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Former government lawyers pass up Biglaw for smaller firms

With less overhead and lower billing rates, boutique firms are attractive to employees and clients alike

Bigger isn’t always better. At least, that’s what some former government lawyers are finding, as they leave their federal agency jobs for law firm life. The Washington Post reports that many of these attorneys are opting to join smaller firms rather than follow the traditional path to Biglaw.

The Post attributes this shift to several factors, including the financial crisis, which forced layoffs and cutbacks at larger firms. By contrast, boutique firms, with their low overhead and focus on specialization, have become an attractive alternative for legal services clients. Some smaller firms also can provide a more encouraging environment for new hires, according to Rob Park, a former Department of Justice lawyer quoted in the article.

“Large law firms have such a voracious need for new business that it makes the pressure all the more intense,” he said. “I didn’t get the sense [a large law firm] was going to be as supportive an environment during the period I was developing business. I thought I’d be on an island by myself.” 

Read the full article at the Washington Post.

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Alanna Byrne

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