April 4, 2024

Business Lawyers Need to Listen and Care

By: Christopher Davis

I’ve been practicing law long enough to recognize that not all business lawyers are the same. Today I met with a prospective business client who said we were the third law firm he interviewed. The first lawyer didn’t listen or build any relationship; he was described as “transactional,” meaning heartless dollars-for-services and he didn’t take any interest in the business or the owner’s journey. The second lawyer had poor hygiene, was badly dressed, and had other client files strewn about on the conference table during the initial meeting (likely a severe ethics violation, yikes!).

Most business owners, especially startup owners, treat their business like their “baby.” If they are successful, it is only because they have given tremendous amounts of time, sleepless nights, and 110% of their efforts to MAKE it successful. Inch by inch. When they get to the point that they recognize their need for a business attorney, they are hoping to meet someone who can be a trusted advisor, a guide, someone with the legal skills they don’t have, and someone with enough practical wisdom to implement legal strategy into the business market. They are also looking for someone who will listen to them and, frankly, someone who actually cares.

I told the gentlemen who met with us that we are not “cheap” attorneys, and if he wanted a low cost lawyer, they are easy to find. A business lawyer can easily pull a form, fill in basic details, and it will work 95% of the time– it’s the 5% that will ruin a business or worse. I told him that if he wanted quality, someone who will provide proactive advice, and someone who cares about his hard-earned business, we would be happy to work with him. He became a client.

My business colleagues often recommend that I find an area of law that is “easier” to practice. From a business perspective that makes sense. It takes years for a business lawyer to become “good” at their craft, and many years to become truly great. Other areas of law are substantially easier to master in the first few years of practice. And then if one finds a terrific business lawyer, half of them are “transactional,” meaning they just do their job and don’t really care about the person or business. Others might be skilled at business law, but not skilled with people. Training business lawyers to be excellent at their craft, giving them time to develop practical wisdom to implement creative solutions, and requiring constant improvement and strict standards of quality is, frankly, exhausting. But, as managing member of the firm, I kind of like the challenge. When I find one of those diamonds in the rough, I try to hire them quickly.

I feel blessed that Davis, Burch & Abrams has been able to attract some of those rare truly terrific business lawyers, and I hope that we can be the trusted advisors to our clients that they expect. Actually listening to our clients. Actually caring about their business. And then in the end, having the chops to stand above the rest as a bold advocate in an increasingly difficult marketplace.

Want to find out more? Schedule a call with a Davis Law professional today.

Related News