Finding a lawyer is an important decision. You’re hiring someone to represent your business and do their part to keep you legally sound. The last thing you want to do is make the wrong decision and hire a lawyer who’s terrible at their job.
Do you want to learn the common lawyer-hiring mistakes business owners make? Read the guide below to discover seven mistakes you can’t afford when looking at options for lawyers.
1. Focusing on Cost
It’s tempting to look for as much of a discount as you can get when comparing lawyer fees. After all, business lawyers are expensive. You can spend a lot of money just to get an experienced attorney in a room.
But you also have to consider the quality you get when paying a low price for an attorney. Will they be able to offer the same level of service as someone who charges more?
Make sure you think about these things when looking at attorney costs. It’s fine to look for someone who charges a lower price. Just make sure you’re getting good value for the money you pay and will get a successful result https://youtu.be/dqjinuvcwzc
2. Only Looking at Large Firms
It’s tempting to look to large law firms to represent your company. There’s a reason a firm got so big — they do great work and represent big clients, so they will probably be able to handle your needs.
But this isn’t always the best choice for your company. A big problem with hiring big large firms is the price. They charge a premium for their size and reputation.
Many small and boutique law firms offer a fantastic experience. Don’t discount these firms when looking for legal help.
3. Not Understanding Fee Structures
You’ll find many fee structures when hiring a lawyer. These structures depend on the client’s needs and how long they need legal services. Before hiring an attorney, learn about these structures to determine which one makes sense for you.
Here are the common structures to consider.
An hourly fee is excellent if you have a limited amount of work for a lawyer. You can use this structure to get limited advice and don’t need extra services. This will limit your expenses — despite most business lawyers hourly fees being quite large.
A service-based fee structure is a great option for companies that need a fixed amount of work completed. Take the need to set up a new business, for instance — you hire a lawyer to handle all the paperwork to get your company off the ground. This structure works well because you have a fixed cost and won’t have unexpected expenses.
A retainer structure works well for companies that need regular work. You pay an attorney a monthly or yearly fee and get a fixed amount of work during that time. You can also call your attorney when you want and get the help you need without jumping through hoops.
4. Ignoring Availability
There will be many cases where availability doesn’t matter with a lawyer. You’re getting help for a problem one time and won’t need to contact an attorney anymore.
However, when you hire an attorney for more complicated parts of your business, things change. Take a product business that sells toys to children. You may run into a situation when a toy has a defect and hurts a child.
You don’t want to scramble to find an attorney to represent you in this situation. You want a trusted lawyer who will be there to help you with your case. Make sure the lawyer you hire has the availability you need.
5. Picking the Wrong Type of Lawyer
Yes, there are some generalist lawyers available. These lawyers have generalized knowledge and can help you in situations that aren’t complex. But things change when you need to dig into complex situations that a general business lawyer may not understand.
That’s why it’s important to understand the type of lawyer you should hire. Take an instance when an employee or partner doesn’t fulfill their contractual obligations. Hiring a breach of contract lawyer is your best option in this situation.
Most lawyers will advertise their specialties, so make sure you understand what a lawyer is capable of.
6. Not Looking at Credentials
Unfortunately, there are some lawyers out there who exaggerate their credentials. They claim to have advanced legal degrees, are members of organizations, and have no disciplinary record.
Although most lawyers are truthful about their credentials, it’s still something you should be on the lookout for. You can verify a lawyer’s claims by doing a little research yourself to verify the membership of organizations.
You can also check your state bar association’s website to see if a lawyer has a disciplinary record.
7. Not Getting References
A big mistake business owners make when talking to lawyers is not getting references. They take what a lawyer says at their word without confirming with others that everything is accurate.
Reading online reviews is a great way to avoid this problem. Check a lawyer’s references online to see what others say about their experiences.
If you want to speak to someone in person, ask for references from a lawyer. This experience will help you ask direct questions you may not find answers to online.
Avoid Common Lawyer-Hiring Mistakes
You’re making a big decision when hiring a business lawyer. You’re hiring someone to help you navigate complex legal waters, and if you make the wrong choice, you may end up in a position that’s worse than before.
But now that you understand common lawyer-hiring mistakes, you have what you need to make a smart decision. Avoid the mistakes above to find someone with the business law experience you need.
Do you have any other big business decisions coming up in the future? Check out the blog to learn how to make the best choices for your business.