A black and white cartoon of a lawyer sitting at a desk, thats making a joke about not 'printing the fine print' on contracts
(source: https://danscartoons.com/cartoons/law/law-legal-lawyer-cartoon-027/)

I have been following a lot of the thought leaders in the legal industry lately.  People talk about lawyers needing to be personable, to have social skills, to be innovative, etc.  Having been a lawyer (a very unhappy one) myself, and having worked with in-house and outside counsels all these years from the business side, what do people really want when it comes to business law?  


Let’s never lose sight of the fundamentals.  People seek advice from lawyers because they lack the knowledge themselves and need professional advice.  That’s why they pay top dollar for legal services.  If a lawyer does not possess the right level and depth of knowledge that’s up to date in her field of expertise, that’s a non-starter.  Nothing will make a client lose faith faster than when a lawyer appears unsure of the subject matter expertise.

A Somewhat Generalist in Law  

The legal practice, in today’s world, cannot be isolated.  A lawyer that knows a specific area of law very well, but lacks any knowledge or awareness outside of that, can also be very frustrating to a client.  For a business lawyer, for example, general knowledge about security, IP law, warranty, buy and sell terms (payment terms, incoterms) is also extremely helpful and also is much appreciated by clients.  Yes, we can all get expert opinions for every single area of law, but do we want to or can we afford to?  Not to say you have to be an expert in all these areas, but a general level of understanding and the ability to spot issues and to consult the right experts is key.

Understanding of the Client’s Business  

I can’t tell you how helpful a lawyer is for software engineers if they understand source code and API.  Same with a lawyer for automotive if they can comprehend what’s a radar and why certain specifications matter.  Same as my last point above, we are not asking you to become a software engineer or a vehicle engineer.  But understanding the basic setup so that you can ask the right questions can go a very LONG way.  And for the areas you don’t understand, ask away.  Engineers love to explain technical details to their lawyers.  

Adept in Technology  

In today’s startup world, if you don’t use google docs, google slides, Jira and Slack, we seem to have a problem.  Of course, we lawyers love our word documents and redlines, and we want to control them.  But we’ve got to learn to innovate and change with the rest of the world.  What about a CLM system?  Better even, what about exchanging comments with opposing counsel through some sort of online system, so we can get rid of all those back and forth emails and word document versions?  The legal practice is constantly changing like the rest of the tech world. If you don’t catch up, you will be left behind.

Business Mindset  

There are two types of lawyers: the deal makers and the deal breakers.  The first type has the business objective in mind, asks the right questions, helps the client to calibrate the risk, and gets the deals done.  The second type gets hung up in minor details, argues about things that don’t matter, and ultimately upsets the client and the other side.  Let’s remember that we are business lawyers.  We are not litigators.  Our goal is not to win a fight, but to enable and make things happen.  

Looking for more clients? Join our platform to have quality leads sent directly to your inbox: www.trusli.com

*The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

Sign up to receive our email newsletters

Thank you for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Gloria Qiao J.D.

Gloria is the founder of Sleegal.ai, seasoned lawyer, business person and entrepreneur, determined to bring legal help to you at an affordable cost efficiently.

Gloria Qiao J.D.

Gloria is the founder of Sleegal.ai, seasoned lawyer, business person and entrepreneur, determined to bring legal help to you at an affordable cost efficiently.

Got a question?

Drop us a note. We will get back to you within 1 business day.

Thank you! Your inquiry has been received.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.


Why Is ERP Adoption So Difficult? It Doesn't Have To Be

March 22, 2023

Back in the day, ERP implementations used to be a nightmare for many companies. We've all heard of horror stories where millions of dollars were spent on planning and implementation, only to be told that the whole thing was a failure. But why is this still happening? With our extensive experience in ERP, we have identified the four main challenges that companies face when selecting and implementing an ERP solution. We are working to create a new generation of ERP systems that are easy to implement, intuitive to use, and adaptable to each organization's unique needs. Stay tuned for our new product roadmap!

Read more

What ChatGPT is Good At and Bad At

February 28, 2023

A long time ago, we’ve written about the best and worst use of AI when it comes to lawyers. If some of you recall, our original “Sleegal AI” is a ChatGPT style chatbot to help people find lawyers. Before we know it, AI Generated Content (“AIGC”) has become the hottest topic in 2023. With this in mind and deriving from our understanding of AI, legal tech and self-driving cars, what is ChatGPT good and bad at?

Read more

The Five Fallacies Regarding the Need for a Highly Strategic Procurement Team

February 4, 2023

When we talk to our potential customers in the field, especially the relatively new startups who are going through hypergrowth, we notice that there is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion about needing a procurement team at all. We have seen hyper-growth companies with a few thousand employees, some of which may even produce and sell hardware, who don’t have a procurement function at all. This is mind-boggling and very dangerous. Here are the common fallacies about whether and why a company needs procurement and our responses to them.

Read more

Procurement Metrics: What is Spend Under Management and Why Does It Matter

January 17, 2023

In the past we have written extensively about why metrics matter for procurement leaders and why having a system to keep track of them is of essential importance. Today, I’d like to discuss one metric that procurement managers often overlook. Even in cases when they do realize the importance of this metric, it’s one of the metrics that’s more opaque and harder to keep track of. However, this metric is extremely important to keep track of. Keeping this metric under control and strict scrutiny will go a long way to not only cut cost, but increase bottom line. Here is why and how.

Read more

CPOs: The Five Steps To Win Your Seat at the Table

December 6, 2022

We have written extensively about why there should be a “Chief Procurement Officer” position and why such leaders should have a seat at the C-suite table, rather than reporting to the CFO or an engineering officer. But how? Like most things in this life, it won’t get handed on a silver platter. I have many fellow procurement leaders who are struggling to receive acknowledgment and achieve a voice. Here are some suggestions.

Read more

The Seven Sins of UX Designers

December 1, 2022

User experience designers tend to overthink and complicate things when it comes to product design. Our UX Design team collaborated to provide their top suggestions for enhancing efficiency and improving the user experience by avoiding these common missteps.

Read more
View all posts