Every business should have a legal team to call on in times of trouble. There are so many reasons to do so. That being said, it can be rather expensive to hire a full-time employee in-house, particularly if you are a small business. In such a case, you may find a contract attorney to be a better option so that you can enjoy the resources and protections of a commercial lawyer without breaking the bank.
Lawyers who work for large law firms often have rather high hourly rates, especially when they specialize in commercial transactions and matters pertaining to intellectual property. There is a point when it is a better idea to hire an internal lawyer. Having said that, an in-house lawyer will cost a lot, especially if you are looking for one with enough expertise and experience to handle any legal issues you may run into. Besides their salary, you’ll have to pay for other employee benefits and overhead costs.
There are certainly times to hire a full-time in-house employee and times when it would be better to hire one on contract. Today, we’ll be looking at contract attorneys in particular. Here are the benefits of hiring a contract attorney:
What is a contract attorney?
- Contract attorneys are legal professionals hired either as employees or independent contractors to a company. Most of the time, this professional is hired for a predetermined period of time, such as the duration of a project. In the case that they are contracted as an employee, they are paid either at an agreed-upon salary or an hourly rate. The company is usually required to withhold taxes on said attorney and in some cases offer fringe benefits.
In the case that they are contracted as an independent contractor, however, the company is not required to withhold taxes or offer benefits. Instead, they will compensate the individual based on a contract rate. This is a popular option for companies that only need legal support for a certain duration or for a particular project.
Contract lawyers are often preferred over in-house lawyers or law firms because this allows the company the flexibility of hiring a legal professional with a particular specialization or of coping with additional demands.
What are a contract attorney’s duties and responsibilities?
- There are several areas in which a contract attorney can be of service. They often handle tasks of general counsel such as corporate governance, regulatory compliance, employment law, and contract review and drafting.
- Regarding corporate governance, you can consult your contract lawyer on federal and state governance procedures. It isn’t uncommon for such matters to be complicated and since your company can suffer major consequences if the procedure isn’t followed, it’s always safer to have a lawyer to guide your steps.
- Every business is required to follow a certain set of rules and regulations. Your contract lawyer will ensure that your company complies with these regulations.
When it comes to employment law, your contract lawyer could be your lifesaver. The laws pertaining to state or federal employment can get rather complex and that makes hiring and firing a risky business at times. If you don’t comply with the regulations that you are subject to, you could be facing a lawsuit. Your contract attorney is able to advise you during the process to ensure that your business is protected.
There is a great deal of paperwork that every business has to handle. Contracts and other legal agreements can completely change a situation. A contract attorney will read past all the complicated legal jargon and make sure you are signing a solid contract.
Other matters like litigation and major transactions are usually not handled by contract attorneys. Most of the time, outside counsel will be involved in them. When it comes to litigation, contract lawyers may offer counsel during the process but not take further action. Major transactions like equity funding, mergers, acquisitions, and other such things require more specific expertise that your contract attorney was not hired for.
What are the benefits of a contract attorney?
- First of all, a contract attorney can cost considerably less than a full-time employee or an independent contractor. This is because you do not have to pay the hidden costs of a full-time employee such as fringe benefits.
Another great thing about contract attorneys is that you don’t have to keep them on long-term. They simply serve you for the predetermined duration.
Finally, contract attorneys often have specific skill sets that you may find useful. If you require unique skills, you may be able to find a contract attorney to offer those skills without having to hire a full-time professional.
Romanowsky Law specializes in physician contract reviews to ensure that you are getting a fair employment – get in touch today to see how we can help.