How important is it to angel investors that I have an expensive lawyer from a brand name firm? by @R44D
Answer by Raad Ahmed:
This question has been asked in various ways as it seems some people assume price equates to ability. This is simply not true. Entrepreneurs and investors alike need to stray away from the concept that more expensive means better services. The proof is in the attorney’s ability and not in their rate.
With that said, these are the types of skills you should seek in an attorney:
- Total competence in business law-There are many lawyers out there, but usually attorney’s have an area of law that they specialize in. Make sure that the attorney you select has experience with start-ups and understands the potential challenges you will face. The foundation of your business will depend greatly on whether or not your attorney understands the fundamentals of business structure.
- Visionary-The attorney you should select should be able to understand the vision of your business—not just the short-term goals to get it kick-started. A good attorney will encourage you to think about the long-term of your business and help you solidify those plans via proper documentation and planning.
- Effective communication-This is a big one. Attorneys are definitely wired to understand legal jargon and can likely speak it fluently. However, for people just starting out in business—these terms may as well be a foreign language. A skilled attorney doesn’t just bark legal terms at you, but instead takes the time to explain those concepts in everyday language.
- Flexibility-Of course, every professional has a schedule to keep, but your attorney should be adequately available for you. Let’s say you go for a hot-shot law firm attorney, but they never have time to talk to you. What’s the point in paying for a brand if they can never answer your questions? A certain name may look good to some investors, but if they aren’t helping you then nobody is reaping the benefits that come along with quality legal services.
- Good working relationship- Not every attorney, whether expensive or affordable, will be a good fit for you. Personality and communication play a huge role. You should select an attorney who works well with you. If you are intimidated by your attorney or simply don’t enjoy working with them then nothing will get accomplished in the long run.
- Reputation-Reputation certainly plays a role in the selection of your attorney. However, please don’t confuse this with cost. Just because an attorney is affordable does not mean that they have cut their price due to a poor reputation. Likewise, an incredibly expensive attorney does not mean that they are easy to work with or have a high client satisfaction rate. Do your homework. Ask for references!
Hopefully some of these tips can help you separate the meaning between quality and cost.
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