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Kevin S. Brady

It's interesting how the legal community still clings to some of these traditions--these "tags." Yet, I am seeing (at least in the area where I live) a bit of a reverese trend to that. More and more law firms--particularly smaller ones--are eschewing the glass office towers and all of the trappings, choosing instead to locate in outlying areas where the overhead is more reasonable. Of course, smaller firms have the agility to make such moves, but this allows them to become more competitive in their billing rates. Something to consider in this slow economy. Unless your practice dictates that you be close to the courthouse and other amenities downtown, why limit yourself to that area?

Tomasz Stasiuk

I think you conflate being image conscious with burning through a ton of money each month/year.

As a solo attorney, I compete with older and richer firms in town. I cannot out compete them on advertising. I cannot out compete them on having a nicer office with a mountain view.

But I do strive to make a good first impression. I try to have a nice office. Check it out here http://www.flickr.com/photos/zstasiuk/2625420803/in/set-72157605904253054/

I am still a dang good lawyer (if I do say so myself). But although I know that, my potential clients do not. There are a number of less skilled lawyers in my area with better win/loss records. Why? They do not take the riskier cases. I do. I gain more experience by taking a more difficult case and my clients benefit by having a lawyer by their side.

I feel that image is how nearly all clients judge an attorney. "Does he look successful?" I am not being snobbish. When I hired a lawyer to prepare my and my wife's will and related documents, even though I am an attorney, I, personally, had no basis for determining if the other lawyer was any good (beyond word-of-mouth -- which I am not dismissing), beyond what he looked like, what his office looked like, and his personal hygiene.

Although I focus on the image I project, I also keep my expenses to a minimum. My low rent allows me the flexibility to take riskier cases. I have a nice watch, but it cost less than $50. I wear a nice suit to court; but at my office, I meet with clients in a casual button down shirt and chinos. My car is almost 10 years old and still going (knock wood). Technology has eliminated the need (and cost) for a secretary or receptionist, and has allowed me to stay more in touch with my clients than ever.

Maybe you could call me a thrifty tag hag. ;)

Keep up the great articles Chuck!

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