Legal Career Resources

Boutiques Are Not the Right Choice for Most Attorneys
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boutique law firms

Summary: Attorneys get this idea in their heads that boutiques are the best place to work because they can have a job with less stress and an actual social life.

Attorneys do not have an easy, carefree career. Too often attorneys get this notion that another law firm will be easier, especially if it’s at a boutique firm. In the article “20 Reasons Why There Are No Such Thing as ‘Lifestyle’ Boutique Law Firms and Why Boutique Law Firms Are Much More Dangerous Than Larger Law Firms,” Harrison Barnes explains the truth behind boutique law firms.


The dream that attorneys think will come true of being able to move to a smaller law firm and having all their stress magically go away in reality does not always happen. Of course, some attorneys are able to find what they are looking for but most end up in an even worse situation. Smaller law firms, such as boutiques, know why attorneys are coming to them looking for a job. They are going to tell the attorney everything they want to hear but not everything can be believed.

What it all comes down to, and has Barnes explains, “Both boutiques and major law firms are businesses that need billing machines and business generating machines to service. The difference is that the larger law firms is a more highly evolved and sophisticated organism than the boutique.”

Businesses always have to fight to survive. No company can sit back and expect to make money without putting in effort. Law firms are no different, no matter the size. Small law firms need attorneys that are committed and willing to work the long hours to get the job done for their clients the same as major law firms. Attorneys that fool themselves into thinking that boutiques just fall into money to support their salary and desire for a healthy lifestyle will face reality the hard way.

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The boutique is just as much at risk when they hire these kinds of attorneys. They are hiring attorneys, expecting commitment and dedication to the firm and job. When they learn that the attorney was assuming they were moving to an easier job, the firm will have to either pick up the slack or fire the attorney and hire a new one that can give them what they need to fill the position.

Do you think attorneys convince themselves that their career can be something it can’t because they are exhausted and looking for a light at the end of the tunnel? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about mistakes that attorneys can make, read these articles:




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