3 Questions Featured

8:00pm EDT October 26, 2010

Linda Klein is the managing shareholder in the Georgia office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC and is a member of its board of directors. She is also the chair of the American Bar Association House of Delegates for the 2010-2012 term. Her practice includes most types of business dispute resolution, including contract law, construction law, fidelity and surety law, employment law, and professional liability.

Q. What can a good law firm do to help its business clients come out of the recession in sound financial condition?

A good law firm should be proactive in partnering with clients because mistakes can be costly. A good firm should also keep clients abreast of changes in rules and regulations that affect their business and help the client to be proactive by being proactive themselves — by keeping in touch with the client, by listening to their concerns and by guiding them so they either avoid problems or work toward resolution of their problems.

Q. What other services can a firm provide?

A good firm is able to offer business clients the services of other attorneys in other practice areas of the firm. That can be a great benefit to the client. The client may not be aware of all the areas in which the firm may be of assistance. Clients can have all of their legal needs met by a firm with which they have a good relationship.

A good firm might also invite a client to programs featuring a speaker they might enjoy — and that will afford an opportunity for networking with other business owners — or offer to give a seminar for a client’s executive board or employees at their place of business.

Q. What should a business owner be looking for in a law firm?

The need for legal services will continue to increase, particularly in regulated industries, so clients should be looking for attorneys with industry-specific knowledge and a firm that can serve all of their legal needs. Once they have that relationship started, they should talk often, in person or by phone. Clients might not recognize they have a problem, and by consulting with their attorney, they can receive the guidance needed to avoid problems.