I think it's a good idea to have an attorney that has a solid team back in his/her office that are available to handle any last minute surprises. Many real estate attorneys are one person shows and much of their time is spent out of the office reading board minutes or in closings. It is especially important that they have a qualified person(s) back at the shop to handle things. For this reason I prefer a shop that has at least one additional attorney on board as well as additional supporting staff.
For the most part residential real estate transactions are pretty straight forward in NYC. However stuff can get a bit hairy and also be time sensitive, especially in a multi-offer situation. You don't want your attorney MIA for an extended period of time when the tomato hits the fan. For this reason a law firm with a few attorneys on board as well as a supporting cast of characters can be a very good idea.
This advice is not absolute however something to consider when making this very important decision on legal representation. We feel having a solid team is critical in achieving optimal results. Everyone is important; your real estate broker/agent, banker and attorney to ensure a successful transaction. This is not rocket science, however there is a method to the madness that is buying/selling NYC real estate.
Next: Choose your broker/agent carefully!