Why it Makes Sense to be Friends with Lawyers
It’s always best to be friends with people from various backgrounds. Knowing people from across the professional spectrum allows you to better understand the challenges faced by all sorts of people – but at the same time, it also means that you’ll have friends with a wealth of knowledge in various subjects you can speak with.
This isn’t to say you should seek out friends specifically because of their profession. However, there’s a reason why the saying “variety is the spice of life” exists, which also applies to friendships. A doctor can offer informal medical advice, a real estate agent provides help with house searches – and then there are lawyers.
Having friends who are lawyers can be great for several reasons. While representing a friend may be a conflict of interest many lawyers aren’t willing to take on, this isn’t to say there’s no opportunity for their professional expertise to come in handy in your life. Here are some reasons why it makes sense to be friends with lawyers.
Help with Specialties
While a lawyer friend may not be able to represent you in court due to a potential conflict of interest, they will be able to advise you if you need confirmation that you’re legally in the clear. For example, a business law specialist will be able to let you know that it is generally illegal not to carry workers’ compensation insurance for your business. They’ll also be able to advise you on how to look up the specifics of the law in your state and how you can confirm if your business is exempt from this requirement.
As discussed above, conflicts of interest often prevent lawyers from representing friends and family and frequently also from providing them with any formal legal advice. However, this isn’t to say that they cannot help with legal issues.
One of the biggest challenges that people who need a lawyer for the first time face is where to get started – and that’s where having a friend in the profession comes in.
For example, consider a situation in which you need help with a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia. A friend in the legal profession would be able to advise you on how to find a Personal Injury Lawyer in Georgia, including giving you direct references if they have any. They’ll also be able to guide you on what to expect when looking for a lawyer and what information you should have ready with you to make the process as easy as possible.
If you’ve never had cause to hire a lawyer previously, there’s a good chance you don’t know what to expect when you do. A friend already working in the profession will be able to offer help in that area, including letting you know what type of contingency fee to expect and how to determine whether the lawyer you’re meeting is right for your case. If you’re concerned about how long a case is taking or are unsure about your lawyer’s competence, you can also speak with a friend in the profession to determine if your concerns are valid or unfounded.
While having friends who are lawyers can be helpful, it’s essential to ensure that you don’t try to take advantage of their help. As mentioned, the type of advice a lawyer can provide to friends, relatives, and anyone with whom they do not have a lawyer-client relationship is very limited. This is because providing detailed advice can open them up to malpractice lawsuits and be professionally damaging.
So, if your friend tells you they cannot answer a question in good faith and you will need to look elsewhere for help, respect their position. They aren’t refusing to answer because they don’t care about you; they aren’t answering your question because they aren’t allowed to.
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