We obtain numerous emails and calls from potential clients in search of a great Korean lawyer for companies doing business in Korea. The majority of these intakes come from referrals from present clients, referrals from other lawyers and a couple trickle in via this blog.
From our contacts, we believe that many businesses in Korea are having a difficult finding attorneys in Korea that have business savvy, the ability to efficiently work for the client and/or an inability to handle the issues the client is handling. The situation seems to stem, primarily, from the high cost of top-notch legal services in the Korea and the lack of many top-notch Korean lawyers working in business space for expat businesses. Additionally, many lawyers, in Korea, are plagued with conflicts.
Finding a Lawyer for the Needs of your Business in Korea
Consider the following when hiring an Korean Lawyer or Law Firm in Korea:
- Do Your Research
Legal listing services is not the way to research. Search for content on blogs and see if you can find a lawyer that seems to fit with your needs. Look for useful content, not advertisement copy.
- Gauge the Trustworthiness of the Lawyer and Law Firm
I regret to have to say this, but yes the legal profession has its share of untrustworthy and unethical lawyers – all professions do. Just because the lawyer has not been reported to the bar, does not mean the lawyer is ethical. Talk to the lawyer and probe. Often, you can judge ethics by the focus of the attorney. If the focus of the attorney seems to be solely on money, this is, often, a sign of ethical issues. In many cases, this is the most important issue, but the hardest to judge.
- Realize that Lawyers make Law Firms, Usually the Law Firm is Immaterial to the Quality of a Lawyer
Search the profile of your lawyer. A great place to search profiles is via Linkedin. Additionally, attorneys engaged in blogging tend to be attorneys that enjoy staying up on legal issues. Some of the old hats are not as adept at staying up with modern trends, new technologies and are thus less aware of the changes occurring in law and business.
- Ask your Friends & Family
Your friends and family may have an attorney that is adequate for your needs. We are proud to receive the majority of our new business from old clients. However, our new clients coming from this blog is growing and most find us from pertinent articles on this blog.
- Warning: Legal Rating Services
Legal rating services can be a useful tool for discovering new attorneys, but, normally, these services have no real manner of vetting the good attorneys from the bad. These services are mere services for discovery and you should still do your own due diligence on your attorney.
- Check out the Condition of the Law Office
A struggling lawyer, often, neglects more than just bills. Struggling lawyers, in many cases, are unable to handle matters in an effective and efficient manner. An office with old/cheap furniture and tattered rugs is a sign of a firm that may be in financial troubles.
- Test your Lawyers Organizational Skills
An efficient and effective lawyer in Korea, in all but the most exceptional of instances, is a lawyer that is organized. Check the office of the Korean law firm. If the office is strewn with unorganized fills, folders, pens and paper, you, likely, don’t have an organized lawyer.
- Make Sure Your Lawyer is a Good Team Player
In complex matters, in most cases, working in teams is essential for success. Many lawyers in firms big and small have no experience working effectively in teams. Your, Korean lawyer is, likely, not effective in teams if the lawyer has no case management system, no CMS, no phone call booking engine, has an outdated website and seems to be difficult to get in contact with. Those that work effectively in teams, have systems in place to make the team work in an effective and efficient manner.
- Hire a Lawyer, Not a Preacher
You want an attorney that asks questions and listens. A lawyer that preaches, pitches and blabbers on for hours shall, likely, never care for the needs of the client and shall, likely, not fully delve into your case. Make sure your lawyer cares about the details of the case. Of course, a lawyer shall be unable to understand the full nature of your case in a mere initial consultation.
- Your Lawyer Should be Busy, But Not Too Busy
In most cases, you need a Korean lawyer with adequate time to work on your case. If your lawyer has too many cases, he/she may be too burdened to do the work necessary to succeed. You can tell if your lawyer is too busy, often, by his manners, disposition, organization of his office and how easy it is to contact the attorney. Additionally, if the lawyer is not able to spend the time to talk with you, learn about the matter, ask questions and proactively consider options, you may never be able to get the attorney to provide the time necessary to handle the matter. This is a major risk. Too many lawyers are too busy to even think.
- Your Lawyer Should have Broad-based Legal and Business Experience
In some novel (new), complex, new tech and new economy matters, lawyers with too specific may not be adequate for your needs. Many lawyers that primarily specialize in a specific area of law, often, do not have the general Korean legal experience necessary to handle a novel, complex, cutting-edge tech and/or new economy matter, because of lack of experience.
- All Great Lawyers are Proactive and Focus on Strategy
A proactive lawyer is, often, proactive with clients, the courts, counter parties and opposing counsel. Your Korean lawyer should be chasing you, you should not be chasing the lawyer. If you are chasing the lawyer for an appointment, the attorney, likely, has no systems in place to confirm meetings. If your attorney does not send a message after your meeting, you, likely, do not have a proactive attorney. If you are chasing a lawyer prior to engagement, you shall, likely, be chasing a lawyer after the engagement.For a post on hiring a NY business lawyer please see: Hiring a NY Business Lawyer. To schedule a meeting with an attorney please: Schedule a Call with an Attorney.
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