If unmanaged, lawyers can begin acting similar to an employee or service provider, which is why it’s important to set requirements and boundaries. After finding a lawyer that fits your business, budget and objectives, develop and manage basic requirements to maintain the relationship. This can be demanding, however, doing your due diligence will result in a winning affiliation. These traits are fundamental and must also go both ways.

Some no-brainers that need no justification, include guidelines of communication, making yourself available, and being responsive. Since failure to promptly reply can result in minor setbacks on your matter or case, prompt replies of queries and requests are crucial. It also helps if both parties are both cooperative, transparent, and open to options and suggestions. Finally, before securing your lawyer, discuss and routinely plan before drafting significant thoughts and briefs. Managing a lawyer can be complex, but it doesn’t always have to be. These three tips will help you maintain and manage a lawyer.

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Set a clear budget

Lawyers usually bill by the hour, so having a set budget with your lawyer prevents financial surprises or conflicts from arising in the future. You’ll be able to determine upfront what your project or case costs and whether to adapt or prepare yourself financially. In addition it allows your lawyer to focus on what really matters, since it’s common for legal issues to unintentionally shift and expand at any given moment.

Set a clear end goal

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Understand that your lawyer and you, as an executive or business owner, have two different objectives in order to meet your end goal. So it’s important before meeting with a lawyer to collect and gather as much information about your business as possible. Have a list of questions ready, and most importantly, set a clear end goal. This will make every meeting and engagement with your lawyer more fruitful, transparent and productive.

Document everything

While your lawyer may be responsible of keeping track of your legal matters or case, it’s worthwhile to keep your own records. Documenting does not only apply to the updates and developments of your legal matters, it also applies to the relationship between you and your lawyer. Keep track of your progress, conversations, and developments with your lawyer so you both are on the same page.

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This article was written by Marie Flounoy for CBS Small Business Pulse