offering
Boutique firms essentially function as specialist firms — attorneys are expected to be experts in a particular field. Attorneys interested in rapidly advancing in a particular field (perhaps in order to gain the breadth of experience necessary to join an industry giant as corporate counsel later on in their career) may find that a boutique firm gives them an opportunity to develop a greater level of expertise than they might otherwise gain working in Biglaw.
Mentorship and Training Opportunities in a Specialized Field
Every firm is different, of course, but generally speaking, boutique firms take mentorship and training seriously. Junior and mid-level associates are frequently assigned higher-level mentors to help them develop the technical skills (and client management skills) necessary to thrive in the specialized boutique environment. Associates often find that this commitment leads to significant skill development in a shortened period of time.
Less Bureaucratic Managerial Structure
Many boutique firms have a less formal hierarchy when it comes to project management. For example, a boutique firm may offer more flexibility with regard to choosing assignments and clients. Ambitious and high-performing associates may also have an opportunity to take on greater responsibility sooner in their career — advancement is not as closely-linked to experience, but is instead linked to demonstrable results.
Collegial Work Culture
Though prestigious boutique firms tend to place a significant amount of responsibility on the shoulders of their associates, it may be easier to handle — boutique firms are often seen as attractive landing spots for qualified attorneys who are tired of the hyper-competitive Biglaw firm culture. Boutique firms are known for actively encouraging a more cooperative, collegial work environment.
Speak With an Experienced Los Angeles Legal Recruiter for Further Assistance
Boutique firms are not for everyone. Though smaller firms are often perceived to be a good choice from a lifestyle perspective, prestigious boutique firms must compete with Biglaw firms that have significantly more resources at their disposal. In fact, attorneys looking to “relax” may benefit from moving in-house or moving to a Biglaw firm with alternative career track options.
Attorneys who may find boutique firm opportunities most beneficial are those who have a particular interest in a specialized field of law, or who have grown tired of the top-down managerial structure common in Biglaw — a flatter, more cooperative work environment can be a breath of fresh air for attorneys looking to do “cutting-edge work” without having to deal with the frustrations of office politics.
Interested in exploring opportunities with boutique law firms in California? Get in touch with one of the experienced Los Angeles legal recruiters here at Garb Jaffe & Associates. Our legal recruiters have spent decades connecting attorney-candidates with employers throughout the California legal industry, helping them identify ideal positions, develop their applications, and secure a position suitable for their particular needs and preferences.
Skilled legal recruiters have access to extensive networks within law firms and in-house legal departments. As such, they are well-positioned to assist you with the process of filtering through various opportunities in the legal industry. Without the aid of a legal recruiter, you may be forced to rely on guesswork or otherwise inadequate information about an employer — a recruiter can help you determine whether, for example, a firm actually has a lifestyle-oriented work culture, or whether that is an unearned reputation.
Call (310) 207-0727 to speak with one of our recruiters today.