In order for lawyers to perform their best work, they often need to assemble a solid team, which usually includes seasoned lawyers, trained paralegals, and other professionals. However, lawyers should also nurture relationships with solid vendors in order to complete good work for clients. Although there are all kinds of vendors in the legal industry, lawyers should especially nurture relationships with a few kinds of companies since they can have a substantial impact on the work lawyers perform for their clients.
Lawyers who perform real estate work usually need to use a title company for their deals. A title company performs a lot of different functions for lawyers and their clients. Perhaps most importantly, the title company checks title records and determines if there are any open mortgages or other issues with the property that might impede the title to real estate. In addition, the title company also usually coordinates title insurance, which protects purchasers in the event that there is a defect of title that needs to be cured. Depending on the jurisdiction, the title company may also provide escrow services, which can make a lawyer’s job much easier since this task is delegated to lawyers in other instances.
Not all title companies are created equal, and some title companies might not provide concierge services. This can make a lawyer’s job more difficult and might force the lawyer to perform more work than they would need to if the title company was performing certain tasks on the deal. It can be difficult to deal with multiple title insurance companies since it can be confusing to communicate with different point people, and different title companies may have different procedures for handling deals. As a result, it can be helpful if a lawyer nurtures a relationship with one good title company that can handle most or all of the real estate deals the lawyer handles in a given jurisdiction.
When lawyers file appeals, they often need to engage the services of an appellate printer. Traditionally, appellate briefs and appellate records needed to be printed and bound in a certain way so that they could be properly presented to an appellate court. Since most law firms did not have the equipment to do this printing, it was important to outsource this role so that the appropriate printing tasks were completed. In more recent years, many appellate courts have accepted electronic appellate brief and appellate records and the traditional printing function is no longer needed. Nevertheless, appellate printing can ensure that cases are properly hyperlinked and that the tables needed for such briefs are created so that lawyers do not need to spend time on this function.
I know firsthand how much an appellate printer can be a lifesaver, since I have worked with appellate printers who have performed great work on a tight timeframe in the past. Many appellate printers also have counsel on staff to answer procedural questions about appeals. This is very helpful since most lawyers do not regularly handle appeals, so when lawyers need to file appeals, they may not be so well versed with appellate procedure. Finding a solid appellate printer can be invaluable when lawyers need to file an appeal for one of their cases.
Court Reporting Services
Every litigator needs to hire a court reporter from time to time. Court reporters are essential to recording testimony that is presented at depositions and during other proceedings. On certain occasions, law firms can develop relationships with individual court reporters who the law firms know can be trusted to provide prompt and accurate services when necessary.
A trusted court reporting service can be invaluable. Depositions can often be scheduled at the last minute, and some court reporting services can schedule last-minute depositions better than others. Moreover, other court reporting services might have reporters who are well-versed in a particular area of the law and know the spellings of unique names and the procedures of that area of the law. The connection between law firms and court reporting services is so strong that such companies might provide lawyers with individualized presents around the holidays. A litigator should have a good court reporting agency in their Rolodex, and potentially a solid individual court reporter to ensure that they can best serve their clients when the need for a court reporter arises.
All told, lawyers cannot effectively handle their jobs without the assistance of numerous outside vendors. If lawyers develop solid relationships with a few categories of vendors, they can best serve the needs of their clients.
Jordan Rothman is a partner of The Rothman Law Firm, a full-service New York and New Jersey law firm. He is also the founder of Student Debt Diaries, a website discussing how he paid off his student loans. You can reach Jordan through email at email@example.com.