Law Firm 500: an Optimistic Perspective on Small Law Firms

Money growing plant step with deposit coin in bank concept. Isolated in white.

There’s a lot of doom and gloom in the legal news lately, suggesting that lawyering doesn’t pay like it used to. Or that small firms may even disappear. But of course the legal market plays out differently for different firms, and there is still plenty of money to made in small-firm practice.

To prove that, small-firm coaching service How to Manage a Small Law Firm built a directory and conference around fast-growing small firms. Firms had to apply and qualify. Kahuna Accounting certified the firms’ positive revenue growth over three years (2012–2015).

So far, 102 small firms have made the list, with revenue growth from 27.78% to a whopping 1,500%. Presumably the list will grow to 500 over time, and the slow-growth firms will drop off as others compete for position at the top.

(Note that the measurement is revenue, not profitability. Like the Inc. 5000, which ranks America’s fastest-growing companies, firms in the Law Firm 500 could be unprofitable as long as they are growing revenue-wise.)

Is Law Firm 500 a marketing gimmick for HTM? Sure. But it’s also a legitimate attempt to create something like the AmLaw 100 for small firms and show that there is plenty of room for small-firm practices to grow.

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