There are now over 804,000 lawyers across the US. Between 2020 and 2030, another 71,500 could enter the industry. As a small business owner searching for a business lawyer, it helps to have a plan.
Otherwise, you might hire someone who lacks the experience and expertise you need.
Here are a few tips that can help you find the best attorney with your company’s needs and goals in mind. With these tips, you can narrow down your choices. You can feel confident hiring the best lawyer for the task.
Discover how to find an experienced, qualified lawyer with these tips today.
With over 804,000 lawyers across the country, you could waste valuable time researching every business lawyer available. Streamline your search by talking to a small business owner you trust. Ask if they can recommend an attorney or law firm.
Gathering a list of professional recommendations can help you learn about business attorneys in your area.
Prepare a list of questions you want to ask about each lawyer. For example, what services does the lawyer offer? Do they specialize in a specific branch of law?
You might also ask:
- Are they knowledgeable about business law
- Do they have years of experience
- Did they accomplish your goals
- What services did you need
- How much did their services cost
Ask each small business owner you talk to if they encountered any problems after hiring their lawyer.
If you’re unable to gather a list of referrals, that’s okay. Instead, start your search online. Begin by visiting your state’s bar association site for a directory of lawyers.
Otherwise, check the Martindale-Hubbell law firm directory. Look for the best law firm that specializes in business law.
Look for Experience
Before choosing a lawyer from your list, learn more about each lawyer’s time and experience in the industry. First, consider where they graduated from. Determine if they have any other training or credentials that can speak to their expertise, too.
Otherwise, determine how long the lawyer has practiced law. Find someone with years of hands-on experience.
Make sure each lawyer on your list specializes in business law. Otherwise, they might not remain up-to-date about laws and procedures that can impact your business. Finding someone with specialized experience will give you peace of mind.
Determine how many other businesses they’ve helped over the years. Consider if they’ve helped businesses within your industry, too.
Their previous experiences might further benefit your situation.
A business lawyer might specialize in different branches of law. Choose a lawyer based on your specific needs and goals. For example, you might require a:
- Mergers and acquisitions lawyer
- Contract lawyer
- Tax lawyer
- Intellectual property lawyer
- Employment and labor lawyer
- General business lawyer
Perhaps you need help with company insolvency and administration instead.
Next, determine how long the lawyer has practiced in the area. Make sure they have years of local experience. Certain laws and procedures can differ based on where your business is located.
Consider Recent Work
Once you specify what time of business attorney you need, ask about their experience handling similar situations. What was the outcome of those instances? How was the lawyer able to help their clients?
For example, perhaps you need a lawyer to prepare for court or for case litigation. In that case, make sure the lawyer has courtroom experience.
Some lawyers are nervous about trying a case in front of a judge and jury. These lawyers sometimes prefer to settle out of court. Settling isn’t always within your best interests, though.
If you need a lawyer for an upcoming case, make sure they have years of courtroom experience.
If you need a lawyer for a lawsuit, ask about the cases they handled that were similar to yours. What was the payout for each case?
Asking about their recent casework can help you determine if they’re capable of accomplishing your goals. If they dropped the ball with those previous cases, they might struggle to help you, too.
Feel confident you’re choosing the best lawyer available by reading online reviews. About 93% of consumers read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. Reading reviews will ensure you find a lawyer you can trust.
Visit the lawyer or law firm’s website to find their Testimonials page. Otherwise, check their Google Business or BBB profiles. Read reviews from each site.
If you see the same complaints repeat between clients, choose a different lawyer. Instead, find a lawyer who has a strong professional reputation.
You can feel confident hiring someone other small business owners have trusted in the past.
Their glowing reputation could speak to their ability to meet your needs and expectations.
Schedule a Consultation
As you begin narrowing down your choices, schedule consultation appointments with two or three lawyers on your list. Ask any questions you weren’t able to answer through your online research. Make sure to have a list of questions prepared before the appointment.
Talk to the attorney about your specific needs and goals. Then, determine if they’re capable of providing the help you need. If your needs don’t align with their services, ask if they can recommend another business lawyer.
Pay attention to how the lawyer holds themselves and communicates. Do they have a strong presence? Are they clear, concise, and easy to understand?
Make sure you find someone with strong communication and active listening skills. Make sure they have an analytical mindset, too.
These skills can benefit your situation if you need to go to court. A strong communicator will have an easier time connecting with a jury. Someone with listening skills and an analytical mindset will know how to respond to opposing counsel.
Ask each lawyer you interview about their fee structure. For example, some lawyers will set a fixed rate. Others will require you to pay their retainer.
Requesting an estimate from three lawyers can help you gauge the average cost of services.
Hire Right: Find the Best Business Lawyer in Town Today
Don’t make the mistake of hiring an inexperienced business lawyer. Instead, use these tips to find the best lawyer in town. With these tips, you can feel confident the lawyer you hire is the right choice.
Start your search with these tips today.
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