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Should You Hire a Lawyer to Hire a Lawyer?

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Many businesses and individuals deal with attorneys on a regular basis, and they feel comfortable negotiating the terms of representation with the lawyer of their choice. For many others, on the other hand, hiring a lawyer is a once-in-a-lifetime or at the least infrequent experience. That being the case, they find themselves completely overwhelmed when it comes to negotiating the terms of legal representation.In most cases, individuals and businesses can relieve themselves of significant doubt and stress, and ultimately save themselves thousands of dollars, by hiring and independent lawyer to negotiate the terms of representation with the specialist lawyer they have selected. For example, an individual injured in an automobile accident will often be well-served by investing a modest sum to hire a contract lawyer to help select and negotiate terms with a personal injury attorney. Remarkably, although many people hire lawyers to negotiate other sorts of contracts, and although most legal representation agreements encourage clients to consult with another lawyer, very few people hire a lawyer to hire a lawyer.To return to the injured client suggested above, a contract lawyer may be able to help evaluate the personal injury lawyers being considered and raise appropriate concerns with the client. He or she can also help negotiate terms that will leave the client better informed, and often better compensated at the conclusion of representation. Even where negotiation of major terms is not at issue, an independent lawyer can help ensure the client understands the terms of representation, so as to avoid surprise and disappointment later on.One of the primary reasons people shy away from hiring lawyers to review and negotiate contracts in general is the perceived high cost of such representation. Because the scope of such representation is quite limited, however, the costs don’t need to be excessively. Moreover, although the perceived costs might be high, the financial benefit on the back end can be astronomical. For example, if our personal injury client has a claim that ultimately is worth $100,000, getting the personal injury lawyer to reduce his or her fee just 5% will be worth $5,000. Often, even greater savings can be achieved, especially where the claims are clear and there is a high likelihood of success. Based on my experience with such negotiations, the up front costs to the client will usually be just a fraction of the ultimate savings.

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