The data described and analyzed in this book were collected from October of 1990 through November of 1991, though I have contacted some of the study participants over the intervening years to keep abreast of changes as I prepared this volume. The two firms studied here ( Arthur & Nelson and Beck & Daniels are pseudonyms) were chosen because of their leadership in developing the franchise law firm market for services. Both firms are national in scope and each firm employed 300-400 attorneys during the period of the study.
To gain access I approached the owners of each firm about the possibility of participating in the study. I proposed in-office observation and interviewing because little was known about the work routines, organization and relationships of lawyers and office staff at these new legal services firms. Negotiations with management of each firm ensued over a six-month period. Eventually, I gained permission to observe in two Arthur & Nelson offices and one Beck & Daniels office. In addition, I conducted numerous informal follow-up visits with the Beck & Daniels office staff, which also led to informal visits at three other Beck & Daniels branch offices.