I lost count of the time number of times I heard, “But why do I need a lawyer?” or “If you use this product you won’t need a lawyer.”
And the silent response in my brain has always been the same: “YES, YOU NEED A REAL LAWYER.” But now is time to say mea culpa, I am sorry, yo lo siento. I did not see it from your perspective, the business owner. Now I do.
You see. My question has always been, “But why do I need a bookkeeper? I especially found it troublesome since I am a tax attorney. For crying out loud, I know this stuff. Why do I need to pay someone to do it for me?
Because that is not my specialty, and there are nuisances that I may miss.
Because every April 15, I am filing an extension, and every October 1st, I am in full panic mode, spending a week in my office shut down fixing my books for the whole year and trying to find all my allowable deductions. (Needless to say, I am a very grumpy person the first weeks of October.)
However, last year was different. Yes, I was still on extension (some habits are hard to change), but you know what? The first week of October it took three hours to complete my business tax return. What!!
So to answer your question, but why do I need a lawyer?
Yes, I concede there are times when you may not need a lawyer, but a lawyer provides you peace of mind (she makes sure you are legally covered and protected). A lawyer is your zealot advocate. (As a matter of fact, that is part of our code of ethics.) She is the person who has your back. I do understand that with cash flow, legal fees may not always be in the budget, but please don’t leave it until the end. (Trust me, there are too many times when I see messes created because lawyers were not involved since the beginning and fixing a mess always costs more.) So while yes, you may be able to find the answer after hours and hours of research, a lawyer will give it to you way faster, and that answer will be backed up by years of experience. You have to remember; legal fees are not for the document you receive at the end of the day, but for the advice that comes after years of learning and experience.
Bite-Size Legal Tip: If you want to determine whether you need a lawyer or not, instead of asking yourself, “Do I need a lawyer,” or “Why do I need a lawyer?” ask how important is this to me? What other benefits will I receive (time, peace of mind) from hiring a lawyer? Sometimes the answers are not found in the original questions, but those asked indirectly.