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Big Law Firms, TV Lawyers

Burdine & Brown Jan. 23, 2020

Big law firms, those TV law firms, who you see all the time on billboards and on TV ads at all hours of the day and night, enticing you to let them handle your automobile accident or job injury case, what are they really all about?

The large law firms with 25 to 200 lawyers or larger might be great for big business clients, corporations and government.

But for the little person who is injured, do not think for a moment you are getting better results because of the size of the law firm. Big is not better. In fact, I submit that you are worse off with a large law firm. He is why:

TV advertising firms are set up to have marketing and sales persons interviewing you to filter out not so good cases and to bring you into the firm if you have a decent or good case. Then you will be interviewed NOT by the lawyer, but by a case manager, maybe a paralegal.

In these type of law firms, you are only going to meet the lawyer for 10 minutes, just as a formal introduction, if you are lucky. Do not depend on explaining your case to your lawyer. They don't have time to get to know you and your specific issues.

Your case is managed by a paralegal, not by the lawyer. Many decisions are made by this paralegal who has probably one year experience. This para professional will be negotiating with a claims adjuster who has most likely 5-15 years of experience and was trained formally by the insurance company they represent.

Settlement of your case will be for “low fruit”. This means that because this TV lawyer who represents you will be attracting so many new cases with their massive advertising campaignes, they need to settle your case for whatever you “team” can get. There is little or no push back. More importantly, there is little thoughtful development, no aggressive handling of your case. Why not? Because the “team” has too many other cases to work on. Look at this math:

20 cases X $5,000 fee per case=$100,000

4 cases $25,000 fee per case =$100,000

If I handle 4 cases and get the maximum dollar out of each case, my fee would be $25,000 per case. The TV law firm “team” is so concerned with pushing your case out the door in a minimum settlement (because they have so much new business), they will accept only a $5,000 fee but with 20 settlements they make as much as I can handling only 4 cases but doing so aggressively. But who “takes it in the ear?” You do, the client.

The take away here: big or not necessarily good for you. Once inside the marble façade and glittery lobby of the big law firm, you will get less than what you expected. Kick the tires first. Ask questions, if they will allow you to do so. Then maybe you will find what I know is true.