Chart a safe course
The perception that large firms have greater resources than small firms is more fiction than fact. Advances in technology have enabled small firms access to the same resources as the large firms at better prices.
Those massive large firm libraries with rows and rows of legal books that look so impressive are obsolete. While many large firms have been slow to abandon their investment in those libraries, we have converted to 100% digital online database from Westlaw, the most respected legal research database. As a small firm, we receive lower per-lawyer prices and we buy comprehensive data plans that give us flat rate pricing to digital libraries so far reaching that the largest law firm library pales in comparison to the amount of information available to us.
Because these databases are online, we have access to them wherever we have internet – in our office, your office, our homes, on vacation, at the courthouse, at the settlement table, “down the shore”, or in a coffee shop. This means we can provide you with the best and most cost-effective path to your objectives or solution to your dilemma, anywhere, anytime.
Our small firm environment means our experienced attorneys are able to focus on your case as if it were their only case. Our attorneys work directly with our clients and tailor a plan specific to your needs and goals and communicate with you all along.
Our collegial environment is inviting to our clients. Many of our clients have been with us so long, they are like a part of the firm. It is not uncommon to see clients wandering the office, chatting with secretaries and paralegals and lawyers, poking their head in another lawyer’s office to get a quick update on another matter, or just dropping in because they need a notary, a copier or a fax machine.
You won’t get the pomp and circumstance in our office and you won’t pay for it.
The legal “news” as evidenced by the cover stories in the legal newspapers is as prone to reporting law firm metrics as it is the law. The cover stories are routinely reporting increases in profits per partner, increases in revenue per lawyer, law firm layoffs, and stratospheric starting salaries for newly minted lawyers.
The trend among most firms is to eliminate support staff and require the lawyers, at lawyers’ rates, to handle every task involved in a legal matter. While some of this is justified by the advances in technology, such as where emails have become the norm for communication, much of it is just designed to enhance the bottom line at the client’s expense.
We still have a 1-1 lawyer-to-staff ratio, but we avoid unnecessary expenses. We don’t have expensive center city offices, a marketing department, or a brass cappuccino machine in an ornate lobby. We make a nice living but we don’t make headlines.
We don’t compete with other firms to have the most impressive metrics and the absence of that billing pressure is perhaps the single largest reason that your legal budget would benefit from a partnership with LBM.
At LBM we offer our attorneys a work-life balance that attracts lawyers who are both talented and dedicated.
Many of our attorneys have come from larger firms after years of intense training on large matters. We demand excellent work product and we reward it with a measure of independence and autonomy.
Unlike the culture of fear that is cultivated in many firms, our lawyers know they have the ability to handle family matters and structure their schedule accordingly. This lowers their stress and magnifies their loyalty to the firm and our clients.
They know this is the real “best place to work” and they are committed for the long term.
At LBM we focus on the areas of law that we are skilled in and we partner with larger or boutique firms for those matters or portions of matters that require particularized expertise. This allows us to ensure your legal expenses are practical and appropriate for the scope and sophistication of the legal work that you require.
We are not a one stop shop. We only do what we do well. If your legal issue, or a portion of it, is not within our area of expertise, we will be the first to tell you. And we will associate with or refer you to the appropriate professionals.
However, much of your day to day commercial legal work is entirely within our abilities. Moreover, we are available to independently manage and oversee that specialty work for clients who do not have an in-house legal department.
To use a medical analogy, think of us a general practitioner – contact us first and we will handle the day to day and routine matters quickly, accessibly and cost effectively. We will refer you to the best specialist for each matter that is not routine or outside of our expertise. You would not go to a cardiologist first, when your problem may be neurological or oncological. That would not be a good use of your time or resources.
Similarly, we serve as a general practitioner for your legal matters and a central repository and resource to anchor all of your legal needs.