Ryan Juliano, Vice President, Head of Platform, and Attorney
Howell Legal is a Providence, RI-based corporate law boutique. They advise entrepreneurs through the critical milestones in the business life cycle, including formation, financing, commercial contracts, hiring, and acquisition. Beyond individual transactions, Howell Legal forms a close relationship with founders and executives as a strategic business advisor with a particular focus on the legal risks and opportunities facing a company. While they represent a diverse array of private companies across many industries, most of Howell Legal’s clients are early-stage technology startups.
Admissions: Rhode Island, California, New York
19 Bassett Street, Suite 220 | Providence, RI 02903
Ryan on Modern Lawyering
The ideal modern lawyer is not a robot. The ideal modern lawyer is Iron Man: An intelligent, experienced, empathetic human being surrounded by a suit of systems, processes, and tools that give them the super powers to do more, faster and better.
The modern lawyer should be scouring the technology landscape for tools to improve every aspect of their practice: From client onboarding, to project management, to document assembly, to internal communication (just to name a few). The real art, however, is how the modern lawyer needs to stitch together a dozen or so different technologies. What’s more, they’ll likely have to adapt several technologies that aren’t purpose-built for lawyers. But, if they can pull that off, the modern lawyer will be able to provide better, more-delightful service to more clients at cheaper rates.
What kinds of companies do you usually work with? Can your service scale with my company? What kinds of clients usually have the best experience with you? The worst? After we start working together, who will actually be doing my work? Who will be my primary point of contact?
You should be talking to a lawyer as soon as you and your co-founders are committed to turning your venture into a reality. Inaction or mistakes after founders start working on their venture in earnest often result in huge, costly headaches to fix (if they can be fixed at all). And if your business is already up and running, you should get a lawyer yesterday.
Your lawyer should be someone who understands your business and takes ownership over its legal health. They should understand your budget and goals, and they scale their service accordingly. They should be responsive and care about your experience. They should have experience working with companies like yours. Ideally, working with your lawyer shouldn’t be a chore. It should be delightful.
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