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What to Look for When Selecting a Business Attorney

12/21/23

A skilled and knowledgeable business attorney in your corner can be an invaluable asset to your company’s overall health and success. From the very beginning, it’s important to choose the right legal structure, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company (LLC). A business attorney can provide guidance on the most suitable structure based on factors like liability, taxation, and management. A business attorney can also help with a wide range of other needs at any stage in the life of a business, including drafting and advising on contracts and agreements, regulatory compliance, employment issues, IP Protection, dispute resolution and litigation, tax planning, corporate governance, and risk management.

When you consult an attorney, it’s essential that you first evaluate your company’s overall needs so that you can find an attorney who will help assist you in reaching those goals and maintaining legal compliance.

In this blog, we’ll explore some of the top items to consider when you look for an attorney to ensure you make the best choice for your company’s legal success.

1. Specialization in Business Law, Experience, and Proven Track Record Not all attorneys practice in all areas of law—and they shouldn’t. Specialization matters. Look for someone who specializes specifically in business or corporate law matters. These attorneys are well-versed in the specific legal issues that businesses face, including contracts, employment issues, regulatory and licensing concerns, and more.

An attorney’s experience is another critical factor to consider. Look for an attorney who has a track record of working with businesses similar to yours in terms of size, industry, and legal needs. They will be better equipped to anticipate potential issues, provide strategic advice, and guide you through complex legal processes effectively. A good business attorney should also be an adept negotiator who can help you secure favorable terms in contracts, resolve disputes, and protect your interests. Previous experience or specialization in a certain area is typically a good sign that an attorney has successfully negotiated many deals in a business setting. If you are in the midst of a dispute or facing potential litigation, be sure to seek counsel with the necessary litigation experience.

2. Excellent Communication Skills

Effective communication is a vital skill for any attorney, and it’s crucial in the attorney-client relationship. A good business attorney should be able to explain legal concepts in a way that you can understand without overwhelming you with jargon. They should also be responsive, accessible, and clear about their availability and representation terms so that you are able to seek guidance as needed.

3. Costs and Procedures

Legal services can be costly, so it’s important to discuss fees and billing structures upfront. These rates and fees are usually outlined in an engagement or representation letter that both parties agree to. Some attorneys charge hourly rates, while others offer flat fees for specific services or even contingency fee agreements. It’s important to make sure you have a written agreement with your attorney to avoid any surprises down the road. Ask questions and be clear about your budget and needs from the start.

4. Reputation and References

As with any profession, there can be a wide range of quality, so it’s a good idea to research your prospective attorney’s reputation in the legal community. You can start by checking online reviews and asking for references from past or current clients. Positive reviews and strong references are indicators of a reputable attorney who can be trusted and will be successful in future endeavors.

5. Compatibility and Trust

It may sound intuitive to say, but finding an attorney who you work well with is an essential part of the attorney-client relationship. Building a strong working relationship with your business attorney can significantly impact your business and its daily operations, so you should feel comfortable discussing your business’s legal matters. Likewise, it’s important that you find an attorney whose advice you can rely on and trust. Seek an attorney with whom you have good chemistry and who shares your values and goals for your business.

MLMW is a full-service business law firm that can assist your business in a wide array of transactions and transitions. Our attorneys can assist you with all the transactions and agreements involved in operating your business. We also work with individuals and businesses through commercial litigation, contract disputes, and related real estate transactions.