[dropcap]You[/dropcap] know that game in which you have to give words that describe your self-identity in their order of importance? When I play that game, the first two words I say are “business lawyer.” Most people don’t know what a business lawyer is or why we are the most important people in the world (we are).

A business lawyer is the first, third, 170th and last professional you need in your business. Business lawyers set up, negotiate, guide, warn, write up and finish:

  • the set-up of the company
  • your contracts with the company owners
  • the deals that pass you investor or banker cash
  • purchases from vendors
  • sales to customers
  • hiring, firing, and defending you from, employees
  • protection of your intellectual property
  • advertising
  • insurance
  • the sale to a big dog that makes the owners rich and free.

We’re with you at every stage of your business, helping you get to your own goal line (or saving you from your penalties).  We know about a lot of things that businesses of all sizes must – must –  understand.  We are also very expensive. There aren’t that many of us.  The best ones started off working for smart lawyers who mentored and taught them what they knew – which makes the best more expensive.  That means that people without a lot of experience or cash either can’t find us or can’t afford us.

Business lawyers aren’t the most diverse creature in the USA. Most of us are white, male, straight, old (even if only in spirit) and conservative  (not me, except admittedly I’m white).  And, most of those conservative, old straight guys are also in love with the already-rich. Nothing adds a little pink to a generally gray face than bagging a Fortune 500 client or sending out a 50 page bill.

But, I’m different. Even though I’ve spent my adult life in Big Law, I’m not on this earth to help the rich get richer. I’m here for the wanna-be’s.  I want to help the climbers, the strivers, the innovators, the world changers. That’s why I wrote Birth to Buyout and that’s why I’ve got this blog. This is not a commercial – I have enough clients. I’m not shilling for more billable hours. I’m trying to help smart, ambitious people understand the life cycle of business by putting out the information I know in a way that you’ll want to read. So, here on my blog 2.0, is Lesson 1: What types of business lawyers are there? I’ve created this Periodic Table of Business Lawyers. This is in beta – I did this myself, which is why it is not as readable as it will be in the future when an actual person makes it pretty. But, I love it and think it’s cool. Let me know your thoughts. (Click it and you can make it bigger.)



  • November 23, 2012 Reply

    Paulene Peck

    Thanks for laying out the details about a business lawyer. I know that these lawyers are very important in starting a business because they let you understand the legal ramifications of any business. Being aware of legal stuff can prevent problems in the future.

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