While its hard to wrap your head around the idea when you’re just starting out, its important at some point in the process to think about hiring or getting to know an attorney for your Thriving Practice. Sounds awful, does it? We want to believe that we would have no need for an attorney in our professional lives; I wish for you nothing but to never have to use one! Even if you think, “my practice is too small for such a thing,” in this day and age its good to have one on your team before you need one.
What might prompt a discussion with an attorney? Anything from custody issues, where parents of children may want to try to get you involved in to disability cases to claims that you didn’t carry out your professional role correctly or ethically. Even something that you might consider benign, such as a subpoena, can benefit from a consult with an attorney. Like your CPA, attorneys are focused on areas of the law, which, as an outsider, you might not even be aware of.
How to find a reputable attorney? Again, think of the steps we took to find the CPA; ask friends in your field, family members who might have some suggestions, other trusted professionals. Do some research once you have a short list of people to consult with to see who is considered top of the field for what you might require.
Interview, interview, interview. Get to know a bit about a few choices so you don’t need to pick one in the dark when you’re under pressure. Where did they go to school? Do they experience working with your practice specialty? How long have they focused on this area of the law you are requiring assistance in? What’s their fee and how to do they structure payments? If you have a specific issue you already know you need assistance with have they seen this before? What are possible resolutions? You will need to do your own ‘due diligence’ and make sure whomever you choose is in good standing with state authorities to practice law.
Need an attorney in a hurry? One of the best places to start is with your malpractice carrier. They have legal support on hand and that might be all the assistance you need for your case; if you need more they can refer you to sources they have worked with in the past. You’ve purchased insurance for a reason and if you find you need to use it please don’t hesitate to do so!