What You Need To Know About Law Firms?
Law Firms are nothing but a partnership between lawyers who together look after the interests of their clients. All the partners in the law firm share ther profits/losses as well as the risks. They also engage other lawyers to work for them. These lawyers are called associates. The law firms function like any other company but in most countries they are not allowed to raise money through IPOs. This prevents the law firms from having any kind of conflicts of interest.
These associates initally work for the company, but if consistent performance is shown, they can even be made partners and get a share of the profits. This may take upto 9 years. Becoming a partner is a huge accomplishment for a lawyer. This establishes your credentials as a reliable and hard-working person and at the same time gives your reputation a big boost. Generally lawyers who are made partners rarely leave the firm or are fired, but certain companies have well established retirement rules such as age limit.
Law firms, by themselves place no restrictions on the type of clients they get i.e whether individuals or corporations. But generally, the major clients of these firms are other businesses who want to resolve cases related to various issues like patents, goverment regulations etc. Law firms also provided the companies with legal advise related to their business. Again, like lawyers, law firms may also specialize in a certain area and provide excellent services related to that field. This depends on the law firm and the partners running the law firm.
The large law firms usually have separate litigation and corporate departments. Litigation refers to the cases relating to the disputes of the clients, whereas the corporate departments provide legal advise to the companies on the businesses they are currently involved in. This can be related to acquisitions, mergers and even financing of big projects.
Like all the other companies, there are also mergers and acquisitions within law firms. Apart from M&As there are also divisions and reorganizations in law firms. At the end of the day, the aim is to make the company as profitable and reputable as possible. The law firms take whatever decisions are necessary to facilitate the above.
When we consider the salaries, initially the law firms don't pay as well as compared to certain other fields but as an intern in a law firm you have a great deal of exposure that will help you later on. You can observe and learn from all the senior and experienced lawyers and gain invaluable insight. The promotions, if they happen, result in giving a big boost to your overall salary. Apart from that, the jet-set lifestyle becomes difficult to leave once you get used to it. But, if the law firm you are working in is quite large, then there is a good chance of not being suitably rewarded for your efforts as well as increased competition for a few seats of partnership.
Law in general has large burnout rates. Hence, you have to make sure that you are not getting into something that you cannot come out of. For eg. you get so much into the specialization that you are not flexible anymore to handle other cases. With the obvious advantages of working in a top law firm, there is also a very high stress factor which leads to frustration and unhappiness.
These are the biggest law firms in the world, as termed as the Big-Six:
- Allens Arthur Robinson
- Blake Dawson
- Clayton Utz
- Mallesons Stephen Jacques
- Minter Ellison