Big firm lawyers are not twice as good, but charge twice as much as small firms
July 24, 2014
Our clients, the local and regional full-service law firms of 50 or so lawyers, regularly talk about the value their reduced billing rates present but struggle to actually quantify and properly package the advantages when talking to key prospects with a regular flow of files.
New survey data reveals just how compelling that rate difference is— it’s about 50 percent!
On average, senior partners at the mega firms, those with 400+ lawyers, charge clients 34 percent more per hour than senior partners at mid-size law firms, those with 150-399 lawyers. It jumps to a eye-popping 63 percent more than senior partners at smaller firm with less than 150 lawyers, reveals a new study from BTI Consulting.
The difference is significant at all levels of lawyer experience. Junior partners at the mega firms charge 30 percent more than junior partners at mid-size firms and 51 percent more than junior partners at smaller firms. Associates at mega firms charge 22 percent more than associates at mid-size firms, BTI revealed, and 46 percent more than smaller law firms.
In-house counsel, savvy executives and closely-held business owners know most of their legal work is not bet-the-company and that smaller firms can and should handle the bulk of their legal assignments. Use the price differential, citing this study, in tandem with presenting your analysis, experience, industry and legal issue specific, along with your accessibility and local knowledge when you know you are competing against Big Law.
Who could justify paying twice as much for the same legal services you provide?