20 Tips to Hire a Lawyer for My Company | Law Office of James Medows

20 Jun 20 Tips to Hire a Lawyer for My Company

20 Tips to Hire a Lawyer for My Company

Sometimes, the process of finding and hiring a lawyer is just as stressful as the situation that led you to look for one in the first place. There are so many lawyers out there. How do you know who to hire? What matters and what should you look for when hiring one? Well, with the help of the excellent ny-defense.com, this article will look to highlight 20 tips to hire a lawyer for your company.

Know what type of attorney you need

It is important to remember that law, like medicine, is extremely specialized, which means that the days one lawyer could practice every type of law are long gone. The law changes too quickly and the stakes are too high for any one lawyer to know everything about every type of law. Therefore, the first thing you should do is restrict your search for lawyers who practice the type of law that is matched to your company’s legal problem and who have experience in that area of law. If you are looking for a traffic lawyer in New York, for example, check out ny-defense.com.

Start with your network

When you start your search, you should start with your circle of friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Getting a recommendation from someone you trust is the best way to start your search. When getting recommendations, make sure you get more than one name.

What if you are only getting names from other areas of the law?

As already mentioned, when looking for a lawyer for your company, you should focus your search on lawyers who are familiar with the type of law you and your company need. However, if the only names you can get from your network are in other areas of the law, don’t worry. As per ny-defense.com, you can use these lawyers as a resource to find one in the area you need. Lawyers operate in the same circles and will make for great resources for recommendations.

What if you don’t want anyone to know you are looking?

Sometimes, such as if you are looking to sell your business, you may not want anyone to know that you are looking for a lawyer and why you are looking for one. In such a situation, the internet can be a great resource, if used properly.

Lawyer directories and social media sites

It is also worth noting that there are sites out there that are focused exclusively on providing information on lawyers in various fields in case you need one. They include sites like SuperLawyers, Avvo, Martindale, among others. Such sites are worth checking out as lawyers who make these lists are nominated by other lawyers and have been vetted thoroughly before making it onto the list.

Law firm websites

Nearly all law firms and lawyers have websites now, including ny-defense.com. This provides another resource when looking for a lawyer for your company. Once you have identified several that you like, take a look at their websites for more information, something that will help you in choosing the right one for you.

Go for substance over style when looking at a website

Before you meet up with any lawyer, do your homework on them. Review their website, and when you are doing so, don’t just look at the content, but look at how it is set up. Is there a lot of sizzle and style but little substance? Next up, also do web searches on the lawyer as this may bring up additional information that may be of interest to you.

Not all cases are the same

While it is easy to be swayed by the number of settlements or verdicts posted on a website, you need to keep in mind that every case is different, and it is those differences, as much as the lawyer’s skill, that determine the outcome of any given case. Crucially, no lawyer can guarantee a specific outcome or dollar figure on a case. Take it a red flag if the lawyer does make such guarantees.

Focus on the lawyer’s professional activities and credentials

When viewing a particular lawyer’s biography, you should pay close attention to their professional activities and credentials. Do they belong to any professional associations? Are those associations relevant to your legal issue? Have they held leadership roles in those organizations or have they just paid their dues to become a member? Being an active participant in professional associations, which is the case for ny-defense.com, is a good indicator that the lawyer is well versed in the latest trends and techniques applicable to your company’s case.

Big firm vs small firm

Law firms range in size from one lawyer to those with thousands of lawyers. How do you decide which one is better for you? There are several factors to consider. One factor is the complexity of your legal issue. If you are engaged in a hostile takeover of a company, a large firm will have the necessary resources. However, if you are looking for someone to negotiate a lease for your new office, you might want to go with a small firm, as rates for large firms are higher. Large firms also represent larger clients, and sometimes they will have junior attorneys assigned to smaller matters. It is also worth noting that a large number of lawyers in small firms started in large firms.

The interview process

Once you have the name or names, meet up with the lawyer. Ask questions regarding both your particular matter and the lawyer’s practice. These questions include:

What is your experience working with my size of business?

If you are a small business owner, then you should know that an attorney’s experience working with small businesses is important from a cost standpoint. A lawyer who usually works with Fortune 500 clients will probably charge an hourly rate to match. They might also prefer more litigious means of resolving a case, as opposed to more cost-effective methods of dispute resolution. While lawyers can’t discuss past clients in detail for privacy reasons as covered at ny-defense.com, they should be able to say something like “20% of my clients are businesses with fewer than 20 employees”.

How many similar matters have you handled?

Next up, you will want to know how much experienced the lawyer has with your particular legal issue. In most cases, as already mentioned, it is best to hire a lawyer for your company who focuses on the specific area that you need help in and who has experience handling such cases.

Who will be working on the matter?

It is important to know who exactly in the law firm will be handling your case. While there are situations where having multiple people working on your case can work in your favor, in most cases you want senior attorneys, not junior attorneys and paralegals, working on your case. The excellent ny-defense.com always personally handles his clients’ cases.

Are there any conflicts of interest?

This is an important question to ask, especially if the lawyer works closely with multiple companies and businesses in the same community. You must make sure that there are no conflicts of interest before hiring a lawyer for your company.

How will you communicate with me?

This is another important question to ask. Different lawyers have different communication preferences. Some old-school lawyers prefer in-person meetings and phone calls for quick questions, while others prefer email and use e-signature software to store and sign documents. Make sure you choose a lawyer whose communication preferences match yours. Also, note how quickly they respond to emails and phone calls to see if they are good communicators or not.

Other questions to ask

There are other questions you should ask during the interview process, some of which include:

How will my case be handled?

Based on your experience, what can be expected?

Will there be any limitations to the scope of my representation?

How can I reach you after normal business hours? etc.

These are just some of the questions to ask during the interview process when hiring a lawyer for your company, with more to be discussed at ny-defense.com.

Legal fees

Lawyers generally charge in one of three ways for their services: hourly, flat fee, or contingency (percentage). Not every type is permitted for every legal situation. For personal injury cases, most lawyers charge a percentage of the recovery (contingency), while for certain business transactions, like incorporation, most lawyers will charge a flat fee. For most other matters, lawyers charge hourly. You need to ensure you understand how the lawyer will charge you, both in terms of the minimum billing increment, as well as the expenses. Keep in mind that, as is the case with any service, you get what you pay for, and lawyers whose charges are extremely low may not offer you the quality of service you require.

Fee structure

You should also be clear when it comes to the fee structure. 

If the engagement is on an hourly fee basis, you will want to know: 

The hourly rate

What the minimum billing increments are

If there is a charge for every phone call, letter, and email?

An estimate of the number of hours the case will take

What expenses might be required?

What happens if the case takes longer than anticipated?

If the engagement is for a flat fee, you will want to know:

How much time do these types of matters typically take?

What expenses are typically required?

What happens if the matter takes significantly less/more time?

If the engagement is on a contingency, you will want to know:

The likelihood of recovery, keeping in mind that there are no guarantees in the law as pointed out by ny-defense.com

An estimate of the recovery, also keeping in mind that there are no guarantees

What is the percentage that is being charged?

What percentage do most lawyers in town charge for the same type of case?

What expenses may be required?

What happens if the case settles immediately?

Engagement letter

Next up, you will need to enter into an engagement letter with the lawyer. This letter is a contract, which means you need to read it carefully. It is for the protection of both you and the lawyer. It should describe the nature of your legal issue, as well as all the terms and conditions of the relationship including the hourly rate, the minimum billable increment, the costs you will be responsible for, the amount of the retainer, and any other matter you agreed to. If you are unsure about anything in the engagement letter, you should call the lawyer and ask, as once you sign and return the letter, you are agreeing to be bound by it.

During the relationship

Finally, once the relationship has commenced, you must remain proactive to make sure that the lawyer continues to properly handle your matter. Ask your lawyer to provide you with copies of everything that goes out concerning your case.

Given how important hiring a lawyer for your company is, we hope this article will help you in that regard, with the top-rated ny-defense.com being worth checking out when looking for a traffic and CDL lawyer for you or your commercial vehicle company in New York.