This is part two of a five-part series will help answer the question “how do I know what lawyer is right for me?” by breaking the analysis down into vitally important component parts.
QUESTION 2: WHAT KIND OF LAWYER DO I NEED?
The second question to ask is what kind of lawyer do you need. Government contract law is a broad field, encompassing multiple sub-specialties and areas of expertise. Do you have a lawyer on staff who can issue spot, handle what he or she can, and then farm out the other matters? If so, finding a lawyer with a particular area of expertise to compliment your in-house lawyer’s skills makes sense. For example, if your in-house lawyer is an expert with contract administration, but you really need someone for the occasional bid protest, then seek out a government contracts litigator.
However, and as is more often the case, if you are looking for dedicated, ongoing support from outside counsel, you likely need a government contract law generalist. You need a lawyer who understands business and government contracts law so he or she can issue spot, prevent problems, draft or review contracts, litigate when necessary, and help you achieve your business goals. This requires the ability to prioritize risks and – most of all – to find business-focused solutions for those risks. Look for lawyers with broad experience, a wide range of representative matters, and an ability to put himself or herself in the shoes of your customers (and regulators). This will help you meet customer needs, assuage customer concerns, and protect your enterprise. Ask questions when interviewing potential lawyers about how they would handle particular problems you face, and make sure the answer addresses how your customers are likely to react and interpret your actions.
Stay tuned for Question number 3 next week…