“But the mere truth won’t do. You must have a lawyer.”
-Charles Dickens, Bleak House
1. What is a business lawyer?
Your business lawyer is someone who not only understands the law, but can explain how the law affects your business, and advise you on the best steps to take.
At [ask LEGAL], we believe that our role is to partner with our clients to make sure that when you have a question, you can pick up the phone and contact your lawyer.
2. What can a business lawyer do?
Your business’s lawyer is a resource. At [ask LEGAL], we might answer your questions about your business, from how to deal with your employees to explaining what a contract means in plain English (and when we don’t know the answers, we know where to look). We might negotiate on your behalf and make sure that you’re not being taken advantage of, or we might draft documents that make the deals you strike legally enforceable. We might defend you in court when you’ve been wrongfully attacked, or minimize the damage when you legitimately screwed up. We might file suit on your behalf, and make sure that the people who have wronged you are held responsible. We might do all of those things, or more—it’s our job to know the law, explain it to you, and act as your guide and protector—all so you can focus on your business.
3. How can a business lawyer help me?
Your business lawyer is your counselor, your advisor, and your advocate. Your lawyer is who you should turn to when you need to know what your rights and responsibilities are with respect to others, and what others’ rights and responsibilities are with respect to you. Your lawyer is the one who helps you assess your risks, and decide what your next steps should be. Your lawyer is the one who argues for you, both in and out of court.
At [ask LEGAL], we believe in a holistic approach to law practice. We serve as a resource so you can have a single place to call for all your business needs. We don’t do everything, and we don’t pretend to. But we leverage our extensive networks to make sure that with a single call, you can reach your lawyer, who understands your business and what you need. Then we make sure that you end up in the right place, with the right people, to meet those needs.
4. Why should I hire a business lawyer?
You should hire a business lawyer because it’s your job to know your business—not the law. You wouldn’t try to perform your own medical procedures. You probably don’t even do your own janitorial work. Why would you try to be your own lawyer? You’re not trained for it. It’s a distraction from your core competency as a business owner.
And the costs of screwing up can be incredibly high, whether it’s a bad contract, a lawsuit, or even a judgment against you. An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.
Of course, it’s also possible that for whatever reason, you’re already in a bind, and you just need someone to help clean up the mess.
Regardless of what brings you to us, at [ask LEGAL], it’s our job to handle the legal stuff, so you don’t have to.
5. How much do business lawyers charge for services?
For some reason, most lawyers are notoriously tight-lipped about their fees. They don’t publish their rates. When you ask what something costs, they’ll tell you, “It depends.” That’s a true answer, but it’s not a helpful one. As a business owner, you need to be able to budget, and to plan.
At [ask LEGAL], we believe in value-based billing. We publish our rates right here on our website (Harrison Lord’s current standard rate is $350 per hour, and Kevin Sweat’s is $300 per hour), and we tell our clients our best guess for what we think their work will cost. While we can’t guarantee that our estimates will be correct, we can—and do—guarantee that you’ll get value for the money you spend.
[ask LEGAL] also offers a variety of alternatives to the billable hour, including monthly plans, flat fees, contingency arrangements, and hybrids. Across all of the options available, we do our best to make sure that our interests are aligned with those of our clients, and—above all—that our clients receive value from our representation.
6. How do I hire a business lawyer?
That’s easy—just call [ask LEGAL]!
But before you hire anyone—whether it’s us or another firm—we hope you’ll do your research. Ask people you trust for referrals. Look online for reviews. Call or meet with several folks, and ask your prospective lawyer lots of questions. Find out if the lawyer has experience in the areas for which you need help. Ask about how many cases they’ve tried, or how many deals they’ve closed. Ask for a roadmap of what their plan would be if you hire them. Make sure that you feel comfortable, and that it’s a good fit in terms of personality—remember that your lawyer is in many ways your partner, and that this is a relationship that will hopefully continue for many years to come.