Why should I protect my intellectual property?
I like to think of a lawyer as a doctor for your brand. It’s a good idea to go to the doctor when you start feeling sick, take your vitamins, and drink a lot of water, rather than waiting until you feel like you’re dying. It is an investment but you prevent most problems and if one does come up, you can handle it before it gets out of control. The same is true with a brand. Asking questions, making a strategy, and doing some work upfront helps avoid problems later on.
Do I really need a lawyer?
Can’t I just use LegalZoom or do it myself?
You can, sometimes, if you’re lucky or doing a simpler kind of filing. I understand not wanting to pay for something you can do yourself, so if that’s the case, I’ll tell you. Seriously. For everything else, it's almost always more costly to get yourself out of trouble than to avoid it in the first place, so it is a good idea to talk to a lawyer at the outset. Having a lawyer also lets you rest easy. You don’t have to worry about all the things you might not know and you can be confident your brand/rights are protected.
I need a contract.
Can I use an online template?
Sometimes a template can be okay but you may be selling yourself short or, if things go awry, you may not be adequately protected. For example, if a template is written by a design client, the contract terms would be more favorable to the client than the designer. A custom contract helps ensure you are protected exactly as you’d like to be and that you are getting what you deserve. A well written contract, which reflects your values and tone, also makes you look organized and professional and can help you get paid.
Do you know what you’re talking about?
And if you ask me something I don’t know the answer to, I’ll let you know and find the answer for you.
Lawyers charge by the hour, right?
Am I going to have to pay for every email and phone call?
Many lawyers do, but not me. I mainly use a flat fee pricing model. If I am using an hourly rate, I will cap the cost so you’ll know the maximum you’ll spend. Either way, all communication (text, email, phone calls) is free.
Can I call you any time?
I may not answer but I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. I also allow my clients to text me anytime.
Hiring a lawyer is expensive.
Can I pay less?
Short answer, no.
Long answer, no, because I put a lot of thought into my rates to offer prices that are fair and below industry standards but also allow me to keep my practice afloat.
I don’t live in the state of New York.
Can you help me?