How to think about managing legal?

Besides setting up standard contracts, outside attorneys should assist on corporate organization set-up, financings, establishing intellectual property rights (IP), strategic partnerships or any transaction that may have major implications for your company.  Outside attorneys can be used at every turn but they are very expensive.  It is important to align yourself with an attorney familiar with entrepreneurial companies both for expert advice and the contacts they can bring.

But it is also important to know how you can support their expert advice with your own finance staff’s work, so that you reduce the number of billable hours you pay for and gain an understanding of the legal underpinnings of your company.  Attorneys can also provide advice on HR issues (but you can also sign up with ADP or other payroll companies for basic HR support), client contract issues (but hopefully with good initial boilerplates you can negotiate and adjust contracts for commercial issues) and real estate issues (for major leasing I would work with outside attorneys, for subleasing get a good boilerplate and you can handle these minor transactions on your own).  If you don’t feel comfortable on your own for minor issues or client contract issues, you can engage a single shingle attorney at a lower bill rate to bounce questions off of.

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