Criteria ranked most important Percent of

(What a small company should look for) attorneys *

1. Specific expertise 41%

(Experience in your area of need)

2. Overall competence 39

(Quality of advice, problem-solving ideas, negotiating

skills, etc.)

3. Fee 32

(Reasonable & affordable charges)

4. Small business knowledge 29

(Emperience with similar companies)

5. Timely service 28

(Responsiveness, prompt turnaround)

6. Personal attention 25

(Compatibility & Willingness to

become involved in your business)

7. Reputation 22

(Recommendations of other clients)

8. Availability 21

(Accessibility of top partner/attorney)

9. Range of services 17

(Diversity & depth of staff)

10. Importance of client to firm 6

(Client list & interest in small companies)

* Total exceeds 100% due to multiple responses.

Advice from the advisers: Look for competence, reasonable fees, and small business savvy in selecting a law firm. Other factors that should be considered are the firm's ethical standards, track record, and partner credentials.

Published on: Jun 1, 1982