A- A+

Selecting an Attorney, the 100+ Year Decision

I never really thought about it like this before, but the attorney you select can affect you or your business for 100 years or more. Steve Zumbach of Belin McCormick made this point in a chapter he wrote for our book, "How Business Gets Done." Initial corporate or trust documents can live on well past your own life. I suppose when many of us are starting up, we are just thinking about getting the entity set up and getting on with business.  

Here is the funny thing. You go into business planning to succeed, but not thinking about the implications of success. Your plan is to grow a business and make something lasting, yet we rush through some of the most important decisions.  

In this chapter, Steve brings his wealth of experience and knowledge to what seems like a simple question  — how do you pick an attorney? It turns out there is a lot to think about.

Key Considerations for Choosing an Attorney

  • Seek recommendations, especially from other business owners you respect in similar businesses.
  • Identify the qualities you require in an attorney. Start with a team player.  
  • Recognize you are hiring an attorney and a firm. You will probably need a series of legal skills and knowledge including corporate, finance, real property, tax, labor, litigation, intellectual property, and trade regulation. That is by no means an exhaustive list.   

Steve's final piece of advice is truly the most crucial. Hire an attorney who will tell you what you don't want to hear.