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What’s the right size law firm? Of course there’s no single answer—but attorney Aaron Tobin with Condon Tobin Sladek Thornton PLLC makes a keen observation. “Clients want a relationship-oriented firm that can service as much of their needs as possible, so they don’t have 20 different law firms for 20 different problem sets.”
That puts Condon Tobin Sladek Thornton in a very nice spot. It formed out of a merger between a litigation and a transactional firm, resulting in a well-rounded, full-service practice that’s able to handle a wide range of business-related matters.
Tobin states plainly that a firm doesn’t necessarily have to build a massive global footprint to provide top-class representation, nor does it have to be super-lean to maintain a personal relationship with each client.
“We are a one-office, 24-lawyer firm that, on both the transactional side and the litigation dispute side, services national clients on a national scope,” Tobin states.
“We have work all over the country,” he says. “30 years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to do that.” Indeed, technology has a significant role in leveling the playing field between firms of all sizes. Tobin explains that the firm leverages tech to maintain a lean cost structure, which means the firm is able to lower its prices yet still provide that all-important nationwide service that its clients demand.
Despite the firm’s relatively small size, Tobin describes its capabilities. “We handle very large projects, sophisticated work for sophisticated clients, all over the country.” He says that firms of a similar size typically have a much narrower scope, both in terms of practice specialization and geographic footprint.
Tobin also makes it clear that it’s important to stay on the leading-edge of technology to ensure the firm can consistently perform at such a high level.
While good client relationships are a no-brainer for a successful practice, Tobin offers some smart insight into his firm’s approach.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” he says plainly. “If I have to do things that aren’t in the firm’s immediate interest, our firm really believes that it will pay off for the client and pay off for us.” Tobin goes on to explain the firm’s philosophy of building trust for the long haul.
It makes sense then, that Condon Tobin Sladek Thornton is really, really good at client retention. Tobin alludes to some of their larger clients that the firm has had for ten, twenty and, in some cases, even thirty years—a testament to the effectiveness of that long-term strategy.
“We’re not opportunistic,” he states. “We don’t want to give [our clients] incentive to go somewhere else…that’s why they keep coming back to us…they trust us.”
And, while Tobin jokes that their approach may not make them the richest lawyers in town, it certainly cuts down on a lot of the angst and uncertainty that comes with the legal profession. “It’s a fun way to practice,” he beams.
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