Finding the Right Lawyer: 5 Guidelines of LegaMart
LegaMart Guidelines for Finding the Right Lawyer Abroad
LegaMart is an online platform for connecting start-ups and SMBs with a network of vetted lawyers at below-market (and wherever possible) fixed rates. After our rigorous vetting process, we only admit a mere 20% of lawyer applicants. So, as you can imagine, we spend a lot of time thinking about what makes a good legal practitioner!
While we obviously can’t decide on choosing the right lawyer for anyone, we think some general guidelines can help businesses make informed choices about legal advisors. Below we’ve provided a detailed process that can assist you in pursuing the “right lawyer.”
Do Your Homework!
Traditionally, almost everyone found lawyers by asking friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations. Today, as is the trend in most consumer markets, many individuals and businesses turn to the internet to find a lawyer.
Even though they all must attend law school, pass the bar, and possess general legal knowledge, as lawyers begin to practice, they naturally start to specialize in specific practice areas. In the same way, you wouldn’t speak to an eye doctor about a heart condition; you wouldn’t discuss your startup’s legal issues with a lawyer whose practice focuses on criminal law.
So, however, you do your research, here are some key factors to consider:
- Firm Recognition and Size
- Position within Firm
- Practice Areas or Areas of Expertise
- Industries and Clients Served
- Prior Work Experience
- Professional Awards, Publications, and Speaking Engagements
- Bar Membership
- Years of Practice
- Malpractice Insurance
- Verified Client or Peer Reviews
Doing your homework can give you a strong sense of whether he or she can serve your legal needs before an initial meeting.
Create Your Shortlist
After researching several attorneys, it’s best to narrow your list to a handful of attorneys with whom you want to schedule a meeting or call. The lawyers on your shortlist should meet most, if not all, of your criteria. Although clients vary on how they LegaMarttize different characteristics, we suggest placing relevant work experience near the top of your list. In scheduling your meeting with your shortlist, attorneys consider whether they offer a free initial consultation.
Ask Lots of Questions
Whether your initial consultation is free or not, you want to make the most out of the first meeting. Your consultation is not only an opportunity to become acquainted with a potential attorney but also an opportunity for the lawyer to get to know you and your legal issue. Prepare for your meeting by summarizing what you believe is your legal issue and compiling a list of questions to ask him or her. This will present you as a knowledgeable and professional client and give you the requisite information to choose which lawyer is right for you. Here are some questions to consider including in your list:
- What type of work do they usually do?
- With what types of clients do they usually work?
- Do they have relevant experience with clients in your industry and matters similar to your legal issue?
- Who will do the work? Will associates be working on my matter?
- How will they bill for the representation? Hourly rate or fixed fee? Some other alternate fee arrangement? How much do they anticipate your project will cost?
- What do they estimate of the ultimate cost of resolving your legal issue?
- Do they anticipate that you need additional legal work?
- How do they typically communicate with clients (email, phone, client preference, etc.)? How quickly do they usually get back to clients?
- Do they have any references, clients,s or professionals you can contact?
- Do they have any personal interests that align with yours?
These questions will give you a better sense of the marketplace and who may be the right choice for your legal needs.
Also, you can read the article below:
Compare and Choose
By remaining engaged and taking notes during your first meetings, you’ll be ready to narrow your shortlist down to the right attorney. Remember, you’re not only looking for expertise but a personal rapport as well. Consider the lawyer you can get to know your business and that you can foresee developing a long-term relationship. Having a relationship with a lawyer who understands your business is invaluable—whether helping avoid major legal problems or advising you on day-to-day legal issues.
Present Yourself as a Valued Client
Forging a business relationship is a two-way street. Once you’ve chosen the right attorney, set the relationship up for success. While you want to be confident in your attorney’s expertise and business ethic, they want to work with active and engaged clients, who are responsive and clear about their needs, and who pay their bills promptly. If you are happy with your lawyer’s work, let them know that you will be pleased to make referrals to your network or serve as a reference on their website.
Finding the best representation doesn’t have to be complicated. LegaMart makes it easy to find a trusted, vetted attorney at a below-market, fixed rate. Find a lawyer for a free legal consultation here.