After reading for months about tons of layoffs of both lawyers and staff by BigLaw firms, one may think that the legal business is in trouble in this down economy. Not so fast. An article to the contrary by Thomas Adcock appears in the recent issue of’s Small Firm Business.

Adcock points to a number of small law firms that are doing just fine, thank you very much. The reasons are varied and include:

  • Lower fee structures
  • More litigation, generally
  • White-collar defense
  • Business restructuring, as well as mergers and acquisitions
  • Professional liability
  • Insurance coverage issues

Moreover, there were a couple of things mentioned in the article that particularly ran true for me (and are applicable to any size firm). The first was a comment by David E. Danovitch of 21-lawyer Gersten Savage that clients will “stick with you through thick and thin so long as they’re happy with your work.” The other was something consultant Ari Kaplan mentioned about “becoming business partners…rather than just problem solvers” for your clients.

So, both of these latter points relate to solid client relationships, which is the key to client retention even in tough economic times; and small and medium-sized firms have a real advantage IMHO.