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Growing Solo: The Rise of the Dynamic Law Practice

by Carolyn Elefant on November 9, 2012 · 5 comments

in Business Models, Trends

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These  workplace trends  described by Smart Company are worth a read because they apply with equal force to law firms.  Most interesting to me is the concept of “dynamic staffing,” where groups of employees are formed from within and outside a company to help on a particular project.  The concept of dynamic staffing is a great option for solo and small firm lawyers who want to take on larger matters but don’t necessarily want the burden of permanent employees.  Moreover because  teams are assembled on a project or client basis, they can be tailored to a client’s precise need.

While dynamic law practices have the potential to deliver great value, in many ways, they are still a tough sell for corporate clients who wonder, not unreasonably, about the stability of these flexible alliances.  Still, dynamic practices are a good fit for growing companies with changing needs.  Do you have a dynamic law practice – and what did you do to find a group of go-to lawyers to serve as part of your team?

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  • Gordon Firemark

    Law firms have been doing this for years, staffing their litigation support needs on big cases using temps and short term employees.

    In my solo entertainment law practice, I, too staff up for big projects. It’s cost effective, efficient and has fewer headaches than hiring full time employees. But, managing these folks takes a different skillet than lawyering, and eats up a lot of time, so value billing should also factor into the decision making.

  • Gordon Firemark

    It also requires a different skill set. :-)

  • jmilles

    Doesn’t this make conflicts management more difficult and riskier?

  • shg

    But if you call it “dynamic law practice,” it sounds new and cool, as opposed to what’s been done forever by solos and small firms in need of additional personnel or skills to handle a matter. 

    We’re in the Age of Rhetoric, where giving new names to old concepts makes them completely different and maverkicky, even if they involve nothing new at all.

  • myshingle

    Did I say it was new? It’s just a new name for what many lawyers have been doing for years. But it is a practice trend that is now becoming more of a norm.
    In many ways there’s really nothing new under the sun Branded networks are Hyatt Legal Services Chapter 2, virtual unbundled law firms are the next generation of volume practices, the mobile lawyer was once called fly by night and the “new” normal of lawyers struggling or competing with non lawyer providers is the old routine and flat fee billing was how some lawyers used to gouge clients which is why they started demanding accountability with the time clock. I am sure if solos were rebranded as Start up law firms, they too would seem a lot sexier – which isn’t the point but just a statement on the power and potential danger of branding

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