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How to Hire a Commercial Lawyer Without Breaking the Bank

how to hire a commercial lawyer budget hiring corporate attorney

40 million lawsuits are filed in US courts every year. For context, there are only 330 million people living in the country.

With odds like that, if you're a business owner that has their sights set on staying in business, you must have a commercial lawyer on call. But how can you hire a corporate lawyer if your company is just getting by?

There are plenty of ways to get quality legal guidance from a commercial lawyer at discounted rates. Below, we share some tips you can implement to find the care you need from a top commercial lawyer without ending up in bankruptcy court.


1. Be Proactive in Engaging Legal Council

This advice might seem counterintuitive to our topic. After all, if you're engaging legal council before you get in trouble, aren't you prematurely dipping into your limited budget?

If you look at the bigger picture, engaging a lawyer before you get into trouble means being able to manage your business in a way that helps you avoid lawsuits. That avoidance could save you tens of thousands of dollars.

Put simply, it's expensive to fight lawsuits. By spending a small amount up front to avoid getting into trouble, you'll end up with more money in your pocket.


2. Get Informal Advice

Some legal questions don't require you to bring on a lawyer at all. At least not from the get-go.

There are several online forums where lawyers across the country answer business' legal questions. 

By getting some initial guidance in those venues, you'll be able to determine if paid legal help is advised and if so, you can reduce your spend given the foundation you've built for your case through your research.


3. Negotiate Rates

Most lawyers have an hourly rate. While many will say that their rate is locked, depending on your case and how busy things are, you may find success asking attorneys to cut you a break.

There is no legal standard that lawyers need to adhere to when it comes to their prices. Consequently, if you're creative and a little lucky, you could end up scoring huge discounts on services just by asking for a better price.


4. Look Into Newer Law Firms

It's commonly advised that if you want to be taken care of legally, you should go to a law firm that has a great track record of defending companies like yours. We agree with that adage.

That being said, if you can't afford the most prestigious law firm in town, there's nothing wrong with engaging firms that are trying to get their names out there.

New law firms should be easy to find online by noting groups that don't have a lot of online reviews. Cautiously engage one or two of those businesses to see if you can find an extraordinary professional at a great price.


5. Pay for Services A-La-Carte

If you know what kind of legal service you need, you should avoid going to an hourly rate attorney. Instead, head over to legal marketplaces like Rocket Lawyer or Legal Zoom. There, you'll be able to buy the service you need at a low, flat rate.

Common a-la-carte legal services include filing a patent or copyright, forming a new business, creating custom forms, filing for incorporation and more.


6. Ask for a Business Referral

Business owners that work with vendors that are larger than them may be able to tap into a vendor's resources for legal assistance. For example, if the company that supplies you with paper has a lawyer on retainer and you're a good customer, they may be willing to refer you to the council they work with at a discounted rate.

This means of finding a business law attorney is unconventional but worth exploring if you have associates in high places.


7. Explore SBA Options

The United States Small Business Administration has a whole section of its website dedicated to legal advice. Look it over to gain insight on your legal questions and to find a quality lawyer that's used to working with smaller businesses and budgets.

You can find more information here.


8. Look Into Community Programs

Some communities offer free legal services to businesses that operate in the area. In many cases, these services are reserved for business owners of underrepresented communities.

Still, no matter who you are, it's worth a trip to City Hall to see what may be available. If nothing else, the city may be able to refer you to an affordable commercial lawyer that frequently works with local businesses.


9. Talk to Friends and Family

They say that it's best not to mix business with family. If you know a family member that is or knows a commercial lawyer though, you may want to bend that rule to see if you can get a discount on legal services.

Find the right family party and bring up your legal concerns to someone who can help to see what happens!


No Matter How You Find a Commercial Lawyer, Be Sure That You Do

There are several ways to find a commercial lawyer at a great price as we hope our post illustrated. The important take away is that no matter which means of engaging legal services works best for you, make sure you take the steps necessary to gain access to council.

Remember, there's no worst time to be looking for a lawyer than when you've been sued. You must create a legal plan ahead of time!

For more advice on all things business law, explore additional content in our online publication. Visit the Law section of the Bootstrap Business Blog right now for additional insight on finding commercial lawyers and top legal advice for companies.