Sooner or later, every business will need help from law firms. In a worst case scenario, your business could be facing litigation, but even when it isn’t, you’ll need legal advice for one reason or another. How should you go about choosing a law firm to help you? There’s more to your choice than meets the eye. Let’s run through the main things you should consider when deciding on a lawyer to help you.
Area Of Practice
The legal profession includes a wide range of specializations. For example, Yarborough Applegate handles issues like stock fraud and insurance bad faith. They’re not a firm you’ll approach when seeking opinions on contracts, for instance. But if your insurance company isn’t paying out on cover you took out with them, they’ll negotiate a solution – or even take your insurer to court if need be. If you’re forming a new business or are tidying up some law-related loose ends in your business, look for a firm of specialized business attorneys. They can help you to limit your risks and advise you as to the things you need to do to ensure your business is compliant with the laws that govern it. So, when choosing a law firm, don’t just assume that a single one will act as a one-stop-shop. Look at areas of specialization and match your law firm to your needs.
Law Firm Size
The biggest law firm might not be the best choice. It depends on your business and its needs. As with almost any type of company, larger ones may not offer a personalized level of service, and if they’re busy handling business for massive companies, they might not see smaller ones as being priority customers. The level of individual service that smaller firms can offer serves as a benefit to their clients, and if they’re smart, you’ll see this in their marketing messages. When hiring a business lawyer, you need to know who will be handling your business, how available they are in emergencies, and in case your contact is a relatively junior lawyer, how much oversight there is from more experienced professionals.
Level Of Experience
Obviously, you don’t want your business’s legal assistance needs to serve as a trial-and-error learning curve for a newly-qualified lawyer. You will be looking for experience, and that experience should ideally come from doing the type of legal work you want done in your home state. A lawyer with experience in your geographical area will know local laws and will know how law courts decide cases. Most law firms have websites, and because they know that this question is important to prospective clients, they’ll profile their key staff, helping you to decide if they have what it takes to help you in a specific situation. Take a closer look to see whether the partners and personnel have the local knowledge and experience you need.
Before you enlist the services of any professional for your business, be sure to read reviews about the firm. After all, the real-life experiences from current and previous clients are invaluable. They provide insight on what it is like to work with the law team. Plus, their comments can make it easier for you to determine if they are a good fit. Additionally, successful business reviews are usually more credible than testimonials. Before choosing a law firm, it is important to read reviews.
Most legal services are charged by the hour based on the seniority of the personnel who work with you. Low hourly rates probably mean you’re dealing with less experienced members of the firm. If you’re expecting most of the tasks you need help with to be relatively straightforward, there’s nothing wrong with choosing lower fees. Some tasks are simple and predictable like the legal documents to start a company. Others are harder to predict. For example, if your lawyer is representing you in negotiations with another company, it can be difficult to say just how long it will take for the process to be concluded. Before committing to a legal firm, ask about fee structures and be sure that you’re satisfied with what’s being offered.
Of course, preempting litigation is better than facing it. Therefore, choosing the right law firm for your business is quite a complex process. Nevertheless, it’s important to have legal advice that begins from the time you first go into business. Doing things the right way from a legal perspective can avert disputes and litigation, and prevention is definitely cheaper and less stressful. It is also quite possible that you will work with more than one law firm depending on what you need done, so consider all eventualities and start looking around for the law firms that can support you when you need it most.