October 23

Do I Need an Attorney?

Perhaps the most common question I am presented with is “Do I need to hire an attorney?” People fear having to hire an attorney due to high and uncertain costs associated with the legal industry. Additionally, at least in theory, the law is designed to be something that everyone can use and understand, so when is it appropriate to bring in a specialist? This question has a different answer since every issue and circumstance is unique. However, in terms of transactions, one comparison I always make is that if it’s something you’d consider purchasing insurance for, it’s probably worth consulting with an attorney about it.

What I mean by this is one service that attorneys provide is small-scale insurance for an issue or transaction. Let’s use this common example; a business is presented with a contract that has significant financial ramifications. Of course, as a business owner who has gotten to this point, it is obvious you possess significant business savvy. Yet business contracts can be complex, lengthy, and hard to understand. Even if the contract is simple to understand, with the significant ramifications of the contract, it’s likely worth the legal fees to ensure there isn’t a much larger issue.

The same can be said in regards to a real estate transaction. The frustrating part for some is that nine times out of ten, the attorney won’t find a major issue and clients feel as if they have spent their money wastefully. However, again think about legal services as insurance. Every month I pay health insurance. I rarely use my health insurance and I’m glad to pay that fee to know that I have it, if I need it. I’ll often go to the doctor and he’ll tell me, “Everything looks great.” I’m always happy to foot the bill for that visit and am never disappointed he didn’t find more.

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