Guidelines for Hiring a Lawyer for Your Business
In this highly complex legal society, entrepreneurs need competent legal advice. Ironically, this can be the most difficult assistance to find. Simply contacting your local legal society is not the solution. In most cases, it will not recommend an attorney. Instead, pay attention to the lawyers used in your industry. Who represents local entrepreneurs in your field? Who seems to win the court cases? Ask your fellow entrepreneurs to describe their experiences in working with local temecula personal injury lawyer.
Accessibility should be a key factor in your decision. Remember that the demand for legal services is unpredictable. Rarely will you know in advance that you are going to need legal advice. For example, you have an opportunity to purchase a business on particularly advantageous terms, but a memorandum of agreement needs to be drawn up immediately. You cannot begin your search for a lawyer now and then wait several days or weeks to meet at his or her convenience. Evaluate how quickly an attorney can or will respond to your requests.
The size of the firm is another important consideration. The legal profession is dominated by several very large firms with dozens of partners. Many of these firms have substantial political power and many contacts. A large legal firm offers certain advantages to the entrepreneur. First, it can call upon expertise in many different fields. If you have a tax problem, it has tax experts. If you have a problem with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it has specialists in the field. If you are taking your company public, having a large, prestigious law firm behind you can add significant credibility to your venture. Thus, with one legal connection, you have rented yourself expertise in just about every area in which you will be operating.
However, the big firm presents disadvantages as well. If you operate a small business, you may not be an important enough client. Your concerns may be ignored or else assigned to a rookie, just out of law school, who has little experience in small-business concerns. Second, the legal fees may be prohibitive. A large firm might easily charge you $3,000 to $5,000 for incorporating your business, whereas a smaller firm might charge $300 to $500. For these reasons, some entrepreneurs use smaller firms that are more eager for their business.
Start by asking your friends and business contacts for their recommendations. Perhaps your banker or accountant knows a competent attorney with considerable and practical experience in small-business affairs. After you establish a list of potential business lawyers, set up a series of interviews. Ask for referrals of other entrepreneurs they currently represent. Find out how many years of experience they have had working with entrepreneurial companies. Determine what their particular small-business expertise is. Describe a routine legal matter to take care of and evaluate how they would handle it.
Last, determine how well you relate to each lawyer you interview. Is there some chemistry between the two of you? In the end, selecting a business lawyer is a personal decision.
Remember, this is an age of specialization and there is far too much for any legal consultant to know. There are legal specialists in taxes, patents, securities, and so on. You will most likely select an all-around business attorney and then use specialists when the need arises.