In any field, a single person working alone will not be able to accomplish much. It takes a team to build anything of astronomical abilities. The field of law is no exception to this well known fact. That is how law firms were born. A law firm consists of a group of lawyers who engage in law practices. Such firms are easily approachable by clients for various criminal cases, civil rights cases, property rights case and any other legal case.
For those who are new to the concept of law firms, there are several types f law firms based on the kind of ownership pattern they follow. The first type of law firm ownership is sole proprietorship. As the name suggests, there is only one partner or attorney owning the law firm. The next type of ownership is professional association. This type of ownership is when the law firm is working for one particular cause. Limited liability firm is where there are few members. General partnership is the kind of ownership where all partners have an equal share in profits and same ownership pattern. While the ownership patterns mentioned above are very similar to those of any other business, the difference is that with law firms, as explained by the American law, only lawyers can be taken in as partners. No body other than attorneys or lawyers can be considered as a partner of the law firm.
The law firms can vary a lot in terms of its size. It can vary from a single proprietorship to a large complex organisation consisting of several lawyers. A small law firm has many advantages as well as disadvantages. The profits made have to be shared only among few people. But the liability is also dependant only on the few people who are involved in the firm. In this case, a large firm will be quite useful as the liability is divided hugely.
The birth of law firms can be dated back to the American civil war when the United States first introduced the concept of a law firm consisting of more than one lawyer. This concept then spread among different countries and today, almost every country encourages this concept. Law firms are not always business oriented and in some cases, there are law firms that fight for social causes and stop the poor being affected. The social causes can range from improper functioning of road traffic to the improper functioning of certain departments concerned with the government. These law firms take up offences that go unreported, but affect the public at large.
While Law firms have found acceptance in most of the countries, the major chunk of law firms is still based in America and United Kingdom. The reason is that the licensing system as prevailing within these countries makes the prevalence of law firms more pronounced in these parts of the world. Despite the fact that most law forms are downsizing these days in the wake of recession, law firms still hold an important place in our society bringing out the best of the lawyers.
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