Finding a good contract lawyer can be tough. The biggest issue most small businesses face when on the hunt for a contract lawyer is finding one who is actually an expert in the particular field they need the expertise in. The vast majority of “high-street” or “suburban” solicitors engage in general practice, covering wills and estates, trusts, family law and sometimes contract law. Of course any lawyer you approach to draft a contract is unlikely to say no; they need the work! This doesn’t mean you’ll get good service though. It’s much better to hunt around for a lawyer with the relevant experience and expertise; you will inevitably get a better contract drafted. This article sets out 5 steps you can take to find the best contract lawyer for you.

1. Look at the Contract Lawyer’s Work Experience

As a general rule, the best lawyers have trained in a large firm. Corporate law firms attract the best law graduates, and spend large amounts of capital on training. A few years in such a firm gives a lawyer the base to provide top quality advice. Additionally, corporate lawyers generally focus the vast majority of their time on contracts. They don’t do wills, estates and probate or conveyancing. If the lawyer you’re considering has experience in a top firm, there’s a good chance they’ll be able to provide you with good quality work.

2. Check out the Lawyer’s Testimonials

Obviously checking out any professional’s testimonials is a good idea, but with a lawyer you want to look at what type of work they’ve performed for previous clients. Many lawyers will take on any job – they need the revenue. You want to work with a lawyer who only works in a set number of specific areas; and you can see if they genuinely do this by reading their testimonials.

3. Discuss the Job and Pricing

You can tell a great deal about a lawyer by the way they approach a new client. A good contract lawyer will want to find out as much as possible about your business, the way it operates and your legal needs before they begin discussing prices. There’s a good chance you might need more or less legal help than you think. A good lawyer will give you guidance on this, free of charge, before they actually get to work. It’s also a good idea to directly ask the lawyer if he or she can talk you through the main issues they’d want to look out when drafting your contract. You’ll soon be able to work out if they’re on the ball.

Pricing is also a good way to determine if a contract lawyer will provide you a good service. Some contracts will be expensive, as they’re complex and will take a great deal of time to complete. Other contracts should not be too costly. A good contract lawyer will price appropriately. You can shop around to get a good idea of the sort of prices you should be charged.

Conclusion

Finding a good contract lawyer isn’t actually that easy. Look for experience, references and a willingness to discuss the issues with you before committing.

Lachlan McKnight

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