A law firm, also referred to as an office, is an entity legally formed by at least one lawyer to engage in the profession of law. The main function performed by a law firm is to advise clients on their legalities and entitlements, as well as about the conduct of their affairs. It is in law firms that ethical conflicts are most often found to surface. But, what do you really know about law firms? Here are some things you should be aware of.
Law Firms Specialize In Types Of Cases
There is this popular belief that lawyers can handle any type of case that comes their way. This is completely incorrect. For instance, Richard Harris is specialized in semi truck accidents, together with everything associated. This means you would be represented in a proper way if you were to file an injury claim but you will not get the best representation if you deal with corporate law.
Law Firms Might Work For You For Free
A lawyer may take a client’s case pro se, meaning he will not charge any fees until the client has obtained legal advice and the results have been delivered. In this kind of situation, the client retains the services of the lawyer but pays his own expenses, unless the lawyer has already disclosed to the client that he will charge fees if the case proceeds.
There are obviously many other fee structures available. Contingency fees are popular with injury cases and hourly rates are preferred by most attorneys that participate in criminal investigations. Before you hire a lawyer, make sure to learn everything about how much you will have to pay.
Different Types Of Law Firms
Law firms can form offshoots or associate branches. In this kind of situation, the partners involved retain the services of other lawyers in the field but pay them lower rates than they would receive if they established their own law firm. These kinds of partnerships lead many to believe that a partnership represents the pinnacle of successful legal practices. Several associates are even known to form the nucleus of newer, successful firms.
There are two categories of law firms: those that are entirely dependent upon other individuals, and those that are completely independent. If an individual, such as a corporate entity, funds the development and expansion of a law firm, then it is not considered dependent upon any particular person.
Dependent law firms are able to increase their funding by acquiring another firm or borrowing money from one another. This means that a firm cannot develop its own clientele or expand into new territories without the consent and support of an outside funding source.
In contrast, an independent law firm may have only one partner or associate, but these partners or associates are permitted to compete with each other for business. They may be paid different rates and fees, or be entitled to a share of the profits generated by the business. Since all the partners or associates participate in the operation of the business, the result is similar to a small family firm with many partners or associates.