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Five Signs You're Overspending on Lawyers

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Lawyers can play an important role in business development, and having effective counsel is important. But too many attorneys and firms don't add value commensurate to what you pay them. Below are five signs you're spending too much on legal services.

Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos can afford to pay lawyers who charge $1,500.00 an hour. You . . . not so much.

You’re being charged over $1,000.00/hr. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos can afford to pay lawyers who charge $1,500.00 an hour. You . . . not so much. So why use the most expensive lawyers in town for basic services? Find a cost-effective solo practitioner instead.
They give you reams of unintelligible documents. Basic documents like bylaws and nondisclosure agreements shouldn't be 50 pages long and read like the collective works of Dante. Your lawyer should make your life easier, not give you unintelligible paperwork so you have to call (and pay) her to explain it.
They nickel and dime you. Did you bump into your lawyer waiting for a table at a restaurant, ask a quick question, and get a bill for $425.00? Plenty of lawyers would have answered the same question for a beer, or, better yet, because they're genuinely interested in helping you. Hire one of them.
You never meet with just one lawyer. There shouldn't be three lawyers at every meeting. If you own a small technology company, are discussing employment practices, and Bob from the Oil and Gas Division has been asked to sit in, something is amiss.
You're spending too much time with your lawyer. The legal work for startups is mostly routine. You should mainly be working with your financial and business development teams setting up the books, bank accounts, payroll processes, etc. If you're spending most of your time with counsel, find a more efficient lawyer.
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