- When you get sued
- When you need legal advice
- When you need a regular legal check-up
- To prevent problems
- Early contact
When you get sued. If someone sues you, you need a lawyer. But that is not the only time you need a lawyer!
When you need legal advice. Most of the time, lawyers help clients in matters that have nothing to do with lawsuits or disputes. For example, with a lawyer’s help, people are advised about the legal aspects of starting a business, buying or selling real estate, dealing with tax issues, or receiving counsel on tax matters or estate planning–just to name a few possibilities.
When you need a regular legal check-up. Often, clients receive a regular legal checkup with their lawyer which, like a medical checkup, is designed to prevent problems or “nip them in the bud”. For businesses, a ‘legal audit’ may be useful to identify areas where documents or procedures are lacking or inadequate.
To prevent problems. There are two types of legal work–preventive work and curative work. Most of the work lawyers do is preventive work–advising and assisting clients to prevent legal problems before they arise. Of course, if disputes and conflicts do arise, and if they cannot be resolved by the parties themselves, that is the time for “curative” work by the lawyer–i.e., taking a case to court to resolve the dispute.
Early contact. It is best if a client does not wait until a problem becomes serious before contacting us. If you call us as a last resort, it may already be too late to do much about it. For example, it is difficult for us to protect you after you have already signed away your rights or if you have waited too long to assert your rights. And, some legal matters are so important or so complex that you need a lawyer from the beginning. In such cases, having legal help early usually saves significant cost–and anxiety.