HOUSTON – John Zavitsanos, a founding partner of Houston trial lawyer boutique Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C. or AZA, announced today that the firm will match the $195,000 salary and bonus for new lawyers started by Big Law. But he said the cost to AZA clients will not go up. The added expense will come out of profits.
We need the best and brightest lawyers here. But we do not want to compromise our clients’ ability to afford us. We want them to have the means to go to trial when that’s what a case demands,” Mr. Zavitsanos said.
He said the firm is still committed to getting its new lawyers to trial in their first year.
In an Above the Law commentary "Another Boutique Law Firm Joins the Bigtime," Joe Patrice notes how clients aren’t always wise enough to see the benefits of a boutique like AZA. He wrote:
Ironically, the clients have this all backward. They don’t want to pay for associate raises because they don’t want to pay for inexperienced nobodies who provide little value add to the matter. And that’s true in Biglaw, where an associate may be relegated to menial tasks for a couple of years before getting an opportunity to tackle important tasks on their own recognizance. On the other hand, boutique firms routinely empower young associates out of the gate. In announcing yesterday’s raises, Zavitsanos reiterated that AZA is committed to getting its new lawyers to trial in their first year.
So for all the grumbling, clients willingly pay for inexperienced Biglaw associates while holding the line at fully engaged boutique associates.
The market isn’t always the smartest.
Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA, is a Houston-based law firm that is home to true courtroom lawyers with a formidable track record in complex commercial litigation, including energy, intellectual property, and business dispute cases. AZA is recognized by Chambers USA 2018 among the best in Texas commercial law; by U.S. News – Best Lawyers’ Best Law Firms as one of the country’s best commercial litigation firms for 2018; and previously by Law360 as a Texas Powerhouse law firm. National corporate counsel named AZA one of the country’s best in client service among law firms serving the Fortune 1000.