Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Submission + - Contract Attorneys: 5 Important things You Must Know Before Hiring Them. (

ansiecat writes: It is safe to say that at some point in the life of almost every single individual who lives in the United States, there will come a point where they will need have one form of legal representation or advice or another. Be it a contract lawyer, divorce attorney, criminal lawyer or more. That sadly is one thing the extremely litigious American society has almost guaranteed.

So given the above statement, the question remains, when your time does come, how do you go about finding the lawyer or attorney that you can be sure will have your best interest at heart and is not just out to get the next pay check, which as you can imagine, there are quite a number of such people out there. No doubt, this perhaps is the case in practically all professions. At the very least you need to be assured that in addition to wanting to collect your money, these attorneys, and for the purpose of this article,contract attorney nycspecifically, will go over and beyond what they need to do to fully represent your interest.

So to start, we should clarify that this article is not about hiring a "contract lawyer" on a contract or temporary basis. Or referring to an organization wanting to employ one on a temporary basis, often with no guaranteed employment term. No, rather, when this article speaks about a contract, we refer to that contractual agreement that you sign with another party to enter into a legally binding relationship. The kind that can get you into serious trouble if you breach the term of that contract. Whether it is an employment contract, property contract, construction contract and the likes. These are the types of contracts we speak of, and consequently the lawyers whom you need to know how to hire them.

The English Oxford dictionary defines a contract as "a written or spoken agreement, especially one concerning employment, sales, or tenancy, that is intended to be enforceable by law."

Therefore, and from the above definition, it stands to reason, that a contract lawyer is someone who would (and should) firstly review such a document before you enter into such an agreement or pact with another party.

Question is when that time does indeed come, as it has previously been stated that it will, how do you go about finding the right person or team to help with your case? What questions do you ask them to help you determine if you should take them on? And other such important questions.

Here, we present to you, 5 very important things you must know about them, before hiring them.
  • The Nature of Their Law Practice and Their Specialty: You definitely want to know what types of law they practice, but much more importantly, you want to know which of these do they specialize in. One common practice with many counsellors these days is to have a multi-disciplinary law firm covering several aspects of law. However, that does not necessarily mean they are specialists in all these aspects.

    Take a specialist doctor or physician for instance. While they know general medicine, and in all likelihood are also knowledgeable in a few other specialist areas of medicine, either because they studied it or come across it in their daily dealings, or maybe ever studied for it. Chances are, that they are cannot possibly be specialists, or experts in 5 or 10 fields of medicine.

    Now note, this is referring to an individual advocate in their individual capacity. So while a law firm consisting of several lawyers specializing in different fields, therefore, the 'firm' would be a specialist in X, Y Z areas, but their individual attorneys you are speaking to would still need to be specialists in the area you need them for.
  • Any Conflict of Interest:The last thing you want to do is to have someone on your side, who has previously been on the same side as the other party to the contract you are about to enter into, or for which there has been a breach of contract

    How can you be sure that this lawyer or counselor will not be influenced one way or another by this other party to your contract? And while the counselor might try to avoid it, what is to say they your opponent, or the other party might not go all out to try and influence them for their own interest?

    Bottom line, it is rather to be safe than sorry, which is why you should know beforehand if the contract lawyer or lawyers you are considering taking on have ever at some point in the past had any professional relationship with the other contract party you are involved with. You should also definitely also know if there is a personal relationship.
  • How Many Similar Cases They Have Handled:You definitely do not want to hire a contract lawyer who has very limited experience in handling a situation similar to yours.

    The saying goes that practice makes perfect. So chances are, if the lawyer you are speaking to has not been involved with that many cases that are similar in nature to what you are speaking to him or her about, then it Is very likely possible that he is not very experienced, or even perhaps is not a "specialist" in handling situations similar to what you need him or her for.

    While I recognize that this is perhaps a tricky situation, and this is quite akin to the same situation young unemployed people find themselves in, in the workplace, with employers wanting people, usually young graduates fresh or professionals, to have loads of experience, but yet not wanting to give them this experience they so desire.

    Which is exactly why I personally think this rule is not an absolute, but it is still information you absolutely need to know to make an informed decision, and also to help you know what you might be getting into.

    While you still might be willing to give this individual a try for this case, in the same way I am an advocate for companies hiring people even when they have no or limited experience, the compromise or middle ground I would recommend is to find out if this attorney has worked under or shadowed a more experienced solicitor, who has had more experience in this type of contract under review. This should at least have given him or her some sort of second hand experience, which often is good enough.
  • Knowledge of the Opposing Counsel: Another critically important thing you want to know about any contract attorney or contract attorneys you are considering hiring to help with any contractual issue is what knowledge they might have of the opposing counsel. You want to know if they have ever been on opposite sides of the bench in court, and if so, how many times, as well as the outcome of those cases.

    You want to know if your proposed legal representative has ever lost to the legal representative of the other contractual party and if so how many times. In a similar fashion, you also want to know if they have ever won a case against them, and how many time. The latter if is the case, is something that might boost your confidence in this counselor.

    Yet another critically important thing you want to know is if your proposed lawyer has any knowledge of the specialty of the opposing party's counsel. If the opposing counsel is a "legend" with 35 years' experience in the practice and yours has only 5, do you really want them representing you against someone who has that much experience?
  • How Much Will it Cost: And by how much, I am not just talking about their legal or consultation fees. But what if it goes to trial? What if you need some investigation that needs to be done, there goes additional fee for a private investigator, and possibly a whole bunch of other things you may not have foreseen, or that you hoped it would not come to. But you should always be prepared for the worst, and the very first thing in knowing about the worst, is what it will cost you. At least in this case, from a financial standpoint.

In summary, it really doesn't matter what type of lawyer you are looking for, if it is a generalsmall business attorney NYC, or a Dallas business litigation attorney, or any other type, and irrespective of what city you are looking in, or in fact any state in the country, these above 5 things are very and critically important things you need to know, as a minimum.

This discussion was created for logged-in users only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Contract Attorneys: 5 Important things You Must Know Before Hiring Them.

Comments Filter:

The biggest difference between time and space is that you can't reuse time. -- Merrick Furst