Why Johnson Marlowe LLP

Why Johnson Marlowe LLP

Many of the people and businesses that we represent could afford to be represented by any of the South's largest law firms. Those firms have excellent reputations, almost limitless resources, and office buildings full of fine lawyers. So why do clients with the ability to hire the biggest commercial law firms choose instead to be represented by a small boutique firm based in Athens, Georgia?


According to a 2012 market survey published in the Fulton County Daily Report, the average hourly rate of Atlanta, Georgia partners and senior associates was $482.00. The average hourly rates at Johnson Marlowe LLP are roughly 57% of our Atlanta counterparts. We believe that our results and qualifications speak for themselves—in fact, many of our results were obtained against “Megafirms”—so it is not as if skill level or experience explains the difference in rates.

The reasons why our services represent such a value to our clients are simpler:

  • Our overhead is lower; the rent is cheaper in Athens.
  • We use skilled, highly educated, and experienced paralegals to do paralegal work, not attorneys. This reduces the effective hourly rate to our clients.
  • We have no vertical partnership structure; we have only one type of partner and no under-utilized but well-paid associates.
  • It costs us less to live in a small town than a metropolis; we can pass that savings along to our clients.
  • We utilize technology to promote efficiency. You won’t see any dictation machines or typewriters at our office. In fact, you won’t see much paper.
  • We don't believe that the choice between expensive artwork in the lobby and cost-savings for our clients is a close one.

Although our rates are not the lowest in Athens, we believe that our services are value-priced when compared to other lawyers who do the same type of work.


The general counsel of Kia recently made news by auditing the technological proficiency of law firms vying for a piece of Kia's business. The test was designed to be completed in an hour and tested one's ability to complete tasks like saving a document as a PDF and Bates-numbering documents. (The corporate counsel at Kia behind the audit was apparently tired of receiving bills from large firms that included time entries, and charges, for relatively routine technological tasks.)

Nine law firms took the test, and nine firms failed it. The lawyers at Johnson Marlowe LLP know how to save a document as PDF. We Bates-number our documents and create our own spreadsheets. As explained on our technology page, we don't rage against the mobile computer age; we embrace it. Our lawyers are early adopters, but do not rest on their laurels. We constantly ask ourselves, "How can we use technology better to deliver services to our clients more quickly and cheaply?"

Responsiveness & Ownership.

The most disturbing stories we hear are from clients who, despite paying for top-shelf representation, don't receive it.

“The lawyer who earns your business will be the lawyer in charge of your business.”

Phone calls may not get returned promptly, emails go unanswered, and meetings are not kept. Those things simply don't happen at Johnson Marlowe LLP. In addition to our direct office lines (and that of our paralegals), all of our clients have our cell phone numbers, and should we miss a call, it is returned the same day. And although we suffer from the same inbox woes as everyone else, our clients' emails get priority treatment (as they should); again, same-day response is our policy.

Because we are a small, boutique firm, the lawyer who earns your business will be the lawyer in charge of your business. We know that hiring a lawyer is an inherently personal decision, and although our lawyers collaborate often, there will never be any question about who is ultimately responsible for your matter. We do not "cross-promote," and we will not re-assign your matter to a lawyer who you've never met or talked to as soon as you've engaged us to represent you.