More caring, more personal and offering a wider variety of tasks, hyper-specialized law firms really have many advantages in the eyes of paralegals. Portrait of work in a boutique law firm.
Some specialize in international law and recognition of foreign judgements. Others in estate and trust litigation, or real estate and matrimonial law. Whatever their specialization, boutique law firms are all on a human scale and build their practice on the idea that good things come in small packages! By staying small, they always make sure to offer personalized service and more “human” interactions.
This is true for client relations and it is also true with respect to employee relations, according to Marie-Eve Altur, president and founder of Novea Recruitment, which specializes in recruitment in the legal world. “Relations with colleagues are undeniably more friendly,” she says.
The human factor
“Paralegals in a boutique firm feel less like a number or doing production line work,” adds Marie-Eve Altur. “They develop a deeper sense of belonging.”
In general, there is also a greater variety of tasks. It is normal that “a boutique law firm will try to make the most possible of its internal resources, and thereby offer a wider variety of legal and administrative tasks, or even ones related to management”.
But beware, this can also have a negative aspect, for example for a paralegal with little inclination for administration, who would prefer to stick to “legal” tasks.
It is a work environment where loyalty is naturally valued. “When I do headhunting for a large client and try hunting in a smaller office, paralegals often tell me they are not interested in changing jobs,” says Marie-Eve Altur. “Their like the friendly work environment too much.”
Not so much money, but…
If you are a paralegal with dreams of a big salary, a boutique law firm may not be for you. Salary scales are not as high as in large firms.
However, most have a better quality of life. “In comparison with paralegals in large firms, they rarely have a set billable hours goal. This lets them have less pressure and more stable hours,” emphasizes Marie-Eve Altur.
Because life is well worth living without running…