So I know what you’re thinking when you read this title: “I don’t want my attorney to be my best friend. I want an attorney who is ruthless and overzealous and plays with the big boys.” Well…would you be surprised to know that you can get ALL that in an attorney but it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t TRUST your attorney?
As you may know, the basis for most professional relationships (doctors, psychiatrists, accountants, etc.) is TRUST. Without that, the relationship is doomed from the start. Think about it this way—Would you let a surgeon take your into surgery if you didn’t trust them and their staff? I would hope not! The same is true of the relationship with many professionals you encounter as a business owner but especially your attorney. A lawyer that truly cares should be with you to celebrate every celebration, every disappointment, and know how to fix every problem—after all, it’s easier for an attorney to specifically fix a problem if they have a long term relationship with you and you trust them.
It’s ok to have an attorney that feels like a best friend—someone you can cry to and celebrate with and tell your deepest, darkest secrets…because the truly GREAT attorneys are not there to judge but there to help. So what are a few “good points” to help ease your fears that you SHOULD be looking for an attorney AND a best friend, all wrapped into one? Here are a few and you can continue to add to your own personal list:
- Good Point No. 1: Attorneys are sworn to confidentiality between communications with only their client for LIFE so long as they are in the course of seeking legal advice. You hear me? FOR LIFE. That means we have a professional DUTY and RESPONSIBILITY by our profession and our conscience to keep your secrets and communications confidential until we meet that Ultimate Judge in the Sky—-FOREVER! This should give you piece of mind that looking for an attorney and best friend is a GOOD, PRUDENT thing to search for.
- Good Point No. 2: If there is an emergency, do you want a robotic answer or empathy? Most people may be tempted to say “shoot it to me straight” until their commercial building catches fire or an employee quits before a big event. Your best friend attorney can give you sound, rational legal advice but show empathy and concern as well.
- Good Point No. 3: The attorneys can put themselves in the “If I were you” scenario. Remember as a teenager you always received unsolicited advice from friends about one problem or another? Well—it’s sorta the same way. A good business attorney that you trust and have a developed relationship with will be able to give you straightforward legal advice and then step back from a situation and say: “If I were you……” . Based on my experience, for business owners, these are some of the sweetest words because the conversation just got “real” and relatable.
Now obviously it’s going to take some time to work up to these nice and fuzzy relationships. But the point is the same: Find an attorney that you are comfortable talking with and talking about EVERYTHING with because that’s going to produce the best relationship—one of trust and empathy. Some people you click with automatically and others take time—BUT—don’t take too long. We need you to incorporate your attorney into your business family FAST so they can share in the ups and downs of your business 🙂
**The “Legal Life Lessons” Series was started by Attorney Kendrick in 2012 as a way to showcase real life legal situations that either she has experienced or those within her networks have experienced. The goal is to move away from boring, white paper style discussions about the law and focus on creating comfortable conversations about real experiences in the life of Georgia business owners.**
DISCLAIMER: Kendrick Law Practice and its attorneys are ONLY authorized to practice law in Georgia and NO OTHER territory, state or country and therefore any and all legal advice is only applicable for businesses and individuals that reside and/or located in the State of Georgia. Additionally, please be advised that this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship unless there is a signed or electronically filed retainer agreement on file with the Firm.
Kendrick Law Practice, LLC – www.kendricklaw.net (practicing business law exclusively)
Keeping Georgia small businesses “IN business and OUT of Court”
P O Box 630, Lithonia, GA 30058 * (678) 739-8109
Mission Statement: To provide Georgia small businesses PASSION for and ACCESS to HIGHLY CUSTOMIZED and PERSONAL business advice AND legal counseling, including document drafting, document reviewing and negotiating services. View an audio presentation at http://www.slideshare.net/kendricklaw/why-klp-kendrick-law-practice or a video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QFFIRk5ECw to answer “Why KLP?”.
Blogs at www.kendricklaw.wordpress.com
Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/kendricklaw
Skype Username: KendrickLawPractice