We here at Hayes & Simon obtain numerous emails and calls from potential clients in search of a New York business lawyer to act as part-time general counsel. The majority of these intakes come from referrals from present clients, referrals from other lawyers and some trickle in via this New York Law Blog and the Korean Law Blog.
From our contacts, we believe that many smaller businesses in New York are having serious difficulties in finding attorneys in New York that are NY business savvy, have the ability to efficiently work for the client and/or have an inability to handle the specific issues the client is dealing with.
This dismal situation seems to stem, primarily, from the high cost of top-notch legal services in NY and the lack of many top-notch New York lawyers working in the startup and growing business space. This reality is, only, partially true. Many great lawyers work in New York and many of these great lawyers are experienced and have efficient billing methods that can meet the needs of New York businesses. However, yes, finding these lawyers can be a challenge.
New York P/T General Counsel System
For most New York startups and growing business we suggest a Part-Time General Counsel billing structure with prepaid monthly hours. Usually, this system shall allow a large reduction in hourly costs, allows the lawyer enough time to develop a compliance system, allow for all the basic legal requirements to be within the prepaid hours (thus legal expenses are essentially fixed), allows for a monthly meeting with your lawyer, allows the company to obtain access to the social network of the attorney, allows the lawyer to develop an in house compliance training program and helps to allow employees at the company to have ready access to a lawyer when legal advice is necessary.
When the company grows the hours can also easily grow with the company. The best of the best lawyers, also, can help with sourcing funds, making contacts, engaging government offices and even winning new business.
Here are a few tips to find a NY business lawyer that may meet your needs.
Finding a Lawyer that Meets your Needs in New York
- Research on the Internet
Legal listing services are not, typically, the best way at finding a good lawyer. Search for content on blogs and see if you can find a lawyer that seems to fit with your needs. Look for useful content, not advertisement copy. Lawyers that are socially active are typically energetic and energetic lawyers are usually at the top of their game and are more likely to be on top of your game. I find this to be the case in most business spaces.
- Lawyers make Law Firms, Usually the Law Firm is Immaterial to the Quality of a Lawyer
Search the profile of your lawyers – not law firms. A great place to search profiles is via Linkedin. Additionally, attorneys engaged in blogging tend to be attorneys that enjoy staying up on legal issues. Some of the old hates are not as adept at staying up with modern trends, new technologies and are thus less aware of the changes occurring in law and business.
- Ask your Friends & Family
Your friends and family may have a New York attorney that is adequate for your needs. Don’t simply rely on referrals, also, do your own homework. We are proud to receive the majority of our new business from old clients. However, we have developed great relationships with many of the clients coming in from this blog and this number is growing. The reality is the practice of law if personal and one of the best ways to understand if your lawyer is a good fit is to know about his personality. Social media and blogs can be a useful way to get inside the head of your lawyer.
- Warning: Legal Rating Services
Legal rating services can be a useful tool for discovering new attorneys, but, normally, these services have no real manner of vetting the good attorneys from the OK lawyers. Most of these services are simply friends nominating friends and little more. These services are mere services for discovery and you should still do your own due diligence of your New York lawyer.