Interviewing / hiring lawyers


What are some good questions to ask when hiring a business/startup lawyer?

Also, other than asking these questions in person, what are some sources (online or offline) where we can do more research on the lawyer's reputation, past performance...?

This is for an early stage startup.

Legal Interviews

asked Jul 7 '11 at 06:05
105 points
Get up to $750K in working capital to finance your business: Clarify Capital Business Loans
  • Cheers for recognizing that lawyers are a profession that can add value to your start up. Legal service are not something that you can get for free or barter for with promises of equity! – Joseph Barisonzi 13 years ago

2 Answers


Topics to ask:

  1. General background questions.
  2. Specifics on past experiences with startups.
  3. Resource law firm can provide to startup.
  4. Costs/fee structure, liabilities.
  5. What the firm/individual doesn't cover.
  6. Contract details.

Places to find reviews of lawyers:

answered Jul 7 '11 at 06:19
Black Jack
146 points


Before you approach an attorney you need to educate yourself on the subject matter. I hired a patent attorney last fall, but before doing so, I googled "provisional patents", browsed the US Patent and Trademark Office, and read a few books at Barnes and Nobles.
Don't pay an attorney $500 per hour for an education you could've gotten at the local library for a $1.50.

After you've learned a bit about the subject, seek out a specialist. Stay away from general lawyers at all cost. I needed a Patent Attorney. Seek out an attorney that has experience in the area. I checked Google Patents which listed all the patent applications ever submitted. I reviewed a few software patents, noted the filing attorney, and called him up.

Start at your local Law-school. I live near the University of Pennsylvania. I looked up an Intelluctual Property professor and shot him an email. People love to talk about what they know about. He also lead me to a good attorney in private practice. I actually ended up filing the Provisional Patent Application online by myself. WINNING!

Good luck.

answered Jul 8 '11 at 00:21
Rayce Rollins
91 points

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