10 Things To Consider When Hiring A Lawyer
When you are building up a business, there is a lot to consider. Copyright and social media engagement can all lead to possible lawsuits, whether they are valid or not. This shouldn’t deter you from starting your business, instead, you need to prepare for these issues before they become a problem.
1. Short Term Or Long Term Hiring?
Before you start doing serious research, you need to consider if the legal issue you are facing is long-term or short. You may even be able to handle the situation yourself.
For example, some companies have the ability to deny service based on specific situations. In New York City, clubs can refuse services due to their clothing. Knowing this right, you could handle complaints in these areas without a lawyer.
But what about issues in the future, or situations that create continuous issues. For example, if you are creating a logo, you may wish to hire a lawyer to confirm that there won’t be copyright infringement. This can stop any potential issues in the future due to ignorance. This is a short-term issue.
On the other hand, if you have a complex business, you may want to hire one lawyer to handle all of your legal affairs, keeping them on hand at all times.
2. The Area Of Law
There are 17 major areas of law and countless smaller divisions. Lawyers normally specialize in one area of law. This is to help them learn and retain facts about specific cases instead of taking on a wide range with little in-depth knowledge.
If you decide to hire one lawyer for your business, you need to ensure that they are suitable for your area of work. For example, Tiemann Law Firm at https://tiemannlawfirm.com/ specializes in personal injury, this includes product liability.
This means if someone brought up a case against you for a faulty product, Tiemann Law Firm is in the right area of law to protect you.
3. Are They Locally Certified Lawyers?
Shopping locally normally means finding a cafe that uses baked goods from a local shop. Circulating wealth around your town, instead of buying from big franchises.
In this context, it means something else. Each state has its own laws, and although we often don’t notice the change in our day-to-day life, the differences are massive to lawyers.
You should hire a lawyer from your state, so they can abide by the laws of your state. You may find fantastic lawyers who are not certified in your state, but although they are certified, they will not have all the knowledge needed to protect you or your business.
Figure this out by looking at their website and areas of practice. Find your state or area in their list before you consider contacting them.
4. How Is Their Reputation?
As with anything, you should look at the reviews of the lawyer and their company before accepting their services. You can ask for referrals from previous clients or ask for public information about case details for similar cases to your issue. See how they handled this situation and figure out how many cases they have won.
If you notice that their overall reputation is great, but they don’t fare well with cases similar to your own, then they might not be the best option.
Eventually, you should trust your lawyer and develop a working relationship with them. Even if you expect to use their services just once, you may end up going back to them in the future.
5. What Is Their Experience?
Just as their reputation should be good, their actual experience should be lengthy too. You shouldn’t be someone’s first case, instead you need a long-term professional that understands your case like the back of their hand.
You can ask the lawyers for their practicing history or simply look through their website to find out how long they have been practicing and how often they have taken up cases similar to your own.
Ideally, you should ask for an interview and include questions that get them to open up about their experience. Of course, they will be selling themselves to you, but if you have questions prepared, they can answer them on your terms.
6. How Big IS The Firm
We aren’t going to say that big firms are the best. The situation isn’t as simple as that. Instead, you have a couple of decisions to make using the firm’s size. Large firms normally become this size due to a long and established history.
This will allow them to have greater resources that can help you in your case. However, the price of resources is high, and you can expect a hefty bill at the end of their service.
Smaller firms can still be resourceful and capable. They often feel more personal and dedicated to your cause, as they have fewer cases to focus on. This means your situation will be taken more seriously.
However, the small size means they might not be able to use multiple lawyers with different areas of expertise due to the lack of resources. This means a complicated case might require two small firms or one large firm.
7. The Fee
Depending on the issue, the lawsuit might cost you your business’s assets. If the case you are battling is around intellectual property, identifying your brand’s assets can help you learn how much you are likely to win or lose in the case.
This doesn’t include the fee from your lawyers. Although you will be given a quote before the lawyers start their work, this bill could easily grow if something goes wrong. Lawyers often work on either an hourly fee, negotiated fee, no-win-no-fee rate, or a flat rate.
Ideally, you should go for a no-win-no-fee lawyer. This type of fee only requires payment if they win. Should they lose, your business will have to pay whatever fine the judge deems necessary, but you won’t have to pay for the lawyer.
Lawyers have a lot on their plate as they figure out how to get the best option for you. However, there is one thing that cannot be taught and cannot be understood – it is simply part of a person’s personality.
This is empathy. You want to feel comfortable around your lawyer. You need to see them as trustworthy and that they have your back, but you also need this level of respect to be mutual.
Good lawyers will factor in your decision to their outcomes. They will explain what is going on and show you their options. The two of you should feel as though you have the same mindset. The lawyer has the knowledge and you have the history.
You should feel as though you are working together.
A lawyer will pick you up as a client if they believe they have the time to cope with your case. If they don’t actually have the space for you on their workload, they will be stretching themselves too thin. Remember that lawyers are people too, and they can easily overwork themselves at your expense.
You should ask the lawyer how many cases they are currently working on, and if they can answer your questions throughout the normal 9 to 5 working day. If they cannot answer your questions in a reasonable amount of time, then they likely have too many cases to look after and don’t have enough time to put 100% of their effort into you.
Before you sign a contract with the lawyer, you should establish a level of contact-ability. This means calling, emailing, writing, or texting the lawyer as often as you think is normal.
During this time, you will see how often they can reply to you and how fast the responses are. Knowing they have other cases, and appreciating their normal working hours, you can use these timeframes to see how well they can communicate with you.
It can be helpful to agree to scheduled updates and check-ins on your case, so you can ask questions and see how the work is progressing without sending messages daily.
Ideally, your attorney should be talking to you in a manner that you understand. This means avoiding jargon and showing you your case in easy detail. If you feel as though your lawyer will only be talking in riddles, then you should avoid their services. A lack of communication issues could ruin your case.
Use all of this information to help you narrow down your options. Remember that hiring short-term and long-term lawyers require different skills.
Factor in that the area of law is just as important as the location of the practice. And lastly, you should be looking for experienced lawyers who have handled cases like yours before.