It’s an age-old question: “how do I know if I need a lawyer?” Setting aside easy, glib responses (“If you’re asking whether you might need a lawyer…”), it becomes difficult to provide definitive guidance, as the question is potentially asking several different things:

  1. Should I consult with an attorney to make this decision?
  2. Do I understand this well enough to navigate the waters on my own?
  3. Do I really need to shell out money to retain an attorney?
  4. Can’t I just go to LegalZoom and pay less?
  5. Am I required by law to have an attorney for this matter?

Each of these circumstances (which are only a few of many situations where one is apt to ask whether retention of an attorney is necessary) raise different concerns and thus different considerations. The truth of the matter is that for the most part, no, you (or your company) don’t need to hire a lawyer. It’s just usually a good idea, and retaining a lawyer on the front end is almost always less expensive and heart-stopping than hiring an attorney to put out fires.

This page will serve as an index of a growing list of blog posts exploring different circumstances when and/or why retaining a lawyer is in your best interest – and, to be fair, when it’s not necessary.

  1. You are Required by Law to Retain Counsel