6 Skills You Need to Check Before Hiring a Business Lawyer
Regardless of how big or small the business you're running is, you're definitely going to need the services of a business lawyer at some point. A business lawyer can help you with loans, partnerships, trademarks, employee contracts and many other things you'll need to deal with. Therefore, it's better to look for one on time, instead of waiting for when you need one badly.
But, how can you choose the right lawyer?
The truth is, you need to ask around and look for a set of specific skills your business lawyer needs to have. If you’re not sure what standards you need to set, and what to look for in a lawyer, don’t worry. We’ve put together a list of 6 skills you need to check before you hire one, so just keep reading.
1. Specific Experience
Naturally, you want what’s best for your business. Therefore, you should always look for someone who's experienced.
However, we don't just mean experienced in general. You need someone who's dealt with the type of business law you're going to be needing.
Therefore, when choosing a lawyer, make sure they:
- have enough experience in providing legal services you’ll need
- they primarily deal with that type of law
- they are skilled in solving problems and finding solutions you might be needing
Make sure you're not just hiring a lawyer of any experience and choose someone according to your specific needs.
2. Mutual Understanding
For a lawyer to be able to stand up for you when you need them or to ensure your business is running smoothly, they need to have an understanding with you.
This means that they need to realize what your business is about, and what you’re striving for. This includes:
- your future plans
- your passion
- your M.O.
- your vision
During the interview, make sure you talk openly about your business and see what feedback you’ll receive from the potential business lawyer. Make a judgment about whether or not you’re on the same page.
3. Oral Communication
Your business lawyer is going to be representing your business in front of different people whose opinion you’ll care about. In addition, they’ll be handling important legal matters for your business, which means they need to be 100% up for the task.
This means that they need to have impeccable oral communication skills so as to be able to stand up for you or represent you properly.
This is also something you’ll be able to check during the interview:
- their vocabulary
- their style of communication
- their tone
- the overall impression during oral communication
Make sure you check this skill before hiring a business lawyer since it's going to play a very important role.
4. Written Communication
Written communication skills are equally as important as oral communication skills.
Your business lawyer needs to be skilled in writing compelling, professional legal documentation or business emails while representing your business.
Pay attention to the way they communicate in writing in terms of:
- professional tone and style
- formal language
In addition, make sure you’re equally as professional in responding. Check out these reviews of companies who can help you polish your writing.
Business lawyers are often under a lot of pressure and stress can influence the way they function.
However, it’s your right to expect a smooth, open communication with the person you confide your business to.
This means you should expect the following from your lawyer:
- readiness to explain everything in plain, non-legal language
- readiness to hear you out
- readiness to deal with minor legal issues
- staying professional regardless of the stressful circumstances
You need someone who will have your back, and someone you can always rely on.
Although references aren’t technically a skill, you still need to check them before hiring your business lawyer.
If you’re in the business world long enough, you know just how much a good reference is worth. When choosing a lawyer, it’s best that you have someone recommend them, or they provide a reference list.
Don’t hesitate in doing any of the following:
- contact people doing similar business to your own
- ask them for a recommendation for a business lawyer
- ask the lawyer you’re considering to hire for a reference list from some of their former clients
This way, you'll get confirmation about their work, and you'll be assured they are a potential match.
Later on, you might write a recommendation yourself. In case you need help, there are professional writers who can help you out with it.
The final step in the process of hiring a good business lawyer is creating a billing arrangement with them.
As noted by Forbes, “paying for legal advice is well worth it before you get too far into the weeds.”
Be ready to pay for a good business lawyer but expect the following in return:
- clear billing methods
- monthly billing reports
Make sure you know what you’re paying for, and you get to review and approve each step your business lawyer might take.
Your business lawyer is someone with who you’ll (hopefully) be working shoulder to shoulder for a long time. Therefore, there’s no shame in being demanding and looking for specific skills our lawyer should have.
The list above will serve as a great guideline to help you find a good, professional business lawyer. Follow it and ensure you’ve found a business lawyer who’s got all the essential skills you’re looking for. This way, you’ll be sure your business is in good hands.