I always wonder – and generally speaking – whether or not being an entrepreneur is a good choice in my life. People repeatedly discuss the negatives of entrepreneurship by mentioning the risks and costs involved in this option, such as the amount of time you invest in working and the likelihood of losing your net worth or your credibility. These things deserve to be taken into consideration, but, to me, these are less dangerous as a result of the fact that they can be treated.
It does not usually address other issues, which makes it more dangerous. One of these things is that an entrepreneur must be highly capable in many issues and have sufficient capabilities in others. There is very little room for inefficiency in any physical space in terms of running any project. So it is important for presumptive entrepreneurs to develop partnerships.
One of the most wanted partners is a good lawyer. I didn’t realize this before starting Sage Works, and I thought (like many people) that the need for lawyers was great only in matters such as establishing partnerships, a new company, or prosecuting someone.
However, when we wanted to determine the size of our company, we needed external legal advice for many issues such as property rights, human resources, and contracts. Most lawyers are qualified to implement the primary mechanisms of legal work, but that is not what you often need them in, so I will try to explain what to look for in any lawyer or law firm.
01- Your lawyer should be excellent at working with people:
On many occasions you will need a lawyer to complete a phone call with a seller, buyer, employee, merchant, client, shareholder, or board member. Lawyers are considered like other people; Some of them are good at dealing with people and some are not. For example, our firm’s lawyer, Lee Kirby of Smith Anderson’s office, has all the legal expertise requirements (knowledge of the field, degree from Harvard), but that’s not what helped us the most. Our company can refer him to any external party with full confidence that he can work with people and reach the desired goal without any of those influences that often befall professionals – such as the ego, acting based on a wrong position, and presenting opinions without experience – which are things that annoy many Mostly, and even worse, they direct their energies in the wrong direction.
A lot of people think lawyers need to be ready to fight, which I really think is the relationship with plaintiffs. But the plaintiffs should be a very small fraction of what’s involved in the business. And if he’s taking too much, then either you picked the wrong law firm or the wrong lawyer or even you could be the bad guy, something outside of my experience in handling such matters. Anyone can file a lawsuit, and it takes real skill to maneuver kindly with others and reach a compromise. You should have a lawyer who can work with people and know what to say and when to say it, and even whether or not to say it.
02- The law firm must have a long and real partnership with you:
Most law firms require this, but I doubt this is often the case. In our early days, we didn’t have a lot of money for the legal fees, and the fees for our law firm were very reasonable. I suppose this might be part of a business model where it costs less to start with, but few law firms have the foresight to actually do it. If your law firm is perfect, they will not care. Most importantly, if you do not have confidence in your lawyer, you will sooner or later regret it. And I’m not talking about confidence in whether a lawyer or lawyer could do something unethical or illegal. It’s about whether or not you can trust him as a person and a friend, and whether or not he really works for your benefit. This is important because in many companies, there are dozens of cases, the cause of which is bad advice, that the lawyer gives, not because he did not pay attention, but because he does not care about neither you nor your company.
03- Your lawyer must show a correct judgment:
My dad didn’t go to college at all. However, he used to say something that I cannot forget: You cannot teach someone to show good judgment. This idea is so deep that it needs to be written about it, not included in an article by someone like me. This idea is also not related to the legal profession, because I encounter it in many MBA theses as well, where everyone has a basic education base, but few are good at expressing good judgment in complex situations. There are many times when I have to rely on a lawyer’s judgment in a legal matter, and most often it is a matter of law.
There are some instances on the sidelines that are not just a legal matter, but also business strategy. This might be one of the most difficult points ever, because I cannot really explain how it is possible to know if someone is good at making decisions or not, but I have trusted the competence of our firm’s lawyer from the start and made sure of this through the first complex cases we went through. .
I also recommend that you read Lawyers and Thieves, written by Roy Grotman, who is the late husband of my friend Geul Grotman. You’ll find the book super easy for any entrepreneur who deals with legal issues. Roy was a famous prosecutor, and his book is considered a practical guide for dealing with the law for laypeople. It is an article about the way that employers should view the law and lawyers.
In conclusion, you will not feel bad if you make some mistakes in this area or in any field of work. It is extremely difficult to build a business, and none of us can be great at all things. One of the reasons I write for “Inc” is that I am an expert at making mistakes. And it’s actually an excellent point where I can help people.