If a legal matter or question should arise within a small business, it is quite helpful to have a well established relationship with a good business lawyer. There are two classifications for the same – those that handle lawsuits and those that handle corporate and tax matters. A company’s individual needs will dictate the type that they will need to select.
If a company doesn’t already have a relationship with a law firm, here are some tips for selecting one that is appropriate for your needs:
Websites with lists of attorneys and their specializations are available online. Client reviews are also viewable which is quite helpful in compiling a list of prospective lawyers.
Word of mouth is always a great way to obtain referral information. Friends, family, co-workers and other small company owners may be able to provide valuable insight into good legal representatives in your locale. Narrow the list you’ve accumulated down to three or four possible prospects. Search the law firm and lawyers’ names on the internet in order to obtain information about cases that they’ve worked on or material that they’ve written. Most law firms have websites, as well, that should have ample information about the philosophy and experience level of the firm.
Contact the bar association in your state to find out if the lawyer or law firm is in good standing with the organization. Make certain that the law offices are convenient to your work location and that the hours work with your schedule, as well.
The local newspaper may have archives that contain information on cases that the prospective business lawyer has worked on. Search the archives in order to glean any information that may be there.
Once the search has been narrowed even further, make appointments for a consultation with the top two choices. Come prepared with a list of questions to ask the prospective lawyer, regarding such issues as their level of experience with clients who are similar to you, how their fee structure works, how long they’ve been practicing law. Just visiting the concerned person will give you a good idea of how compatible the attorney and your company will be. Also notice how the office is run, whether the support staff is friendly, supportive and welcoming. These are all very important aspects to take into consideration when entering into a successful new business relationship.
After an initial consultation, it will most likely be evident if this is the appropriate business lawyer for your company. If not, keep looking; if so, congratulations!