How can you have a conversation with your attorney early in the process and keep your future costs down? I think one of the keys is setting objectives with your attorney. You really need to get to know your attorney, and talk about what you’re trying to accomplish, and why. Next, you should work together from there on making sure that those objectives are met in a way that meets your needs. What does this mean? This means having a very upfront conversation with your attorney. The two of you should get to know each other. It’s smart money to spend some time in the beginning to lay the foundation first. We talk in other context about making business plans, and building the future. That’s a common activity we work on, with our clients.
Similarly, there should be a legal plan at the start of working with a client on a matter. What is to be accomplished? What is the goal, what is the outcome? I think an important step that’s often missed when clients work with law offices is really sitting down and understanding the risks, and the objectives. Often one transaction may look very similar to another, but may have completely different risks profiles from a legal perspective. The attorney probably has a lot of this going on in their head, but there needs to be a communication between the client and the attorney regarding to what the risks are, what work the attorneys doing, and why they’re doing the work, and what they’re trying to accomplish. There needs to be an alignment. The attorney and the client need to understand what the attorneys doing, why he or she is doing it, and how it benefits the client. Then the client can make an educated decision about whether that’s something they need to have accomplished, or whether it’s something the clients willing to take the risk on.
Much of the job of a transactional lawyer is to manage risk. We are working to try to make things safer and better for our clients. The clients don’t often understand what we’re trying to do, and they’re often so rushed with the transaction that they don’t want to spend the time that is needed. There needs to be a pause and a conversation about what the risks are, what’s being managed, and what the costs are.
What’s been your experience working with attorneys? Has there been good communication? Have you understood each other’s objectives? What could be done better in the future?
This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/Photographer Michal Koralewski.
About the Author
Shawn McBride — R. Shawn McBride is the Managing Member of The R. Shawn McBride Law Firm, PLLC. Shawn works successful, private business owners in their growth and missions to make a company that stands the test of time. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at email@example.com or (214) 418-0258.
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