I think everyone at Vancouver Startup Week can agree that starting a company is difficult. One thing that can make your life easier as a founder of a company is surrounding yourself with the right advisors.
Here are five things to look for when you're hiring a lawyer for your startup:
#1 – They keep you informed of costs along the way
A good lawyer is moving away from "I have no idea how much this will cost you" to "I've created a systematic approach to this issue and here are your fee options." Sometimes unforeseen events can add to the cost and the right lawyer will keep you informed so you are never unsure of your fees.
#2 – They are a problem solver
A good lawyer will reduce your stress, not increase it. If you come to your lawyer with a problem, they should show you different solutions to the problem and explain each solution to you. The two of you will work together on creating and implementing the solution.
#3 – They look to technology to help them work more efficiently
Many lawyers think legal technology ends at email and a word processor. For the most part, this hasn't really hurt their ability to practice law. However, this is changing and the right lawyer for your tech startup must now understand how the latest technologies help efficiently deliver legal services.
#4 – They understand your business and industry
A good lawyer will understand your business and the industry in which it operates. They will use that understanding to provide advice that is particularly suited to your company.
#5 – They can explain the law in a way that makes sense
Lawyers love discussing the law. We actually get excited when a new court case comes out. A good lawyer will love the law but realize that you do not. When giving you advice, they will explain the relevant law without going into detail about how a case from 1892 still matters today.
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