SupportBiz lists nine things that you should consider while hiring a lawyer for your business.
One of the most important things you should consider while hiring a lawyer is the fees that he/she will charge. Does he/she charge on an hourly basis, or a fixed amount per case? You should ensure that the lawyer’s fees fall into your budget.
You should consider the amount of experience the lawyer has in dealing with firms in your industry. Determine whether he/she has the necessary skills to deal with the typical issues that your industry faces. Ideally, the lawyer should be able to give you a couple of references of satisfied clients from the same field, so that you can check out his/her skills for yourself.
Certain business issues might be very complex, and require legal skills of different types. In such cases, your lawyer should be able to refer you to one or more of his/her colleagues who possess the necessary skills, so that the issue can be resolved. You should determine whether your lawyer would be comfortable doing so.
It is essential that you and your lawyer share the same values and prefer the same approach to conflict resolution. Only then will you be truly comfortable working with him/her. Have a thorough discussion with your lawyer on this matter, and ensure that your approaches to major legal issues do not differ.
5. Possibility of conflicts
You should find out if the lawyer you are considering is working with a competitor or former business partner of yours. If so, there is a possibility of conflicts happening in future, rendering you uncomfortable in sharing sensitive business information with the lawyer. Make sure that that is not the case before you hire him/her.
You need to find out how your lawyer would communicate with you. Would your time with him/her be limited to short meetings in his/her office? Would he/she be easily available on phone/personally, if an urgency comes up? Ensure that you are comfortable with the lawyer’s style of communication, before you decide to hire him/her.
7. Involvement of legal assistants
Often, lawyers take on clients, but let their legal assistants deal entirely with them. That is not what you want. Make sure that the lawyer will be directly interacting with you, at least most of the times.
8. Involvement in specialised associations
You should find out if your lawyer is involved with some specialised association/s – for instance, a bar association or chamber of commerce. If he/she is indeed a member of one or more of such associations, you can be assured of his/her capabilities.
You should have easy access to your lawyer, whenever you require his/her services. It would, hence, be great if he/she is located geographically close to your office. Do not forget to check on this aspect when you are considering hiring a lawyer.