Jennifer Fang, Associate
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is the premier legal advisor to technology, life sciences, and other growth enterprises worldwide. WSGR represents companies at every stage of development, from entrepreneurial start-ups to multibillion-dollar global corporations, as well as the venture firms, private equity firms, and investment banks that finance and advise them. The firm’s broad range of services and practice areas are focused on addressing the principal challenges faced by the management, boards of directors, shareholders, and in-house counsel of our clients.
Jennifer on Modern Lawyering
Being agile and being able to work with multiple platforms and contexts. Being nimble and responsive and being able to stay in front of our clients who are moving at the speed of light. Being up to date on both changing laws and changes in the client industry. Understanding the business context in which the work is being performed and solving or avoiding not only legal problems but also business problems. Being innovative in solutions as our innovative clients confront new problems. Being a true partner and bringing necessary resources to help a company succeed including making introductions to investors, advisors and partners.
Communications tools to enable communication anytime, anywhere, across time zones as well as across languages; document management and sharing tools; being able to prepare (not just review) Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoints or similar programs.
First figure out who is the team who will be working with you directly. Ask those people for advice about the business and see what they say. Through that you can find out if the lawyer understands your stage of business and industry. You should find a lawyer that you trust and believe in so ask whatever questions you feel you need to get there.
Hire a lawyer when someone (whether it’s a co-founder or partner or investor) “might get mad at you”.
They are organized, looking to help your business and ethical. You should also expect that the good ones are busy so they don’t have interest in wasting time racking up legal bills on something a client wouldn’t want to pay. Instead, focus on regular communication so the lawyer can help you spot and get in front of any issues, help you stay organized, and avoid last minute crises.