Hiring a good lawyer is crucial for your small business because the lawyer represents the interests of your business. In fact, hiring a lawyer is the most important decision you make, so it requires precise planning and research. It involves looking at the lawyer’s biographical information, does the lawyer charge for an initial interview, kind of clients the lawyer represents, his fees and how are they structured, estimate time needed to complete your case and so much more.
Here are some steps to help you successfully hire and work with a lawyer.
Seek advice of the local bar association
For finding a lawyer in your area, an easily accessible resource is your local bar association. Most county and city bar associations offer local lawyer referral services. They have the lists of attorneys and you can seek advice from them for assistance.
Check the attorney’s experience and specialization
It is important to hire an attorney who is knowledgeable and has extensive experience in the area of law for which you require his service. You must hire a lawyer who specializes in the area you need. If the lawyer lacks detailed knowledge and experience it can hurt your case. Therefore, asking a lot of questions and checking lawyer referrals will help you hire a good lawyer.
Check the attorney’s education
While checking for the attorney’s experience and specialization, it is also equally important to check whether the attorney has graduated from a accredited law school. If the attorney has completed his education from a good law school, it helps you know that the attorney has a level of credibility and intelligence.
Reputation of the attorney
As a small business owner you should be very particular about the reputation of the attorney you are planning to hire. If the attorney does not have a good reputation, it may not be good for your business as well as for your case. Ask friends and family if they have heard of the attorney and what they think about him, also check with the past clients of the attorney.
Structure of fees
Ask for the attorney’s fees and other expenses in the first interview itself. Know how the lawyer will bill you. Basically, there are four methods for compensating a lawyer. They are, retainer (down payment toward the fee for specified legal services), contingent fee (obtaining monetary recovery for you), specific job (charges depending upon the complexity of your case) and hourly rate (charges on a fixed amount for each hour spent on your behalf). In some cases, the lawyer fees is set by the court.