Whether you’re a business owner, spouse, or an employee, chances are, you’ll require legal counsel at some time or the other. Lawyers are necessary if you’re to effectively navigate through transactions, business relationships, or litigation.
If you belong to the class of people who do not think of getting a lawyer until they are knee-deep in a messy legal situation, you’re doing yourself a great disservice.
A lawyer would not only help you prevent unpleasant situations in the future but will also ensure that when such situations eventually come, you’ll be well equipped to deal with them.
When you do hire the services of a lawyer, there are certain rules you ought to follow. How you relate with your lawyer can make the difference between an effective working relationship and one laden with hardships and unnecessary costs.
Here are some tips that can help improve the relationship between you and your legal counsel.
1 Hire the right lawyer
This is an important first tip. Many individuals engage lawyers without understanding that different lawyers have different skill sets and expertise.
Although getting recommendations before hiring one is never a bad idea, be sure to find out if the attorney you’re interested in has sufficient experience in your area of need.
A criminal defense lawyer wouldn’t do well with divorce matters, so in such a situation, you should be asking “how can I find a family lawyer near me?”
2 Communicate your needs clearly
When you hire an attorney, you’re paying by the hour. It would be foolhardy to beat around the bush or drop hints, expecting your lawyer to assume what exactly it is that you need doing. Lawyers are busy people and wasting their time is not a good way to build a good relationship.
Give clear explanations and instructions during every conversation. Don’t hesitate to express your thoughts or make demands – get your money’s worth.
3 Keep your lawyer informed
Your lawyer is also your advisor. When you’re planning an attack, he or she should be right there when you draw up the battle plans. You need to keep your attorney informed of major developments in your life or business that would require their attention.
Giving advance notice would also ensure that the work is carried out within the scheduled time.
4 Be responsive
Responsiveness goes further than picking up your lawyer’s calls or replying to emails as soon as you can. Of course, it’s important to provide information or answers to questions when required. However, being responsive includes providing feedback.
Open a line of communication and let your attorney know if you appreciate (or don’t appreciate) how they’re handling your affairs. Such frequent exchanges will help build a stronger relationship, allowing you to enjoy better service.
5 Practice preventative law
In simple terms, avoid problems or situations that have the potential to create problems. Prevention, they say is better than cure.
Set up regular meetings with your lawyer and keep them informed of your plans or the state of your business and get their opinion on what you should look out for, moving forward.
By following these tips, you can work more effectively with your lawyer and reduce legal costs at the same time.