Free advice from attorneys can actually be negotiated as part of an annual retainer agreement. How? It's simple: Make an agreement with your general counsel attorney that you will use their services for a specific number of hours during a one-year period. Ask for a discount on the law firm's standard rates in exchange for this agreement. Then simply communicate that you will also be looking for, as an example, one hour free of charge for every 10 billable hours. Once agreed, you have both a discount on the standard rate and a number of free hours as well.
Last week we looked at effective email management. That leads naturally to a timely review of time management – which is clearly a key to success.
In the digital age, we are wise to be conscious that blogs, web-posts, Twitter "tweets," web-site articles, and Facebook wall posts have a very long shelf-life. It has even been said that digital posts may be functionally permanent. As a result, we are wise to be careful to "watch our words." Leaders, Board Directors, Managers - one and all - can be caught short by a quick personal posting to a social media site. It is far too easy to write something quickly that we may later regret. Yes, this is obvious; but far too often overlooked.
We will get what we ask for… Or maybe we don’t get what we don’t ask for… Either way, approaching a relationship with a law Firm takes, initiative, confidence and the courage to ask for terms, time-frames and results that meet the needs we have. It is amazing how often we fail to simply ask for specifics when dealing with professional service providers. Sadly, we let the provider set the terms, conditions and time-frames – much to our dismay and the dismay of the HOA’s we manage.
OK, I was going to write this one a few weeks ago - but I kept putting it off… And that can be a costly practice. When we have a legal issue, no matter how small, it is smart for us to get a legal opinion early on. Putting it off can result in bigger problems down the road – problems that could have been avoided if we had sought professional counsel early on. The reasons to delay are many…saving money, embarrassment over the issue at hand, busy schedules, or simply procrastination.
One of the many ways to save money when dealing with an attorney – let’s be clear about this – is to be clear with the attorney when requesting their service. Pausing for a couple of minutes before calling the lawyer to clarify in our own mind what we want them to accomplish can save time. And with an attorney, ...time saved is money saved. Think of it as a race to communicate the request as clearly as possible, in as short a conversation as possible, and then to clearly limit the time-frame and scope of the task to be done.
These past two months we have looked at six crucial questions to ask attorneys before we hire them. The following is a summary. The first point is obvious - but bears repeating: 1. Interview Attorneys: We would interview everyone we were hiring for important roles in our work - attorneys are no exception - interview them. 2. Timeliness: How promptly do the attorneys complete assigned tasks? 3. Track Record: What about results? Ask this question and ask for specific references to back it up. 4.