There are plenty of business lawyer horror stories floating around. But aside from an accountant, a business lawyer is one of the most crucial professionals involved in running a business. You need them to ensure regulatory and zoning compliance, as well as copywriting and trademarks. These 5 tips will help protect you from living your own business lawyer horror story.
There is no substitute for a personal recommendation. If you know someone who has had a particularly positive experience with a business lawyer, get their name and number and give them a call.
Social media is a good place to find recommendations. You’d be surprised how many people on your friends-list have had experience with a business lawyer or attorney and might be willing to share.
Find someone with experience and connections
Choosing the right lawyer cannot be taken lightly. Don’t be afraid to ask probing questions about their specific experience, their areas of specialization, their working relationships with others in your industry, and what other clients they may have.
Talk about money early
You might as well get the money talk out of the way early. Find out how your business lawyer bills for the work they complete. You can usually find this out by calling the attorney’s office.
Where possible, choose a lawyer that charges a flat fee for their services. Attorney’s that charge by the hour could send you unexpected bills for phone calls and replying to emails, work that you may have considered included in the service.
Small firms can be just as good as large firms
Just because a law firm employs a lot of attorneys and has a nice office doesn’t necessarily mean that they provide a better service. Bigger law firms deal with a high volume of clients. You may find that you are not a priority and other, higher paying clients are.
Alternatively, if your business is very specific and requires a specific skill set, the larger firms may have stronger contacts in your business area. However, all of this will come with a price tag to reflect the specialization.
You want a lawyer that is responsive
The biggest complaint about lawyers is that they are not always responsive. Going into your search for a business lawyer with the knowledge that you want a lawyer who will make themselves available to your questions and requests will pay off.
Don’t be afraid to ask how your business lawyer will respond to your specific needs. If you are still in doubt, give them a call unexpectedly. If you get put through to a voicemail, you might want to reconsider. It could be a sign of things to come.
Going into your search aware of these 5 things will help you get the right lawyer for your business. Instead of a second-rate lawyer struggling to cope with an extensive caseload, you’ll find a trusty adviser who is on hand to help with business decisions to ensure the long-term growth and stability of your business.