27 Ways on How to Choose Best Commercial Real Estate Lawyer near me

Commercial real estate lawyer near me: Every business has legal needs.

For example, you might need a lawyer to help you incorporate or to form your partnership.

As the business grows, you will need a lawyer to review employment contracts and lease agreements.

Later, you might be sued by an employee or need to sue someone who broke a contract with you.

Finding a qualified business lawyer is a necessity.

You can begin by gathering referrals to business lawyers and then scheduling consultations.

Commercial real estate lawyer near me: BusinessHAB.com

Commercial real estate lawyer near me

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1. Begin early.

You should try to hire a lawyer for your business before you are ever sued.

If you wait until you are sued, then the cost of representation will increase.

 Accordingly, it is a good idea to find a lawyer even before you incorporate.

2. Ask other businesses for a referral.

Your best source of referrals might be other business owners.

You certainly don’t want to hire a lawyer who works for your biggest competitor.

 However, you do want a lawyer with experience in your industry.

  • Call up other business owners in your area and ask if they would recommend their business lawyer.

Commercial real estate lawyer near me

3. Contact your local or state bar association.

Each state and many cities have bar associations.

Which are organizations made up of lawyers.

They often will provide a referral to members or will recommend private referral services you can use.

  • You can find the nearest bar association by visiting the American Bar Associations website.

4. Use a commercial referral service.

There are many referral services online, such as FindLaw, that you can use.

You can search by your location as well as by specialty.

  • To find these referral services, search online. Type “lawyer referral” into your favorite search engine.
  • You should avoid paying a fee for a referral. You can use your state or local bar association referral system for free.

5. Ask a lawyer.

You might have used a lawyer for a personal matter such as writing a will or buying a house.

You can call up the lawyer and ask for recommendations for a business lawyer.

Lawyers often know the reputations of others in the field.

And they can recommend someone who can handle your business needs.

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6. Attend trade events.

Lawyers sometimes attend trade events and expos to meet people.

You can probably pick up a few business cards that way.

Meeting people in person also allows you to ask questions and feel out the lawyer’s communication style.

Commercial real estate lawyer near me

7. Look at the lawyer’s website.

After you have gathered referrals, you should go through and look at each lawyer’s website.

Lawyers should have a website nowadays.

And you can throw away the business card of any lawyer who doesn’t.

Commercial real estate lawyer near me

8. Check the size of the firm.

Lawyers sometimes work solo or they may be a part of a firm.

Law firms also differ in size.

Generally, the larger the law firm the higher the lawyer’s hourly rate will be.

  • However, larger firms also have many advantages. For example, they have specialists in almost every legal field. If you need help with an intellectual property issue, your lawyer can hand you off to an IP lawyer in the firm. If you suddenly are sued for employment discrimination, then the firm’s employment lawyers can help you.
  • Larger law firms also have large reputations and they can scare off adversaries.

9. Analyze the lawyer’s credentials.

A lawyer’s website should contain important information.

By scanning the website, you might be able to eliminate people right off the bat.

10. Look for the following information:

  • When the lawyer graduated law school and where they went to school.
  • This information should be listed.
  • What cases the lawyer generally works on. Many lawyers list representative cases and provide a short summary of what the dispute was about and the resolution.
  • Client testimonials. Some websites include the names of clients and a few sentences in which the client praises the lawyer.
  • Whether the lawyer has credentials as a specialist.
  • In some states, lawyers can earn a specialist’s credential in certain areas of law.
  • For example, in California, a lawyer can become a certified specialist in franchise and distribution law, as well as in taxation.
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11. Check the lawyer’s disciplinary history.

Every state has a disciplinary commission that hears complaints about lawyers.

You should find your state’s agency and search the lawyer’s history.

If the lawyer has been disciplined for an ethical violation.

Then there should be a notation on the record.

  • Also, analyze the age of the violation.
  • A lawyer with one violation 30 years ago has probably learned their lesson.

Commercial real estate lawyer near me

12. Read online reviews.

Many websites contain reviews on lawyers—Avvo, Yelp, Google+.

You should read these. Because it is easy to post reviews anonymously.

You should take them with a grain of salt.

Often, people who are angry are more motivated to leave a review than people who were pleased with the lawyer’s performance.

  • Furthermore, it is easy to buy positive reviews, so a string of stellar reviews might not be legitimate.
  • Nevertheless, look for patterns in the reviews.
  • For example, multiple people might complain that the lawyer doesn’t bill accurately.
  • If you see these comments appearing over the span of a few years, then you can assume there is a real problem there.

13. Schedule consultations with a few candidates.

Lawyers offer consultations where they can meet and talk about their experiences.

The consultation could last a half-hour and be held in the lawyer’s office.

If you run a large business, you might go out to dinner or lunch with the lawyer.

You should call to schedule a consultation.

  • Pick two or three candidates to start.
  •  You can always go back and call other people if you don’t like the first few that you meet with.
  • When you call, ask if there is a fee for the consultation.
  • If the lawyer is eager to meet with you, then there might not be a fee.
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14. Prepare questions.

You should prepare to discuss your business and its legal needs.

You also need to feel out whether the lawyer has the experience and credentials to represent you.

15. Prepare a list of questions, such as the following:

  • How much experience does the lawyer have in your industry? Who are some representative clients? For example, if you are starting a record label, you don’t need a lawyer who represents mostly real estate firms.
  • How long has the lawyer been practicing?
  • Has the lawyer ever handled the task that you need help with? For example, you might need help incorporating a business. Ask the lawyer if they have ever done this before.
  • How does the lawyer communicate with clients? Email? Phone calls? How long does the lawyer wait before returning calls?
  • Are there current clients you can speak to as references?

Commercial real estate lawyer near me

16. Remember to ask about fees.

Money is a critical component of the attorney-client relationship.

You want to know upfront how the lawyer charges fees and whether they are willing to try different fee arrangements.

  • Historically, lawyers charge by the hour and bill in ten- or fifteen-minute increments. For example, a lawyer who charges $300 an hour will bill $50 for ten minutes of work and $150 for half an hour of work.
  • However, lawyers might be willing to charge a flat fee for routine matters like incorporating a business or reviewing a contract.
  •  Ask the lawyer if he or she is willing to offer flat-fee arrangements.
  • Make sure the lawyer agrees to give you itemized bills. There is no reason why a lawyer shouldn’t be happy to provide these.
  • You may also have to pay a “retainer.” A retainer is a sum of money you pay ahead of time, like a deposit. If you need regular work, then your lawyer might charge a monthly retainer.

17. Gather helpful documents to take with you.

If you have a pressing legal issue you need help with.

Then you should be sure to talk about it with the lawyer.

The lawyer will need to review documents related to the issue.

So gather them and put them in order.

  • For example, if you need to negotiate a lease, then bring a copy of the lease the landlord has sent you.
  • If you need to draft an employment contract, then bring a job description.
  • This will give the lawyer some idea of the complexity of the contract.

18. Write down your impressions.

 After meeting with your candidates, you should sit down and analyze them.
Write down notes so that your experience will remain fresh in your memory.
 Every person has different needs when it comes to lawyers.

Commercial real estate lawyer near me

19. Learn to analyze the following:

  • How well did the lawyer communicate? Apart from money, most attorney-client disputes arise because of problems in communication. Did they clearly explain your options?
  • Are the offices located in a convenient place? You probably need to go to your lawyer’s office frequently in the first year, so find someone who is located near your business.Did you feel comfortable talking to the lawyer? You don’t have to be best friends with your business lawyer, but you should feel comfortable with them.

20. Choose the right lawyer.

Review your notes and trust your gut.

Remember that if the relationship doesn’t work out, you can always end the relationship with your lawyer and choose someone else.

Check whether the lawyer satisfies each of these requirements:

  • You will feel comfortable working with this person.
  • The lawyer is sufficiently experienced to help you.
  • The lawyer charges a reasonable fee.
  • You understood what the lawyer said and felt comfortable asking questions.

21. Sign an engagement letter.

Once you pick a lawyer, call him or her up and tell them that you want to hire them.

They should tell you what next steps to take.

Typically, you will have to review and sign an engagement letter or fee agreement.

  • This agreement should spell out in detail what the lawyer will do for you and what you agree to do. The engagement letter should also explain how you will be billed.
  • Read the agreement and make sure you understand everything. Don’t sign an engagement letter unless you agree with everything in it.

22. Pay your retainer.

If you are paying the lawyer a retainer, then send him or her a check as soon as possible.

The lawyer should deposit the retainer into a client trust account.

And use up the retainer before actually billing you for time worked.

23. Communicate your needs clearly.

Your lawyer represents your needs, so long as what you want is within the bounds of the law.

Accordingly, you need to be clear about what you want your lawyer to do.

 Lawyers aren’t minded readers and can’t guess what you need.

  • Although you can always talk over the phone, you should always follow up in-person communications with an email that summarizes the contents of your conversation. Having paper communications can clear up any confusion later.

Commercial real estate lawyer near me

24. Fulfill your own obligations.

You have an obligation to be a good client.

So get information or materials to your lawyer promptly when requested.

Always tell him or her of substantial changes in your business that might have legal implications.

  • Also, be prepared whenever you call your lawyer.
  • Lawyers are very busy, so you should fax or email documents before calling so that the lawyer can review them ahead of time. If you have questions, write them out.

25. Avoid pestering the lawyer.

Since the lawyer is a trusted advisor, you might feel the need to call dozens of times a day to run ideas past your lawyer or to ask questions. You should avoid doing so.

  • If it would help, you could schedule regular meetings with your lawyer, particularly early on. At the meeting, your lawyer can focus fully on your needs, which isn’t always possible when you call out of the blue.

26. Handle disagreements early.

If the lawyer does something that upsets you, you need to raise the issue immediately.

Don’t let it boil. For example, you might be annoyed that the lawyer is not returning your calls fast enough.

  • If you have a billing dispute, then you need to resolve it quickly.
  • Mistakes sometimes do happen, and a lawyer should be happy to fix it once you bring it to their attention.
  • Schedule a meeting with the lawyer to handle any disagreements.
  • The lawyer might not even be aware of the issue.
  • Some disputes, such as about strategy, are unavoidable.
  • The lawyer should be able to clearly explain why they think a certain course of action is the best one.
  • As the client, you have the ultimate authority to decide what the lawyer does (so long as what you want isn’t illegal).

Commercial real estate lawyer near me

27. Know when it’s time to get a new lawyer.

Most attorney-client relationships are successful.

However, you need to be aware when yours isn’t.

As the client, you always have the right to end your relationship with your lawyer.

  • See Know when to Fire Your Lawyer for more information about what to look for when you think the relationship has broken down

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