Whether your company is being sued or you just need help dealing with licenses and permits, having a good business attorney on your side is crucial. And while it can be hard to find an attorney who’ll both be qualified to deal with the issues at hand and
be a good match for your business, there are a few steps you can take to make the search process easier.
Step #1 - Get a bucket list
Having a clear idea in mind of what you need your attorney to do for you will greatly facilitate the search process. Figure out what you need help with, then do some research to see if there is a specialization connected to that set of problems. You might
find that a securities fraud attorney is exactly what you need, or maybe what you need is the help of an attorney with a ton of experience dealing with mergers.
Remember: most attorneys specialize in just one or two fields, and specialists are bound to have more in-depth knowledge than generalists.
Step #2 - Compile options
If time is not a big factor, it’s a good idea to shop around for an attorney. This is a professional that is likely to have a massive impact on the success of your business, and changing attorneys in the middle of a project can set you back months. It’s
best to search carefully to try and make the right choice the first time around.
You can start compiling your list of potential candidates by searching online and asking for referrals from your professional network.
Step #3 - Background search
Most law firms and solo practitioners today have an online presence, which makes this step of the process much easier. Do some digging and try to find out what kind of track record and experience the candidates on your list have. This will help you separate
the professionals who are real specialists from the ones who just claim to be.
Doing research might also reveal news articles and interviews related to the law firms you’re considering, and those are also worth a look. These reports can let you get a better sense of their professional achievements and of how professional they are in
general. This is also a good time to write down the questions you’d like to ask when you meet the lawyer or contact the law firm.
Step #4 - Contact your candidates
Different firms and professionals have different procedures on how they handle potential clients. Typically, you’ll contact the firm and they’ll set up a meeting or a free consultation to help you and your potential lawyer figure out if you are a good match
for each other. Their staff will ask some basic questions as well, and you should feel free to ask questions of your own.
Step #5 - Go over the details
Be ready with a list of questions and a notepad for your first meeting with an attorney. This is where you’ll discuss not only how they can help you, but also the details of working together, such as fee structures, who will be your point of contact, and
more. And after you have spoken with all your candidates, it’s time to decide whether to hire one of them or go back to the drawing board and look for more options.