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Case study

Competing efficiently with larger law firms

When Saratoga Springs-based solo attorney Meg Gilmartin joined the New York State Bar Association Solo and Small Firm Practice Group two years ago, she found herself in a room full of practitioners who could benefit from the use of Practical Law®.

“It still surprises me that Practical Law is not better known,” says Gilmartin, “because the price is really reasonable. And, I’ve found it to be an essential resource to compete successfully in today’s market – including against larger firms.” 

Challenge

Working solo and being unable to bounce ideas off a coworker or paralegal can be a hurdle to overcome for practitioners. Gilmartin meets the challenge by using Practical Law to access templates, checklists, and practice notes. Checklists are invaluable for ensuring completeness.

Checklists are invaluable for ensuring completeness

“You don’t want clients to know you’re unequipped to do something, and being solo, you can’t ask around at a firm or access a template,” she said. "I type in my request and ‘bam!’, up pops up everything I need in a checklist with an outline of each deal component. I click on each document and term by term, I get an explanation for each paragraph of the agreement.” 

Specific guidance not available from online CLEs

Gilmartin used Practical Law for everything she needed to assist with the sale of an out-of-state chemical business. “No one had a clue I was solo and had no paralegal,” adds Gilmartin, “yet I had everything I needed with Practical Law.”

“Online CLEs talk in generalities,” says Gilmartin, “but the documents they reference are essential in a paper-driven legal industry.” Most CLEs don’t provide attorneys with the documents they talk about, just the law behind it. “If you’re confused about what’s the difference between your state and another, Practical Law has state-by-state comparisons.” 

Outcome

Gilmartin has built a library of standard documents that can be customized for a particular client or deal. While other services may provide standard documents, they don’t provide the same tips or notes that Practical Law does for its subscribers. “Without Practical Law, I’d have to turn down business,” she said. “Like all lawyers, I have an ethical responsibility to clients to get myself up to speed. I can see when Practical Law was last updated and know that every document is backed up by an attorney. It’s why I turn to Practical Law to help level the playing field with larger law firms.” 

Trusted answer

Gilmartin often starts with Practical Law as a tool to produce her best work quickly and
confidently. She receives expert assistance in various practice areas, such as antitrust, litigation and government, in resource types including practice notes, standard documents, standard clauses, and checklists in all state jurisdictions plus National/Federal materials.

Practical Law and Westlaw® are key resources from Thomson Reuters to help you find the right solutions so you can work with fearless confidence. To learn more, visit our Solutions Finder. Practical Law has helped Meg Gilmartin confidently compete with large law firms. How can Practical Law help your firm? 

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