26 Sep My Philosophy: Making Legal Services Accessible to Small Businesses
When I first started out as a solo attorney and decided to establish my own firm, one of the things that I spent a great deal of time thinking about was the kinds of people I wanted to work with. Part of what I saw was a poor function of legal services and the accessibility to legal services throughout the United States.
The individuals needing legal services can be broken down into three groups of people:
- If you are poor, and need specific legal advice there are many services available such as a public defender in a criminal case (whether they are helpful in a specific case is open to debate, but Public Defenders are criminally overworked in my opinion),
- If you are really rich you can generally afford whatever legal services you need, and
- The people in the middle. Let’s face it: most small business owners are middle class, and it is this sector of the population that gets screwed when it comes to accessibility to legal services. Middle class citizens often run into the problem of not being able to afford legal services on a regular basis and only think about getting legal support when it is absolutely necessary.
This barrier to access is one of the main reasons I decided to start working with small businesses. Small business owners are regulated like large business owners. Maybe there is a situation when a small business owner goes into business and they face a regulatory environment that is skewed against them. Maybe they make mistakes just by being simply honest. It is not that they intended to violate the law, rather they simply did not know the law. It is fraught with various parts of jeopardy that could kill a business and certainly make it much more difficult to operate. That is why I decided to focus on the small and medium-sized business, largely because they are business owners who need regular legal services, cannot afford legal services, and as a result the legal profession has rarely addressed those needs.
The purpose behind a General Counsel plan that we offer is to help small business owners obtain the legal services and advice they need without having to fear a budget-busting use of legal services.