Most business owners often find lawyers through personal referrals, as this provides a kind of ‘social proof’ for them. But one should always be sure to ask the friend or colleague how they know the lawyer and what type of work he or she did for them in the past.
Haven said that, personal networks can be limited, thus, more and more business people are using online resources to find lawyers. While there are many directory sites online that provide a good resource for finding lawyers as well as providing a review or ratting of these lawyers, it is always a good idea to check how these reviews and ratings are generated. You can use a proprietary algorithm rather than actual client reviews. This is because, for many people, it is often easy to buy or fake a review. Keeping this in mind, there is also a rapidly increasing number of higher-quality resources online, which will help you to connect with a lawyer. But, just like with everything else, find out how they find and vet their lawyers.
Regardless of which sources you use to find a lawyer, it is often a good idea to communicate with multiple lawyers before arriving at a conclusion. Speaking to several of them will give you a sense of what you would like and what you don’t, the types of expertise different attorneys have and their views on whatever legal issue you are faced with.
Entrepreneurs and business people basically want to find out the one who is fit to be the ‘best’ lawyer for the tasks at hand. But so long as that lawyer is highly qualified in the field required, the right choice for you should be the one you can picture creating a long term relationship and striking a rapport with.
Getting a NYC small business lawyer through online means can sometimes be very tricky. You may encounter cases of fraud and be cheated out of your money or even end up losing your business. You always have to perform a thorough background analysis on every lawyer you are considering working with, to be sure of who exactly they are.
When deciding to work with an attorney, another thing to be sure to look at is the person’s basic qualities too. For example, do they have good recall ability? Are they apt as stated in their profile? Do they have the requisite knowledge in the specific business area you operate in? Do they have the critical thinking skills and multi-perspective thinking capability, and is he or she an articulate speaker? These are some of the things you need to try and observe when meeting with any prospective lawyer for your business.
In general, some of the things you should seek to know about any prospective lawyer include the following:
- Years of practice
- Typical client in terms of size and industry
- Primary sectors of practice/ breakdown of work usually done
- How often does he or she handle similar issues (it helps if it is very often)
- Other lawyers in the firm and their field of expertise. Also, who will handle your case among them?
- Types of fee arrangements available to you, whether flat, hourly, capped, contingency or any other. Is a retainer required?
- What rate is there and if there are others working on your project, how much their rates will be.
- How often your bills will be due and whether you can get to see what you are billed in real time. Can you pay them online?
- About the project at hand. What is involved? How long it will take and the kind of information that will be required from you. The number of times the lawyer will need to meet with you.
- Will you be the primary point of contact? What his or her typical response time to clients is.
- How he or she likes to communicate with clients, e.g. phone, email, etc.
- Why did he or she become a lawyer? And what he or she loves most about the practice.
- His or her view about what things make a lawyer-client relationship work and what the challenges are.
And, perhaps, the most important question: can you speak to past clients of this lawyer?
Keep it in mind that a good connection with a lawyer can help you protect your business in long-term, so doing your part diligently will pay later.