Many businesses find that having the right legal counsel is a vital part of ensuring that their transactions are fully legal, that they have the protection they need, and that any lawsuits levied on them are handled professionally.
However, finding the right lawyer for your business can be a challenge for many business owners. After all, knowing your exact legal needs ahead of time can sometimes be hard to predict.
We’ve put together a brief guide to walk you through hiring the right lawyer for your business, so you can proceed with your business confidently knowing that you will have your legal bases covered.
First, research common lawyers for your industry
What types of lawyers do professionals in your industry usually rely on? The variety of answers may surprise you: there are tons of different kinds of lawyers.
For example, if you run an import business in Illinois, you may want to look up an immigration lawyer in Chicago to help clients who might be moving to the US. If you run a tech company in Seattle, an intellectual property lawyer may be needed to safeguard your patents from competitors.
No matter your industry, you will likely need lawyers who can protect your organization from lawsuits, so be sure that you remember to hire lawyers who are knowledgeable in corporate law and can protect you from frivolous suits.
How to start your search
Not sure how to begin looking for the lawyers commonly employed in your industry? You can start by speaking with professionals who have had legal trouble in the past. Chances are, you’ll hear about a hundred and one horror stories about situations where a company should have had legal counsel on hand, but didn’t.
You can also use an online legal resource that can help walk you through the types of law that may be relevant to your particular business. Then, once you get a better sense, you can start looking for the right professionals to represent you – or just to have around in case something gets tricky.
Next, get recommendations from colleagues
Once you know the kind of professionals that you need, it’s time to start getting recommendations. Trust-worthy, hard-working, reliable lawyers can be difficult to come by, so getting a recommendation is a good way to ensure that you’re only getting the best possible legal advice.
One way to find a good lawyer for your company is by using employee recommendation software that allows colleagues to send resumes, CV’s, and work examples to you so that you can find the right employees for your business, including lawyers.
Colleagues can also provide advice to help you distinguish between situations that may genuinely require a lawyer, and those that would be much better to settle without getting any legal teams involved. Be sure to ask for advice in learning the distinction.
Lastly, interview all potential options
Just as with any employee, it’s important to require an interview process for your business’s potential lawyer. Here are a few recommendations for conducting an informative interview that provides you with the information you need to make the right decision:
- Review resumes, then select the most impressive options to come in for an interview.
- Conduct an interview with management and ask thorough questions regarding the lawyer’s education, past experience, and expertise in the areas that you require their legal counsel.
- Require your candidate to conduct an in-interview test of their skills. For instance, you could offer them a fictional legal case or legal exam and require that they offer their advice on the situation. That way, you’d get a better idea about whether they truly know their stuff.
- Follow up with an interview with the various teams they will be working with; for instance, if the lawyer will be working closely with the design team securing copyrights, the designers should have a chance to decide whether they think the lawyer will be easy to work with.
After the interview process, narrow your list to a few finalists, and conduct follow-up interviews – then decide who makes the final cut.
Finding the right lawyer for your business can be a challenge, but by taking the process step by step, you’ll be able to secure the counsel you need.