What Entrepreneurs Expect from Their Lawyers
As the world moves faster (and it does, doesn’t it?), you have to move faster, too, not only to keep up, but to amaze and astound your clients in a highly competitive field. While it may not astound them, your ability to quickly create, share and finalize documents at the drop of a client’s hat is one way you can demonstrate great service.
Today’s cloud and mobile technologies make it easy to provide anytime-anywhere service, without compromising confidentiality. This kind of immediate access to documents is especially critical if you work with entrepreneurs, financial managers and others whose success depends on speed.
Don’t Wait for an Emergency
You can access, edit and collaborate with your client on any document using tablets, smartphones and laptops with an Internet connection. Make a few arrangements now so that you can show off your accessibility and collaborate with clients in the cloud. Here are some tips to get started.
1. Make sure you have a mobile device set up and ready to go at all times—an iPad or Google Nexus tablet, for example, or a smartphone.
2. Gather, review and polish your standard legal documents. If you work with entrepreneurs, here are three documents that I think are most important to have at your fingertips in the cloud:
- Nondisclosure agreements. I have been on both sides of the table—as a lawyer and as an entrepreneur—when a nondisclosure agreement is requested. The scenarios for an entrepreneur looking for a nondisclosure agreement range from speaking with a prospective employee, speaking with a potential investor, or disclosing confidential information to a potential adviser. The agreement document is basic with a few simple questions arising in the negotiations such as the term of the agreement and the scope of what constitutes confidential information. Typically only very slight changes need to be made to satisfy both parties.
- Updated cap table and employee agreements. Equity is king to an entrepreneur. To recruit excellent talent, equity is often offered to potential employees. Your client needs to know how much equity she can give, on the spot. She should be able to contact you any time for an updated version of her cap table, an explanation of vesting schedules and information on how the cap table would change if the potential employee is added. You should also be able to give her quick access to all current employee agreements so she can double-check existing arrangements against the offer to a new employee.
- Customer agreements. Your client wants to move fast when closing with customers. You need to be responsive and able to quickly share basic sales contracts so he can get started. You should be able to collaborate with your client in the negotiations, and then quickly edit the agreement.
3. Find a secure content collaboration and document storage tool to use — one you can access from your mobile device — and upload your standard legal documents so they are easy to find when you need them
Finally, remember to keep your legal documents up-to-date so that you are always able to respond at the drop of your client’s hat!
Nitin Gupta is Legal Vertical Lead at Box, an application that delivers enterprise content collaboration for lawyers anytime, anywhere, and from any device. Prior to Box, Nitin was the co-founder of LawPivot, the largest online marketplace for consumers and businesses to connect with lawyers. Nitin also practiced law as an intellectual property lawyer at Townsend and Townsend, a top national intellectual property law firm.
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