Interviews David Elsberg on Starting a Boutique Law Firm

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Yesterday, David Elsberg spoke with about the trend in rising boutique law firm launches. Elsberg spoke on the importance of selective hiring. “With talent, if you can focus on hiring stars—lawyers who are really at the top of their game—and paying those lawyers a lot because that’s what you need to retain them,” Elsberg said. “In the end you end up doing much better economically than hiring a lot of people who are not so good.”

A challenge for many start-ups is hiring the right professionals early on. “Bringing in an operations professional reduces stress and frees up attorneys to do what they do best,” said Elsberg. “And leveraging the experience of operations professionals not only cuts down on the time it takes to set up infrastructure and deal with vendors, for instance, but it also prevents firm founders from making costly mistakes.”

Elsberg continued, “Once you pick these things up and start going down a path, there is inertia and switching costs. You can invest in something that’s maybe not quite as good and less expensive, but you have to ask yourself if the cost of doing that could be more expensive than starting with the state-of-the-art product from the outset.”