Finding the right lawyer for your business can be a challenging task. Whether you’re new to the market and require a lawyer for your new business or you’re in the market for a new business attorney, the issues remain the same. You will need a lawyer with the ideal experience and who’s attentive to your business requirements.
In the end, you need to ask yourself, “Can I trust this person with my business?”
To help you answer this question, below are a few questions and issues you should address in assessing whether a potential business lawyer is right for your business:
Pay attention to the attorney’s background.
- It should go without saying, but you want to consult the local bar association to ascertain if the lawyer is currently licensed to practice law and if or not she has had any significant disciplinary actions.
- Do not be afraid to ask for referrals.
- Learn what is their field of practice.
- You will need a lawyer who spends most of their time practicing business and commercial law.
- When dealing with the health and future prosperity of your business, you would like a professional who can quickly diagnose and efficiently discover the solution.
- Ask how much of the practice is dedicated to business and business law.
- What aspects of business law do they specialize in? In what (and how many) other regions do they practice? – are these areas complementary to your business requirements?
Assess their expertise and knowledge.
- Ensure that your attorney has the ideal expertise and knowledge of your business.
- You require a lawyer who has expertise with companies like yours so that you don’t need to cover the lawyer’s learning curve in getting up to speed on the legal issues affecting your business.
- On the flip side, you should want a lawyer who’s willing to spend the time to understand your legal issues and the challenges facing your business, rather than provide a cookie-cutter alternative.
Do not overlook the relationship count!
- While almost all of your communication with your attorney might happen on the telephone, through email and email, a face-to-face meeting remains crucial in an attorney-client relationship.
- You want to satisfy your prospective lawyer in person. You can learn a lot of things from a face-to-face assembly that doesn’t communicate well over the phone or email.
- Be wary of any attorney who’s reluctant to meet you in person or insists on a “retainer” ahead of your first meeting or any discussion about your business, your specific issues, and the scope of their involvement.
Personality can play an integral role in how successful a lawyer is going to be for your business.
- You will need to be familiar with your legal counsel.
- Would he/she mesh with your executives, managers, and your staff (i.e., your accountant, financial advisors, and other advisors)?
- Is he/she the ideal fit for your job?
- Would you like a team player? Or do you want an independent person to assess your business and keep your managers and workers in check?
- Are they aggressive and outspoken? Or they just combative?
- Would you like a risk-taker? Or do you want somebody conservative and requires a safe and secure path?
To further help you in your search, below is a list of some of the key characteristics of a good business attorney (in no particular order of significance or relevance):
An Advocate for your Business: A lawyer has to be supportive rather than only sympathetic to your cause. You don’t need a “yes” man. A good lawyer is supposed to let you know where you might be wrong. Can the lawyer be straight-forward with you?
Very Good Business Judgment: Are you really familiar with their business judgment? Do they appear to use sound and reasonable business judgment? Or are they overly theoretical, impractical, or out-of-touch with your business reality well-thought suggestions and reasons?
Easily Available: Do they have sufficient time to accept your matters. Be sure that you commit the lawyer.
A terrific Communicator – No “Legalese” please: Your lawyer must have the ability to explain to you the most complicated issues in terms you know. Your lawyer is supposed to find answers for you, not mystify you.
Foresight & Proactive: Can the lawyer think of approaches to assist you and your business? Do they appear to comprehend the problems you’re likely to have? Do they have a strategy to avoid likely issues?
Exudes Professionalism: Why are they organized and manage themselves with professionalism? Are they respectful of your time – were they on time?
Have Resources – Will Travel: Does he/she have the tools and connections you might want to support your business? Do he/she understand the players in your business? Do he/she have contacts in your industry? Does he/she have connections with your clients or prospects? Ask about their affiliations with accountants, financial advisors, bankers, and other professionals. Can you leverage their resources, relations, and referrals?
Finding the right lawyer for your business doesn’t have to be overpowering. With a little bit of preparation, you should be able to locate a lawyer with the ideal experience and who’s attentive to your business requirements.