With the rise of the “billion-dollar law firm,” many people in the law profession warn that small and midsize firms will have to consolidate and pursue the models of the bigger firms to be sufficiently profitable, to retain leading attorneys and to recruit new ones.

But that is not necessarily true. By thinking creatively — and sometimes even counterintuitively — midsize firms can achieve strong profitability, attract and retain top talent, and still preserve their cherished independence. In fact, four strategies can help small and midsize firms distinguish themselves as attractive alternatives to the megafirms.