Law firm or an in-house lawyer, which one is better suited for you?

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Any business that wants to succeed needs to have a lawyer on retainer. It’s pretty obvious that part of doing business is attending to various legal matters. However, the question to ask here is – do you need an in-house lawyer, or should you contact a law firm? There are various benefits to both. Below you will find out exactly what these are.

In-house lawyers: Costs and spending

Now, of course, getting an in-house lawyer does not necessarily mean that you won’t need any other outside legal advice. However, know that having your in-house legal team will definitely be cost effective. They will reduce your overall expenditure and will be more efficient. They will deal with any legal matter as they come, the very instant they show up. A good in-house lawyer is excellent at preventing fires, stopping them before they even show up. This will definitely save you money on fees and complications.

Furthermore, because this team is on your own company’s payroll, you will know exactly how much money you will need to spend on them all the time. It’s quite easy to keep track and will make their price actually more stable. You won’t need to calculate any additional fees, fluctuations in the market, or simply having the law firm you use the most raise their prices.

Law firms: Size and focus

On the other hand, probably the main reasons you should opt for a law firm is because of the size of your company. True, in-house lawyers can be less costly than a law firm. However, that only goes for larger companies. So, do you have less than 80 employees? Do you have a need for contracts other than standard form contracts? Do their terms and conditions vary considerably, or not at all? Do your shareholders have different interests and financial stakes in your company?

Essentially all these questions boil down to – can the law firm you hired handle the workload you give them and are your expenses reasonable? If so, then there is no reason to hire an in-house lawyer, and it can even end up being more costly than a regular company.

In-house: Deeper connection and understanding of your business

Any law firm should possess insight into the company that has them on retainer. They should be at least somewhat familiar with the type of business they do, and how they do it. But, it’s essentially impossible for them to be as involved as an in-house lawyer would be. By the very nature of his employment status, an in-house attorney will specialize in your specific business. They will have a very intimate knowledge of not only your legal status and state, but the inner working of your company. This can lead to just being a better lawyer, all the way to actually serving as a kind of advisor.

Law firm: Incorporation, specialization and court battles

First of all, an attorney coming from a law firm can help you actually set up shop and open your business. Furthermore, trademark laws and court battles are better handled by a law firm. The reason here is that one lawyer, or even a small team of lawyers, will not be able to specialize in so many fields. You will end up with people who are essentially “jacks of all trades, masters of none”. So while you can have your in-house lawyers deal with thing specific to your company’s business activities, like drafting contracts, making deals… a law firm has more reach. If you, for example, end up in a court battle involving a trademark dispute, you want a lawyer that has experience with these issues.

For example, if you have real problems with serious business contracts, its best to hire a specialized law firm, like Stevensen Business Lawyers. Furthermore, you want somebody who can help you incorporate your company, something that is not easy to pull off.


Making a choice between getting a law firm or an in-house lawyer is not easy. You have different points of focus, different jobs, different goals. However, they can boil down to the matter of specialization and cost. Large companies with changing contracts should hire in-house lawyers. They need the extra work. Smaller companies with more streamlined business dealings should go with a law firm. However, for any specific court battles or niche legal disputes, a law firm is a good choice, at least temporarily. This gives your legal team some time to focus on other things.