Large companies have a legal department, but businesses of every size need outside legal guidance to operate effectively. Legal representation, however, costs money, so it is always worth weighing the company’s needs. There are a variety of benefits to using outside legal counsel that many find helpful:
- Cost: Larger companies can benefit by reducing the operational costs of having an in-house counsel. Smaller companies also need legal guidance and can call upon an attorney they have on retainer or work with often.
- Different focuses: While they have a broad legal knowledge base, different attorneys practice in different areas of law (perhaps while working within the same firm), and no attorney can focus on every legal issue. For example, employment law differs from drafting business contracts or protecting intellectual property.
- Litigation: Many assume that all lawyers spend time in court, but it is a small percentage that regularly handles trials.
- Conflicts of interest: Just as businesses should have outside accountants review their books from time to time, a second pair of legal eyes is often necessary to check import work and identify irregularities.
- Compliance: Every industry has specific rules and regulations regarding operations, so it is often wise to work with someone who understands the company’s role in the marketplace.
The right attorney makes a difference
Finding an attorney with the right skill set while also being a good match for the client is essential, much like the right tool for the job is the first step toward successfully completing a project. Discussing the issues, potential strategies and likely outcomes during the initial consultation can give the potential client insight into who is the best lawyer for the task at hand.