You may remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears from your childhood. If you need a refresher or if you’re unfamiliar with the story, Goldilocks was a little girl who stumbled upon the house of three bears while they were away. She made herself quite at home, eating their porridge, lounging in their chairs, and resting in their beds. While sampling their porridge, she proclaimed that the first bowl was too hot, the second was too cold, but the third one was juuuuust right. Similarly, you want to find a law firm which isn’t too big or too small for your startup, but one which is just right. A boutique law firm can offer you just that by being much more nimble and efficient than either a solo lawyer or a big law firm.
Solo lawyers have their allure as they may come with a cheaper price. However, since there’s only one lawyer, there’s only one billing rate, and this rate will be applied to the most mundane of tasks. That results in overkill. At a boutique practice, the tasks can be assigned based on the appropriate experience and rate required which optimizes your legal budget.
By their very nature, solo lawyers will have less bureaucracy, but this comes at the expense of having limited capacity which impacts responses and ultimately, the capacity for the solo lawyer to scale with the startup. A boutique firm has the capacity to scale with a technology startup from incorporation to exit.
So you decided that the solo lawyer might not fit your needs, but how about a big law firm? Big law firms definitely have their place, but for most startups, there is little benefit to working with a firm with practice groups that don’t matter to an early stage company, paying higher rates, and dealing with bureaucracy and inefficiencies. Instead, a boutique law firm has the capacity in many ways to emulate its startup clients by running leanly with less overhead, implementing efficient processes faster due to less red tape, and utilizing collaborative SaaS tools. This provides the same results with less waste and a fit which is just right.