Questions to ask before hiring a lawyer for your company

When choosing an attorney to serve as counsel to a business, what questions should corporate officers ask the attorney?  How can the officers ensure that they are hiring the right advisor? 

For small and medium-sized companies, the officers should not only ask about the individual lawyer’s experience, but also about the capabilities of the lawyer’s entire firm.  When budgets are tight, it’s important to know that your lawyer can efficiently engage the right specialists to help your business when the need arises.

My colleagues Kelly Bryan Braun and Karissa Schepis recently wrote an article describing how to learn about the “big picture” of a law firm.  As they write:

[S]tarting with a lawyer and firm that have experience dealing with businesses in your company’s industry is essential to finding the firm that is right for your company.

and

[P]ay particular attention to the law firm as a whole, not just the partner with whom you have the relationship . . .. The level of specialized knowledge and understanding necessary to handle legal matters for a technology-based business is quite extensive, and not something that can be quickly or cost-effectively learned once you engage the firm for your company’s legal work.

They also point out that small and medium-sized companies should “[t]hink of lawyers as tools of prevention, not just as a means for solving problems when they arise.”  To read the full article as published in Pittsburgh T.E.Q., click here and navigate to page 20 of the magazine.  Or, visit the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s website here and select “view interactive T.E.Q.”, access the table of contents, and select the article on page 20.

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