Choosing An Attorney

When you're getting ready to hire a lawyer, follow these tips for finding one that will work best for you.

At your initial conference with an attorney you'reconsidering hiring, take note of what the lawyer says and does, andlook for the following qualities:

  • Experience. Although it's not essential to find anexpert in your particular field, it makes sense to look for someonewho specializes in small business problems. And make sure thelawyer is willing to take on small problems-if you're trying tocollect on a small invoice, will the lawyer think it's worthhis or her time?
  • Understanding. Be sure the attorney is willing to leanabout your business's goals. You're looking for someone whowill be a long-term partner in your business's growth.
  • Ability to communicate. If the lawyer speaks in legaleseand doesn't bother to explain the terms he or she uses, youshould look for someone else.
  • Availability. Will the attorney be available forconferences at your convenience, not his or hers? How quickly canyou expect emergency phone calls to get returned?
  • Rapport. Is this someone you can get along with?You'll be discussing matters close to your heart, so make sureyou fell comfortable doing so. Good chemistry will ensure a betterrelationship and more positive results for your business.
  • Reasonable fees. Shop around and get quotes from severalfirms before making your decision. However, don't compareattorneys based on fees alone. The lowest hourly fees may notindicate the best value because an inexperienced attorney may taketwice as long to complete a project as an experienced onewill.
  • References. Don't be afraid to ask for references.Ask what types of businesses or cases the attorney has worked within the past. Get a list of clients or other attorneys you cancontact to discuss competence, service and fees.

Excerpted from Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-Up GuideYou'll Ever Need

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Innovation

The Greasy, Glamorous Rise of Mascara

You won't believe the grimy gunk people used to smear on their eyelashes -- and still do.

Business News

Police: 82-Year-Old Woman Found Alive at New York Funeral Home After Being Pronounced Dead

The woman was found breathing almost three hours after she was pronounced dead.

Business News

'Our Kids Aren't Even Safe To Order Food': Mother Outraged After DoorDash Employee Uses App to Flirt With Teen Daughter

One mom is going viral on TikTok after catching a DoorDash employee attempting to flirt with her 15-year-old daughter through the messaging service provided through the platform.

Business News

An NFL Rookie Scores a $514,000 Jackpot in Las Vegas

Los Angeles Rams running back Ronnie Rivers sat down to play 3-card poker and left a half million dollars richer.

Business News

'Completely Absurd': The Average U.S. Male Can't Fit Into Universal Studio's New 'Blatantly Fatphobic' Mario Kart Ride

Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge formally opens to the public as a part of Super Nintendo World inside of Universal Studios Hollywood on February 17.

Business Ideas

How to Make Thousands of Dollars on the Side As a Virtual Assistant

Apply your skills and experience to create a lucrative virtual assistant side hustle or full-time business.