No matter how carefully they conduct business, every company will eventually need a lawyer. And the best time to select a business attorney is before a problem arises. Developing a long-term partnership with a reputable attorney helps businesses prevent lawsuits, protect intellectual property, and build a strategic advantage.
In addition to handling litigation, attorneys assist by reviewing contracts, handling employment issues, and securing real estate. And in an increasingly digital world, they prove indispensable in navigating complex privacy regulations and eDiscovery. With so much at stake, businesses need to choose their legal counsel carefully.
Consider the following criteria when assessing potential law firms. While the right attorney can deliver significant business benefits, choosing the wrong attorney or waiting too long to find a lawyer can prove costly.
Experience Relevant to Your Business
For an attorney to effectively guide you through the legal matters related to your industry, they need to be familiar with that industry. For instance, a law firm with a client base dominated by large high-tech companies might not prove the right legal partner for a small manufacturing business.
Look for a business attorney who understands your industry, particularly if you operate in a highly regulated sphere. Additionally, consider the size of business the firm normally works with, as well as the specific legal matters you expect to address frequently.
Access to a Network of Resources
Like doctors, lawyers tend to specialize in certain areas. For instance, a lawyer might focus on real estate law or patent law. Consequently, a single lawyer or law firm may not have the in-house expertise to handle all your legal needs.
As a result, many businesses build a long-term partnership with a general business lawyer. Their primary counsel can then refer them to specialists as necessary. As you interview attorneys, ask about their professional networks and their willingness to refer you to other lawyers for particular skillsets.
Ability to Navigate a Digital World Securely
As the business world moves increasingly digital, lawyers need to demonstrate their ability to meet you in the digital space. Consider the amount of sensitive information they will hold related to your business. Make sure to ask the right law firm cybersecurity questions to determine their ability to safeguard your information assets.
Additionally, an important aspect of legal services involves the eDiscovery process. In the event of litigation, you may be required to submit thousands of documents to the court in a short timeframe. A lawyer with access to modern eDiscovery technology will save you hefty fines and give you the edge you need.
Additional Questions to Ask as You Select a Business Attorney
As you review potential law firms, take the time to sit down with them in person to determine if they will provide a good fit for your business needs. In addition to discussing the experience they will provide and their ability to provide the legal technology you need, ask other key questions.
For instance, how will the firm communicate with you? Know who at the firm will act as your main point of contact. Also ask how often they will provide updates on current cases. In addition to your primary lawyer, ascertain what other personnel at the firm will have access to your information.
Additionally, be sure to ask for details on the firm’s fee structure. Lawyer fees can add up quickly, and you need to know what to expect. Many firms operate on a hybrid system, combining hourly rates for some projects with flat fees for routine items.
Long-term Partnerships Drive Strategic Success
Many of the same criteria that companies use to select a business attorney also apply to your information technology partnerships. Like the right lawyer, your managed services provider will know your industry, provide a range of key services, and support you through good times and bad.
eMazzanti has a long history of helping its clients thrive by providing them with proactive technology solutions. Whether managing a seamless cloud migration or providing round-the-clock network security, they deliver the services business leaders need to be successful.