Believe it or not, most lawyers are nice people who genuinely want to help you. Of course, there are those lawyers (the ones that we joke about) who care only about money. I hate the fact that there are so many attorneys out there who don't really care about helping their clients but on lining their pockets. You may need help or have a question but have been afraid to consult an attorney for fear that you might get one who cares only about his fees. Don't be afraid. Your goal is to find someone who's not only talented and affordable, but who also can grow with you and your company and become a long-term partner and trusted associate. Consider the following characteristics when you're interviewing attorneys:
- Qualifications: Hire a lawyer who's as qualified and experienced as possible.
- Accessibility: Make sure that your lawyer can meet your needs quickly, when you need them the most.
- Price: Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best combination of skill, experience, and price.
- Ethics: Your lawyer should have ethical standards that are just as high as the standards you uphold.
- Compatibility: The ideal situation is to find someone who meets all your criteria and with whom you also get along well.
For those of you who have a business, what can attorneys do for you and your business? Here are some of the most common tasks attorneys take on for their business clients:
- Choosing a form (legal structure) for your business
- Writing, reviewing, and negotiating business contracts
- Dealing with employee issues
- Helping with credit problems and bankruptcy
- Addressing consumer issues and complaints
- Outlining workers' compensation and Social Security Benefits
- Advising you on your legal rights and obligations
- Representing you in court
Be sure to seek out an attorney who specializes in their area of law that you need assistance in. Any other attorney may not have the exact skill set that you need.
Do not be afraid to ask about payment options beyond the typical hourly fee arrangement. Experienced attorneys understand that the typical hourly fee arrangement may not be afordble for all clietns.
Finally, use websites like AVVO.com to review the backgorund, experience and ratings of the attorneys you are considering retianing.