The most common legal services provided by law firms are related to:
- general data protection regulation consultancy – helping companies to avoid managing data of its clients in inadequate way, what may results massive financial penalties,
- real estate law – reviewing purchase and sale agreements, guidance in ownership issues and inheritance cases,
- entrepreneur advisory – advisory in establishment a business, choosing a suitable organizational form or settlement properly agreements with suppliers and customers,
- mergers and acquisitions – advisory in transaction like consolidations, transferring, changing ownership or structure different organizations,
- litigation – representing a client in a judgment, preparing agreements between opposing parties, defends a client's legal rights, mediations,
- restructuring and bankruptcy – advisory in restructuring of a company, proper conduct of bankruptcy process,
- finance and banking – helping clients with finance agreements like loan agreement, borrow agreement or leasing agreement, obtaining accordance with financial institution requirements
- public procurement – providing advisory in preparing procurement documents and forms according with legal policies and procedures of local and international law,
- intellectual property - advisory in cases infringement, protection and benefit of copyright to intellectual property.
Generally, the primary objective of the law firm is (or should be) to advise clients about their legal rights and responsibilities and represent them in court or business transactions.
Organizational structure of law firms
According to S. S. Samuelson book, the most typical organizational form for law companies is partnership. Cooperating partners in this structure are managing and sharing all profits and debts in enterprise. (S. S. Samuelson, 1990, p. 650-651) Partners liability can be limited by agreement between them. On a top of structure chart is Chief Executive Officer responsible for company strategy, planning and performance results. Lower in hierarchy are non-partners employees – associates, working in a team's on a different cases. They are managing by Department and Industry Managers responsible for fulfilling project goals and their subordinates performance. (S. S. Samuelson, 1990, p. 667-668)
The most prestigious law firms
Lawyer is respectable profession, which is associating with prestige, high earnings and luxury life. According to Karsten Strauss article in Forbes magazine, the most desirables US employers in 2017 was:
- Cravath, Swaine & Moore
- Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
- Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
- Sullivan & Cromwell
- Davis Polk & Wardwell
- Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
- Latham& Watkins
- Kirkland & Ellis
- Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
- Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
(Strauss K. 2017)
Earnings in law firms
By information given by Robert Half, median salary of United States in lawyer profession is beginning from 68 $000 for First-Year Associate employed in law firm. Lawyer with 2-3 years’ experience could earn 88 $500 and 101 $500 with 4-9 years’ experience. In-House Counsels employed in law corporation could count on higher earnings: 90 $000 for lawyers with maximum 3 years’ experience and 109 $000 with experience between 4 and 9 years. Associate General Counsel can earn 138 $000 and 167 $000 is typical wage for General Counsel. (R. Half 2017, p. 14)
Educational path to become a law firm employee
A person who want to be a lawyer in United States have to complete a bachelor's degree program and pass Law School Admission Test. The next step is complete Law school supported by American Bar Association and earn at least Juris Doctor degree. The last step is pass writing, bar examination, which lasts two days. During the exam, student have to proof their knowledge, competence and skill before state bar of examiners. After fulfil this minimal requirements candidate have to launch their professional career as associate in law office.
- Chambliss, E. (2005). The professionalization of law firm in-house counsel. NCL Rev., 84, 1515.
- Faulconbridge, J. R. (2008). Managing the Transnational Law Firm: A Relational Analysis of Professional Systems, Embedded Actors, and Time—Space‐Sensitive Governance. Economic Geography, 84(2), 185-210.
- Flood, J. (2007). Lawyers as sanctifiers: The role of elite law firms in international business transactions. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, nr. 14, p. 35-66.
- Friedman, L. M. (2017). Law, lawyers, and popular culture. In Popular Culture and Law. Routledge, nr. 98, p. 3-30
- Half, R. (2017). 2018 Salary Guide for legal professionals, "Robert Half Legal", p. 14
- Samuelson, S. S. (1990). The organizational structure of law firms: lessons from management theory. Ohio St. LJ, p. 650-651, 667-668.
- Sander, R. H. (2005). The racial paradox of the corporate law firm. NCL Rev., 84, 1755.
- Strauss, K. (2017). America's Most Prestigious Law Firms In 2017, "Forbes"
- Tomlinson, J., Valizade, D., Muzio, D., Charlwood, A., & Aulakh, S. (2018). Privileges and penalties in the legal profession: an intersectional analysis of career progression. The British Journal of Sociology.
Author: Artur Kopera