The past five years have been financially painful for many small firm lawyers – the two-thirds of the nation’s 1.2 million attorneys who practice in firms with five or fewer members. They often make $60,000 to $100,000 a year and generally represent individual clients and small businesses in issues (such as personal injury, family disputes, criminal defense and personal debtor claims, among others) that tend to pay less to begin with. Couple this with the reduction in number of clients and number of matters and the slower payments that firms of all sizes are experiencing, and the result is an office phone that rings less.
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