Three Questions to Ask Your Potential Business Lawyer

Lawyer And Client Are Handshaking After Successful MeetingBefore hiring a Massachusetts business lawyer, you should feel confident that he or she is the right person to help you with general advice or with your specific issue. Here are the three questions to ask your potential attorney:

What Is Your Experience in This Industry?

Many industries develop specific terminology and ways of doing business. Some particular business issues, like certain kinds of contracts, might require special expertise or knowledge. While many business lawyers can draft and negotiate most kinds of contract and can negotiate a resolution of most kinds of dispute, background knowledge can sometimes be helpful. On the other hand, a lawyer looking in from outside an industry may be able to bring a fresh insight to your situation.

Who Else Will Be Working on My Case?

Some attorneys work in large offices, with teams of associates, paralegals, administrators and other support staff. Others are in smaller offices and call on teams of people within their networks as needed for particular projects. You should be aware of how your attorney works at the outset. It is best to find out up front what the terms of communication are and who you can expect to work with so are not surprised down the road. It is also best not to be surprised by bills that list hours of time from people you have never spoken with, unless your understanding is that a single attorney will be the main point of contact for the team.

How Do You Bill?

Just like your understanding of the communication guidelines, you should be informed about how billing will work. Many attorneys bill hourly but might require a retainer up front. Others bill flat fees for particular project, and still others bill contingent fees depending on the outcome of the project. Be sure your attorney has an understanding about the scope of your case so he or she can give you an understanding of the scope of the charges. Also be sure you are kept up to date on how charges are accruing. Setting these expectations early minimizes the chances of your being put in a payment bind you were not expecting.