As a business lawyer, it’s not uncommon to find yourself in the position where a client asks you for – or where you want to give – business advice. As a lawyer, our job is to give legal advice, but in the world of business law, the lines are often blurred between “legal advisor” and “business advisor.” In this article, I discuss the differences between legal and business advice, your duty in providing advice to your client, and potential risks (and benefits) in providing business advice to your client.
Skilled word processing staff, particularly for smaller practices and transactional attorneys, are all but gone. Attorneys must increasingly handle their own documents, generally using the not-always-friendly Microsoft WordTM. Battling with automatic numbering is not the highest and best use of your time nor your client’s wallet. With that in mind, I offer a collection of some of my most often used techniques in Microsoft Word.
Transactional attorneys refer simply to “reviewing” a contract. However, I have identified different modes of review and found that thinking about them can be helpful in improving my review practices. The following are nine modes of review that I, to varying degrees, am adopting as I review an agreement. Some of them overlap and, of course, I very often perform multiple or even all of these modes in a single reading of an agreement. However if time permits, separate readings focused on one or two of these modes at a time can result in a better, more comprehensive assessment and markup of a document.