What should I look for in choosing a start up lawyer?
- Experience. Experience in working with pre public technology companies. Experience is the one absolute. A lawyer without adequate experience can do more damage to your company than no lawyer at all.
- Good personal fit. You will be receiving a lot of advice from your attorney. At an absolute minimum, you should respect the individual. Preferably, you should like your attorney and think you will enjoy working with that individual.
- Accessibility. Is the lawyer going to be accessible to you? You may really like a big, expensive lawyer from a brand name firm, but how accessible is that lawyer to you really? Or are you going to be pushed down the chain to someone with substantially less experience most of the time?
- Price. You should be able to work out something that is comfortable to you. In my experience, more expensive lawyers are not necessarily better lawyers than lawyers that charge more modest or mid range fees. However, I find that lawyers who work to cheaply are often worse lawyers.
What is less important?
- Size of firm. At this stage of your development, whether you are with a large, expensive, brand name firm, a small firm, or a solo practitioner really does not matter. Some think that an investor makes an investment decision based on the law firm. Wrong. An investor makes a decision on the problem being solved, the size of your market, the quality of your solution, and your management team, not your law firm.
Michael W. Prozan, Attorney at Law +1 650 348-1500 mike [at] mgcgroup [dot] comThis blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.