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Whether you’re operating a startup in its first year or a big firm with hundreds of workers, dealing with legal issues is an unavoidable part of doing business. However, before you can even begin to address them, you must first conquer an even more difficult obstacle: locating the most qualified attorney.


Finding and hiring an attorney may be a difficult and time-consuming procedure for persons who do not have a legal background, such as CEOs and other business leaders. They don’t always know what questions to ask or what warning signs to look for, and they may wind up with an attorney who isn’t the best fit for the position or the business.

Businesspeople do not have to settle for hiring the first attorney whose résumé comes across their desk, which is a welcome relief for those in the legal profession. In reality, when equipped with a list of essential questions, individuals who do not have a legal background are able to thoroughly analyse an attorney before entrusting them with the future of their firm.

1. Do you have any previous experience dealing with projects and businesses similar to mine?

It goes without saying that you want to pick an attorney with a lot of experience, but it’s not only about how much experience they have, but also about what sort of experience they have.
You shouldn’t be pleased with a one-word response to this issue since it isn’t comprehensive. Instead, ask about specifics: What was the timeline and location of the projects, as well as the result, were revealed? Your past clientele were of what size and in what sector, and how did they come to be? As a biotech startup looking to recruit staff in California, you’re unlikely to want to deal with an attorney who has only ever handled employment concerns for a huge financial services business in New York, is it?

2. Are there any conflicts of interest that I should be aware of that I should be made aware of?

Although they may never be explicitly questioned about it, attorneys are accountable for disclosing any possible conflicts of interest that they may be involved in. In most cases, though, it’s not a terrible idea to find out more about them on your own.

What does it mean to have a conflict of interest? In a nutshell, it refers to any circumstance in which an attorney would be motivated to behave in a manner that would benefit a counterparty or client.

3. Can you tell me about the plan you have in mind?

This one is simple and straight to the point. Any attorney who has taken the time and effort to study your project should be able to provide you with a well-developed response to this inquiry. If you come across an attorney who is unable to assist you, walk on.

4. How much is this going to cost me?

Most lawyers will offer you an hourly cost or a set charge up ahead, so be sure you understand what is included and what is excluded from your price before proceeding. For example, would you be liable for reimbursing the attorney for any expenditures incurred, such as travel charges?

If you are on a tight budget, this is a good moment to inform your attorney of your financial constraints.

5. How long do you expect this to take?

Attorneys should be able to provide an estimate of how long each step of the project will take, notwithstanding the fact that unanticipated obstacles may develop and cause deadlines to be postponed. Check to check that these numbers are realistic and that they correspond to the timeframe that you have in mind.

6. Which medium of communication do you like to use and why?

It is critical for lawyers and clients to communicate clearly and promptly, and it is critical to pick an attorney whose communication style is consistent with your own.

7. How do you see our working relationship evolving in the future?

You should definitely seek legal assistance from someone else if you are seeking for an attorney who can serve as a trusted adviser over the long term, and the attorney is simply interested in a short-term contract while they are between jobs.
If you work with an attorney and create a connection with them, it is vastly better than discovering after the first assignment that they no longer have the time to assist you.

8. what is a hurdle you have encountered when working with a customer and how did you overcome this issue?

That is probably because this question is one that you have heard or seen before. It’s no surprise that questions concerning difficulties and dispute resolution are popular among interviewers regardless of their position or sector, and for good reason. The way in which individuals handle disagreement shows a great deal about their ability to be innovative and solution-focused, which is something you should know about any attorney you’re contemplating employing before you make your decision.

9. What aspect of this legal field most often causes your customers to get perplexed?

An attorney who is able to provide a satisfactory response to this issue is one who is sensitive not just to the legal difficulties at hand, but also to the manner in which clients think about those challenges. They’ve most certainly dealt with customers who are similar to you. They’ll be able to give context up front, which will answer your queries before you get overwhelmed by a complicated legal problem or legal jargon that you don’t understand.

Moreover, in the event that a question does arise, the attorney will most likely be able to provide an explanation in straightforward English.

10.In the recent year, when was the last time you told a customer “no?”

As much as you don’t want to employ an attorney who will question your every action, you equally don’t want to hire one who is so terrified of being fired that they are unwilling to question you when they have a real point of concern.

This inquiry may assist you determine the moral compass of the attorney as well as the strength of their beliefs.

11. Who is your favourite fictional lawyer to root for in real life?

Although this question seems to be out of the ordinary, an attorney’s response is really an excellent sign of how they view themselves and their position. Is their hero a combatant of some sort? A judge who considers his or her options? Is he a power-hungry dictator?

You should think about whether or not you would want that character on your squad.

12.Which is more important: increasing income or minimising risk?

There is no one correct response to this question. Almost every attorney and businessperson has a different concept of how much danger can be accepted, and the more comparable your appetite for risk is, the more likely you are to get along with one another.