Big or Boutique: Which California Personal Injury Firm is Right for You?

You have watched them on TV, heard them on the radio and seen them in ads all over—large law firms at the ready should you ever need a personal injury attorney. You can probably even recall a few of them by name.

Meanwhile, there are smaller, “boutique” firms offering the same reliable legal counsel, but with a much different approach and perhaps even deeper expertise. Before you dial the number on that billboard, consider the benefits that a boutique personal injury firm can bring.

Defining ‘Boutique’

A boutique law firm is typically characterized as a small to midsize firm—think 5-15 attorneys on staff—specializing in certain practice areas. For example, the Law Offices of Belgum, Fry & Van Allen choose to focus on personal injurymedical malpracticeelder abuse and estate planning in Southern California.

The “boutique” label doesn’t mean a firm is new; in fact, it’s usually quite the opposite. Boutique firms must bring tremendous experience in order to compete with the larger firms. We also prioritize the success of our clients over the growth of our business.

Understanding the Way Big Law Firms Work in California

While boutique firms accept only the cases that align with their expertise, big law firms survive on volume. They have multiple offices regionally, nationally and even internationally. Big advertising dollars help them generate hundreds or thousands of leads and inquiries, many of which they will reflexively “sign up” in order to cover their overhead and keep feeding the machine. Big law firms look to get cases in and out the door, which can lead to lowball settlements.

Comparing the Experience

There is nothing necessarily wrong with hiring a large law firm. You just have to know what to expect. When you call one of these firms, you will likely speak with a paralegal or case manager, not an attorney. They will mail or email you the necessary paperwork for representation. You probably won’t speak to an attorney once your case is onboarded, either. The experience can feel very impersonal. In many cases, large firms will even hand a case off to another firm with little to no explanation.

A boutique firm, on the other hand, will sit down and meet with you in person. You will have consistent, direct communication with your attorney. Boutique law firms are usually much more receptive to your story and aggressive in their pursuit of the full compensation they believe you deserve. If you are a client seeking true guidance and support throughout the process of filing a personal injury claim, hiring a boutique firm is the right route for you.

Where Boutique Firms Excel

Perhaps the most visible differentiator between big and boutique firms is that boutique firms are much more community-focused. In maintaining a smaller geographic footprint, we are able to stay abreast of the latest laws, issues and developments locally. We rely heavily on referrals from prior clients and other local attorneys, which further encourages us to give each client the attention they deserve. For example, our firm recently secured a significant settlement for a woman who suffered horrible injuries on a dangerous city sidewalk. Read the full case study here.

See the Boutique Difference

The Law Offices of Belgum, Fry & Van Allen hold respect for the large, national firms seen in advertisements, but remain committed to the boutique approach. If you are looking for a boutique personal injury firm in Southern California, we invite you to receive a free case evaluation or call 626-914-9806 to speak with an attorney.