The purpose of this short post is to help you find an experienced lawyer who can help you with your social media and digital legal needs. A lawyer who knows your business, someone who is ten steps ahead of your competition, and a caring human being you can know, like, and trust (yes, lawyers are people too).
While price is always important, I believe skill, ability, and reputation are even more important. I say this because, after 30 years of practicing law, I know for a fact that it’s important to get your legal needs handled the first time correctly. Often there is no second chance.
So how can you, a social media and digital expert, find the right lawyer? Well, here are three approaches that I think you’ll like.
Approach No. 1- Get Personal Referrals
If you have friends or family who you respect and who are very satisfied with experiences they have had with a business lawyer who handles online business needs, you may want to start there. If you know a good lawyer who handles other types of legal matters (for example, estate planning or criminal defense), ask him or her for the names and numbers of the top 2 or 3 lawyers he or she knows who handles online business needs.
Friends at work and upper-level management and executives can be a good referral source. Well established social media agencies, authors, keynote speakers and social media influencers may also be able to share a few names with you.
I have an excellent database with the names of excellent lawyers who help digital business owners and entrepreneurs all around the world. Feel free to contact me if you would like the names of a couple of lawyers in your area.
Approach No. 2- Use These Websites
If you are unable to get a personal referral from a trusted friend or professional acquaintance, go to the Martindale-Hubbell, American Association for Justice, or AVVO websites and do a search for the type of lawyer you need.
Hint- at the Martindale site, limit your search to “AV” rated lawyers. A top “AV” rating is a good indicator of the lawyer’s ability, reputation, and ethics. It identifies a lawyer and firm as having (1) very high to preeminent legal ability and (2) the highest level of expertise, experience, integrity and overall professional excellence.
Did someone you trust in Approach No. 1 give you a couple of names? If so, use the above websites to research each lawyer and find out what their independent ratings are.
Approach No. 3- Contact Your Local Bar (Attorney) Association
Another good way to find an experienced lawyer is to contact the local bar association in the city or state where you need legal help. Reaching out to these lawyer associations is a great way to find an attorney in another state or country.
Call the bar association and ask for the names and numbers of the past two presidents of that organization. Next, contact the law offices of these individuals and ask the question, “Do you handle online business formation, consulting, and litigation needs (or whatever your legal need is) for new and established online businesses? If the answer is no then to ask the question, “Who would you recommend in town to help with this kind of legal issue?”
Most past and current Presidents of the local bar associations are in high demand and are extremely busy. While you may not be able to speak with the attorney directly, his or her secretary or assistant should be able to get you going in the right direction.
1. Just because someone “knows” and shares the name of a lawyer doesn’t mean that lawyer is any good at practicing law or handling your type of social media or digital case. Use the above steps to investigate further.
2. Regardless of who is recommended to you, make sure you are comfortable with the lawyer and able to “connect” with him or her. Some lawyers have dynamic personalities and are exciting to be around. Others have the personality of a wet dishrag. Following these tips to make sure you find the right lawyer to help you with your case.
Jon Mitchell Jackson | Lawyer | Tech Entrepreneur | Digital Disrupter | 2013 California Litigation Lawyer of the Year (connect on social)