Big News: FounderDating is joining OneVest to build the largest community for entrepreneurs. Details here
Latest Notifications
You have no recent recommendations.
Name
Title
 
MiniBio
FOLLOW
Title
 Followers
FOLLOW TOPIC

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur

How do you know if your startup lawyer sucks?

There is no doubt in my mind there are a lot of lawyers out there that have no clue about what they are doing. For startups this is very dangerous. Are there any ways or red flags that would help you find quickly if your lawyers sucks?

24 Replies

Johnathan Lightfoot.
0
0
Johnathan Lightfoot. Entrepreneur
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT | PROJECT MANAGEMENT
If they don't seem to understand your industry, is a big red flag to me. One "test" I do during initial conversations is ask them what their thoughts on the industry's direction is. If they are in tune they will be able to talk to the question with knowledge as well as give me their viewpoints from a legal perspective how my start up may be able to either capitalize or protect itself.
Gwendolen Long
3
0
Gwendolen Long Entrepreneur
Senior Counsel, Transactions at Citrix
This will depend on your legal needs and has less to do with the lawyers' actual skill/knowledge level. A good start up attorney will be able to give quick concise answers to basic questions regarding equity planning, corporate structuring and negotiating financing/licensing agreements. They will respond promptly (same day) and work provided will be neat and simple. There is nothing groundbreaking regarding startup work and it should not take more than minimal effort to update standardized forms to reflect your situation. A good startup lawyers is essential to make sure that you don't make any gaffs that will cost you future investments or reduce the value of your company's assets. They should be self-interested in doing this, as the goal is to get your future bigger business rather than the small amount of fees you will presently generate. If you ever feel like a startup lawyer is trying to make money off of you today, take your business elsewhere. But ALWAYS consult a lawyer before you make any significant decisions.
Mark Talaba
0
0
Mark Talaba Entrepreneur
Founder, Vision Former, serial entrepreneur
Hi Chris. You are likely find out when it's already too late. Better to make the first move! Start by searching for a law firm that has a defined 'Emerging Growth Law' practice. Here at TGI, we have the good fortune of working with Steve Goodman, founder and head of the the emerging practice at Morgan Lewis. Steve originated this concept almost 50 years ago, and it has proven to be a tremendous advantage - and extraordinarily successful for the firm. The practice model has propagated to many other firms over the years, so if you are near a large urban center, you can probably find one - or a group of - attorney(s) who specialize in working with startups, early stage, and growth stage companies. The benefits can include: tons of experience with both successful and unsuccessful startups (thus, wisdom); current awareness of the local/regional startup environment and relevant legal issues; advantageous legal structure (partnership vs. corp. vs. LLC); connections with the Angel & VC networks and individual investors (which ones are interested in what kinds of businesses); and perhaps even reduced or deferred fee structures. Note: you might find an Intellectual Property law firm that is associated with Emerging Growth practices, or vice versa. Best of Luck! Mark
Barney Kramer
0
0
Barney Kramer Entrepreneur • Advisor
Business Advisor, Executive, Trainer & Coach, Public Speaker,
Get references from other businesses they have served and make sure they are listening. Startup work isn't rocket science and shouldn't cost an arm and a leg! Barney *What a program.* Anyone wanting to take their leadership to the next level really needs to check this out. It is great!!!!! It's an interactive, multi-media life-changing experience designed exclusively to forever change the way you SEE and GROW your career and businesses. Check it out here: http://smra1.com/seminars/new-leadership-paradigm *"Moving From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be Starts Here"* *S**incerely,* *Barney Kramer, President/CEO* *(209) 444-6549 phone* *www.smra1.com *
Christopher Stanton
0
0
Christopher Stanton Entrepreneur
Attorney at Merchant & Gould
Investigate. Ask questions.

An attorney should be smart, experienced, and responsive. The best way to find a good attorney is from a referral by someone you trust.

Other than that, look for proxies. Smart: What school did they go to, did they graduate at the top of their class, did they go directly from school to a good law-firm?

Experience: Do they have experience in what you want them to do? Who are their clients? How many (insert document type) have they drafted this month? How many years have they practiced in the field?

Responsiveness: Many attorneys are smart and experienced. In my opinion, the distinguishing factor is responsiveness to you. Do they care about your time/matter? Do they read what you send them? Do they email you back? This is harder to find because many attorneys (who are smart/experienced) have huge clients from which they get consistent work. The key is finding someone who is going to turn your work around in a timely manner.
Laura Oliphant
0
0
Laura Oliphant Advisor
Business Development and Venture Capital Professional
The simple answer is that they don't know your industry and the norms in legal terms in contracts. So, they can't help you get to agreements...
Joseph Mahon
0
0
Joseph Mahon Entrepreneur
Client Liaison Officer at Linkilaw

If you want to go it alone and search for a lawyer then the answers here all provide good signposts to look for. Look for their responsiveness, their willingness to help, their knowledge of the industry, and how clear and helpful their initial advice is. Lawyers are the communicators between you and the law so the best ones will always make their advice concise and easy for someone without a legal background to understand.


You can also look for testimonials on their website, on websites such as Vouched For, or on similar review websites. These will give you a further idea about who you are working with.


On the other hand, you could get in touch with my company, Linkilaw, where our main strand of business is acting as a legal market place to put individuals in touch with the lawyer that best suits their needs. All of our lawyers are pre-vetted and are highly recommended both by their peers and by previous clients. We speak to the client, hear their legal issues, speak to lawyers on their behalf, then relay a selection of the best quotes back to the client, completely no-obligation and completely free of charge. You don't pay us at any stage of the process - we simply put you in touch with the lawyer that suits your needs.


We are a startup ourselves and completely recognise the importance of getting legal cover nailed down. And, if the legal work you need isn't too complex, we can do it ourselves in-house for a fraction of the price of tradition lawyers. We'd love to hear from you for a no-obligation chat!


Arthur Lipper
0
0
Arthur Lipper Entrepreneur
Chairman of British Far East Holdings Ltd.
Ask the attorney for the name and contact detail for the CEO or CFO of the last 3 startups he has formed and assisted in the financing.
Annick Fuchs
2
0
Annick Fuchs Advisor
Startup lawyer in the Silicon Valley and Europe, ex Director Legal PayPal
Ask other another attorney the same question you asked the first attorney. See how they differ and challenge one against the other. You didn't hear this from me :)
Aleksey Klempner
0
0
Aleksey Klempner Entrepreneur • Advisor
Entrepreneur, Executive, Angel Investor
I knew that my lawyer is good after he helped negotiating a few deals for us.
Join FounderDating to participate in the discussion
Nothing gets posted to LinkedIn and your information will not be shared.

Just a few more details please.

DO: Start a discussion, share a resource, or ask a question related to entrepreneurship.
DON'T: Post about prohibited topics such as recruiting, cofounder wanted, check out my product
or feedback on the FD site (you can send this to us directly info@founderdating.com).
See the Community Code of Conduct for more details.

Title

Give your question or discussion topic a great title, make it catchy and succinct.

Details

Make sure what you're about to say is specific and relevant - you'll get better responses.

Topics

Tag your discussion so you get more relevant responses.

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
Know someone who should answer this question? Enter their email below
Stay current and follow these discussion topics?