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How To Choose the Right Business Attorney

As with most any service or product, the key to finding the right business attorney is locating one with the correct blend of quality and price. 

Of the two factors mentioned above, quality should be the primary requirement.  No matter how much cheaper an attorney's prices may be, you should not settle for the services of a lawyer that does not have sufficient experience in the area of business law.  An attorney who maintains a "general practice" may have been very common 10-20 years ago, but these days most attorneys specialize or concentrate their practice in just a few key areas, because each area of law has its own quirks and subtleties.  An attorney who does mostly criminal and traffic work, but forms corporations here and there on the side from time to time, is probably not a good fit.  If that attorney is not sufficiently equipped with the knowledge and experience of the attorneys who perform business work on a daily basis, then you might save a little bit on legal fees at the beginning, but end up paying tons of legal fees down the road to correct what should have been avoidable problems. 

With regards to price, there are a few types of legal work that can be billed as a flat fee, but most business attorneys charge an hourly rate and bill the client according to how much time it takes to do the work.  Hourly rates vary depending on the size of the firm (lawyers at big firms charge more than solo practitioners), the age of the attorney (lawyers with many years of experience charge more than those fresh out of law school), and the uniqueness of the attorney's practice (patent attorneys are harder to find than a general business attorney, so they can charge a premium for their services).  It is also crucial to understand that the lowest hourly rate will not necessarily yield the lowest legal bill, because some attorneys are more aggressive than others in billing their time. 

In the end, you should always interview a few potential candidates before selecting your attorney (check first to see if they charge for the initial consultation), and try as much as possible to get a good feel about their particular business law background, their billing practices, and whether or not they seem to have the proper amount of time attention available to devote to you and your needs.        

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