If you run your own business, you’re almost certain to require a lawyer at some point. This is a crucial decision and not one to be taken lightly. Lawyers are expensive and costs can escalate very quickly if they charge based on their time. However, they provide great value if you find the right lawyer.
At FirmChecker, it’s our business to use data to match you with the right lawyers who are trusted and valued by others. In this post, we’ll look at key factors to consider to help you find the right lawyer.
The Law Institute of Victoria has a helpful guide for choosing lawyers that are right for you. It’s a two-way process – you need to come to your meeting prepared so that you can assess your potential lawyer effectively.
In terms of finding which lawyers to brief, they outline referrals, friends and family, other professionals and the LIV as places to find a lawyer. You can also use FirmChecker as a good starting point.
Firstly, LIV recommends that you write down the questions you want to ask the lawyer and clear objectives you want to achieve from your meeting. You should write down full details of your situation in an easy-to-understand summary, in case you forget anything during the meeting. If you require support (e.g. a friend, relative or interpreter) make sure you organise ahead of the meeting.
Secondly, when you meet with the prospective lawyer, you should have key criteria in mind and know how much they matter to you. For example, you may want to ask the lawyer for:
Alison and Jillian Barrett are Queensland-based lawyers who write for Fairfax. They have a helpful guide here.
They recommend the following steps:
These articles both give a different, qualitative perspective on how to choose the right lawyer. They should be balanced with quantitative metrics (i.e ratings) where available. The three key take-outs are:
In choosing the right lawyer, you are putting together a puzzle of different pieces of information which come together to give you the right decision. Using a combination of online resources, personal recommendations and, crucially, preparation, you can make sure you are getting real value out of your lawyer.
About the Author
Ben Farrow is the Managing Director of FirmChecker. He holds commerce and law degrees from the University of Melbourne and digital marketing certifications from Northwestern University. He aims to demystify professional services.