TMCnet Feature
September 10, 2021

How to Find the Right Business Attorney

Most entrepreneurs put off hiring an attorney until they’re sued, which is a bad mistake.

An attorney can keep you and your business out of trouble in the first place. Plus, when you have a business attorney, you pay less legal fees just in case you get into trouble. 

But a business attorney does more than handle lawsuits. They help you draft agreements, review contracts, deal with employment disputes while also offering legal advice.

Moreover, a business attorney will offer legal counsel where a military attorney may not help a servicemember under the SCRA military law, especially on matters relating to a privately-owned business.

Undoubtedly, a lawyer is a valuable asset for any business that wants to succeed.

1.     Focus On Getting a Business Lawyer

The legal profession is highly specialized. Most lawyers, like doctors, have an area of expertise.

If you’re looking for long-term general counsel for your business, you should hire an attorney who handles business matters.

A business attorney will be knowledgeable on the latest legal developments applicable to your business. Such an attorney will also provide legal counsel across a wide range of business areas. And just in case a business problem is beyond their expertise, they can refer you to a reliable lawyer who has specialized knowledge on the issue at hand.

Some of the areas a business lawyer should  be knowledgeable in include:

·         Business structure and structure

·         Contract law

·         Employment law

·         Intellectual property

·         Mergers and acquisitions

·         Business litigation

2.     Know Where to Source (News - Alert) For a Business Attorney

Once you know the kind of attorney you’re looking for, it’s essential that you know where to get them.

The best place to start is to ask for recommendations from people you trust. For instance, your accountant or banker can refer you to lawyers they have worked with before.

You can also research the web on sites such as the American Bar Association and Avvo, which have a directory of licensed attorneys in different states. When doing an online search, check for reviews from other users and any ethical complaints from past customers.  

Local bar associations also offer attorney referral services at a small fee.  Small business associations and your local chamber of commerce may also advise you where to source for a good business attorney.

3.     Consider the Size of the Law Firm

If you decide to work with a law firm, pick one that will prioritize your business.

Often, large law firms prefer to work with big companies. As a startup, seeking the services of such a big law firm may mean they won’t be responsive to your needs. But large law firms also have resources and expertise, which is perfect if you’re looking for an attorney to handle a complex lawsuit.

Working with a small firm or a sole attorney also has its pros and cons. For instance, small law firms will give you undivided attention even if you’re a small business. Besides, they charge less because they have fewer overheads.  The only issue is that a small law firm or a sole attorney may not have the resources to handle a complex case.

4.     Meet With Potential Attorneys and Ask the Right Questions

Once you have identified a list of possible business attorneys, you’ll need to meet them so you can choose the right one for your business.

An in-person meeting is important as you get to learn the personality of the attorney. Some lawyers will offer a free consultation when meeting potential clients for the first time. Take advantage of the free consultation and brief the lawyer on the type of business you run and the legal issue you need help with.

Also, have a list of questions that will help you gauge if the lawyer is a good fit for your business.

Some questions you might ask include:

·         Do you have experience working with my type of business - You need a lawyer who knows how your business operates. If they don’t have experience in your industry, they should demonstrate a willingness to learn. If you are in an industry that is highly regulated, you’re better off finding an attorney who is aware of the regulations

·         Do you have experience with the legal issue at hand – If you’re looking for a long-term business attorney, a generalist business lawyer might do. But if you need help with a particular issue such as litigation or an employee dispute, you’ll want an attorney who is an expert in that specific area.

·         How will you update me about my case – The mode of communication and how often you’ll hear from your attorney is an important matter that should be discussed early. Let the lawyer know your preferred form of communication. A good attorney should also be willing to explain any complex issues and give you advice on available solutions for your case even before you hire them.

·         What are your fees – You need to inquire about the fee before you hire a lawyer. But price shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when hiring an attorney. Besides, cheap doesn’t always equate to quality services. A more experienced lawyer might charge a higher fee, while an attorney at a small firm might charge less. Small businesses may prefer a lawyer who charges a flat fee compared to one who has hourly rates. Hiring a long-term attorney on a retainer agreement might also be cost-effective than hiring on an hourly rate.

·         Consider the attorney personality –When considering all the professional factors outlined above, don’t forget to consider the attorney’s character and personality. Hire someone you can trust. A lawyer you’re comfortable with is a valuable asset, and even if they cost more, they are worth it.

In closing, the right attorney is a valuable asset to your business. Now that you know how to get the perfect lawyer for your business, do not put off hiring one any longer.

» More TMCnet Feature Articles


» More TMCnet Feature Articles