If you need a lawyer in the first place, then you are probably in a complex situation that doesn’t need to get even more difficult. Finding the right lawyer can make all the difference whether you are searching for someone to compile partnership documents for a start-up or if you are being sued due to a customer complaint. Sometimes you get what you pay for and other times you just need to know the right place to look for legal counsel.
We all know the repercussions of hiring a shady lawyer who lacks professional (or even people) skills: you’ll enter into a lengthy litigation, end up losing your case, you’ll pay a hefty fine, and then you’ll be stuck with a colossal legal bill. Saving a bit up front can cost you big time in the end. (And let’s not kid ourselves; even enlisting an expensive lawyer doesn’t mean that he’ll make your case a priority and give you the advice or guidance that you need).
Want to know how to find the best lawyer for your situation? Consider these valuable tips:
• Find someone who specializes in your case. A lawyer who just passed the bar may be a fraction of the hourly cost of a specialist, but you may actually save time going to someone who knows the nature of your business and doesn’t have to spend days or weeks researching the best way to handle your situation. Moreover, the severity of your case may call for an expert and the money at stake could be worth the large investment for a favorable verdict.
• Interview your lawyer. Present your case and ask what experience they have to fight on your behalf. Can they give you an overview on how they would approach your case? Do a background check to see what others have to say about this professional. Is he or she credible and what is their case record? When you don’t understand a legal term or method of action, is the lawyer patient to explain?
• Watch for warning signs. Like in any industry, there are some definite red flags to look for when hiring someone to work with and for you. Calls and e-mails that are not returned, consistently being late to meetings, not giving you their full attention when you do find time to meet, missing deadlines when paperwork needed to be filed with the court, or promising that you will win your case are all indicators that this is not the right person for you. Also, keep an eye out for an unorganized office, empty offices, rude staff, or hidden surcharges (including fees for mailings or photocopies which should be included in the general fee). These are all warnings signs that this is not a healthy law firm.
• Count the cost before you commit. Every case is different, but determine how much you are willing to spend (not just monetarily, but also consider time away from work and how long this legal proceeding may take).
Many times small business owners are asked to sign blank checks or retainer fees. Avoid doing this if at all possible because it is an act of faith in which you have no control of the cost. In addition, an expert in the field will more than likely be able to give you an estimate as to what their fee may be, how long the process may take, and he or she can probably give you a range of options to tell you the factors that will make the bill higher or lower based on your budget. What’s more, insist on a written fee agreement where all anticipated costs and fees are specified so there will be no surprises in the end.
Finding the right lawyer may seem a daunting task, but websites like UpCounsel.com can help match you with the right lawyer for your state of affairs. You can choose the industry in which you need counsel and specify what services you require. From there you can meet with a lawyer and determine what the next step is towards reaching your legal goal. The best part is that many times online lawyer’s fees are substantially lower and you have a greater pool of professionals to choose from.
Deciding on the right business lawyer to partner with is half the battle and knowing where to look and what to ask can make this process an easier one. There are many areas where bargain hunting comes in handy. Hiring a great lawyer isn’t one of them.
UpCounsel helps businesses and entrepreneurs hire great attorneys and save a lot of money with their on-demand legal work. By using the UpCounsel legal marketplace, businesses can get proposals from several vetted attorneys experienced with their specific legal needs and choose the attorney that is best for them and their budget.
Company Name: UpCounsel
Contact Person: Christina Morales
Email: Send Email
Phone: (888) 981-7449
Address:178 Bluxome Street #503
City: San Francisco
Country: United States