Figuring out how to hire a lawyer can be difficult. When you need to hire a lawyer, it usually means you are in a tricky situation. Maybe you need to hire a lawyer to help you start your business, or to file a patent for a product you invented. Or maybe you need to hire a lawyer because you got a DUI, or because your business is facing bankruptcy.
In any of these situations, you are facing complex legal issues governed by a vast set of intricate laws. You need someone with the right knowledge, experience, and skillset to advise you on the best course of action.
Figuring out how to hire a lawyer that best fits your situation is a critical step in the process. It can determine if your business succeeds or fails, whether or not your patent is granted, or if you will face jail time for your DUI.
So, how to hire a lawyer: the process can be broken down into 3 simple steps with important factors that you should evaluate in order to make the right decision.
Step 1: Find Lawyers – Focus on Location and Practice Area
As obvious as it may seem, the first step is to find some lawyers. (We have a selection of good lawyers at LawKick if you don’t know where to find one). There are two key things to evaluate at this point: location and practice area.
It is always beneficial to hire a lawyer that is local to ensure efficiency throughout the process. That doesn’t mean you have to hire a lawyer that lives in your neighborhood, but you should find one whose office is close enough that you don’t mind driving there from time to time.
It is even more important to hire a lawyer that focuses on the appropriate area of law. If you are facing a DUI, you absolutely want to hire a lawyer with significant experience defending people in similar situations. Likewise, if you are starting an Internet business, you don’t want to hire a lawyer that specializes in wills and estate planning. Each area of law is very intricate, so it’s important to hire a lawyer that is a good fit for your needs.
Step 2: Determine the Complexity of Your Issue
At this point, the process of how to hire a lawyer is well underway. You have found some lawyers in your area that specialize in the type of legal work you need. Now you will probably want to determine how much it will cost and plan accordingly. The key factor affecting cost is the complexity of your legal issue.
The complexity of the legal issue you are facing is important for several reasons: for one, it determines how many hours the lawyer will have to work, which plays a major role in the total cost, but more importantly, it can determine how much experience your lawyer will need in order to serve you best.
For basic things like incorporating a startup, any competent business lawyer can probably handle the job; however, you still want to find a lawyer who specializes in the type of business that you want to form. But when it comes to drafting a convertible note, or deciding whether the person you hired is an employee or independent contractor, some more complex legal issues are involved. In these instances, it’s usually better to hire a lawyer with more experience, and the lawyer’s experience level directly impacts how much a lawyer costs.
Step 3: Determine Your Budget
If you are a multimillionaire, chances are budget won’t be much of an issue (plus, you probably already have a team of lawyers, so how to hire a lawyer isn’t really a problem…but I digress).
If you’re like the rest of us, budget is probably one of the biggest factors. So, while taking into account the complexity of your issue, you must consider how much you are willing to spend. Once you determine a reasonable range, you should share your budget with each lawyer you are considering hiring and try to find the right balance of cost and experience level. And remember, experience matters more as the complexity of your legal issues increases.
Some other important things you might consider along the way are reviews from past clients, how busy the lawyer is with other work (which can slow things down), and how well you get along personally with the lawyer. Legal work can get pretty up-close-and-personal at times, so it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer that you get along with.
So now that know the basics of how to hire a lawyer, you should go ahead and get started! But, we understand that hiring a lawyer can often be an intimidating, time-consuming, and frustrating process.
At LawKick, we are very focused on making the process of hiring a lawyer as painless as possible. We provide a transparent marketplace that allows you to review multiple local lawyers in your area and communicate with them simultaneously through a private messaging system. We also allow you to get bids from each one to help you find the right fit for your budget.