How to Choose a Qualified Business Lawyer to Act as Your Go-To General Counsel

CONSIDERATION 1. Choose a business lawyer. The knowledge, skill, judgment, and experience in business matters will help you build your business and avoid costly pitfalls that other lawyers might miss.

CONSIDERATION 2. Choose a lawyer who has an eye for detail. Small things in documents and contracts that are hidden to the untrained eye can often make a huge difference in your success or failure.

CONSIDERATION 3. Choose a lawyer who wants to help you avoid unnecessary litigation and disputes, but is ready to fight for you when you need it. Make sure the lawyer discusses the pros and cons of litigation for your particular situation and has the experience to offer strategies that maximize your upside and minimize your risk.

CONSIDERATION 4. Choose a lawyer you trust. More than anything else, your satisfaction in the attorney-client relationship will depend on trust.

CONSIDERATION 5. Choose a lawyer who provides excellent service. Why waste your time, energy, and money with anything less?

CONSIDERATION 6. Choose a lawyer who will take time to answer your questions. You won’t make good decisions if your questions go unanswered.

CONSIDERATION 7. Choose a lawyer who cares about his family, friends, and business community. This attorney has his reputation at stake and is more likely to care about building your reputation too.

CONSIDERATION 8. Choose a lawyer who is a respected source of information — who has dedicated his practice to helping people understand the strategies that will help their business thrive.

CONSIDERATION 9. Choose a lawyer who charges fair fees. If the fee is too low, beware that you might get even worse than you pay for. And if the fee is extravagantly high, the lawyer may be overcharging you (and might even be violating ethics rules).

CONSIDERATION 10. Choose a lawyer who offers clients a number of different ways to pay for services, whether hourly, flat-fee, monthly subscription, or contingency. Different businesses and different matters need well-tailored solutions.

CONSIDERATION 11. Choose a lawyer who has contacts and excellent relationships with others. This lawyer will be better able to connect you to the best resources and build the best team to help you succeed.

CONSIDERATION 12. Choose a lawyer who has proven skill, intelligence, and excellent training and education. You wouldn’t let a surgeon operate on you without all these qualities. Why would you pick an unqualified lawyer, especially when you need to measure up against your competitors and opponents? Law is a technical and extremely challenging profession where clients have a lot at stake. Unfortunately there are too many lawyers who aren’t competent for the cases they accept. Make sure yours is.

Also, ask specific questions about your business and your objectives, such as: How can we prepare our documents and files before we start a new project or get into a lawsuit? How can we make sure that whatever legal strategies we employ won’t inadvertently kill our business and hurt our marketing? How can we make sure that after we get the outcome we want, it doesn’t turn sour later?

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