Yesterday, I had the privilege of presenting an audio telecast on behalf of the National Constitution Center to some 150 lawyers on the topic “David vs. Goliath: How Small Firms Can Compete” with larger firms. My comments came roaring back into my head today upon reading recent posts by Patrick Lamb and Gerry Riskin that commented on an April 2007 Altman Weil survey. According to AW it conducted  a “Flash” survey (whatever that means – possibly as “…in the pan”? Nah, I’m sure that’s not it) on the new associate salary increases and the impact of same on in-house counsel.   They report that the results from “38 participants from the 200 largest U.S. law departments” were as follows:

  • 13% said it will change policies relating to using first and second year associates, while 60% said they will decide on a case-by-case basis;
  • 100% said they were not contacted (now, there’s a shocker I’ll tell ya);
  • 84% thought they should have been contacted (hmm, does “don’t hold your breath” come to mind?); and
  • 58% said the increase in salaries is “outrageous.” (okee dokee)

While the results of the survey are predictable, it does point to another reason why small and mid-size firms will pick up more work that traditionally went to larger firms. Smaller firms clearly don’t pay the high salaries in question, thus have lower costs and rates. It’s just another reason that small firms can compete, if they’ll undertake effective business development strategies.

Go get ‘em David!

P.S. If you would like a copy of my talk, you can purchase it on a CD from the NCC for $99 (not a penny of which goes to yours truly) by calling 800-859-8676.