“My daddy is a movie actor, and sometimes he plays the good guy, and sometimes he plays the lawyer.”
–Malcolm Ford, son of Harrison Ford
In one of my roles in the Army, I had the opportunity to interact a lot with attorneys. I was responsible for the interactions between the military deployed to Bosnia and the civilian agencies and United Nations, and I worked with the attorneys to ensure that everything I proposed was legal. When we were working out in the base gym, the attorneys played Jedi mind tricks on me.
“You want to be a lawyer…” <hand wave>
“Law is fun!” <hand wave>
So, when I ended my tour of Bosnia, I submitted my paperwork to get out of the Army. I was going to be a lawyer!
Fast forward a couple of years later, and I’d just finished my summer internship after my first year of law school at the University of Virginia. I realized that the JAG guys had played Jedi mind tricks on me, and I wasn’t cut out to be a lawyer. Rather than continuing to throw good money after bad, I transferred to the business school.
Still, I had taken 1L contracts with Professor Henderson. I knew the important aspects of the law! So, when I started up my company a couple of years later with my two co-founders, I was the contracts person. In fact, I was the everything legal person.
A few years later, when we started having inquiries about selling the company, I and the corporate checkbook realized the error of my ways. Fortunately, we engaged a rock star real lawyer to get everything straightened out for us and to represent us in buyout discussions, and all ended well.
Today, I bring you an interview with that lawyer, Patrick Asplin of the Lenhart Pettit law firm in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Here are some of the highlights of our interview:
- 1:43 – The four situations when you should use an attorney
- 6:21 – What do I do if I didn’t set up properly in the first place?
- 8:35 – Why I can’t just use Google to find contracts?
- 12:25 – How can I protect the intellectual property for my great idea?
- 25:10 – How do I pick what corporate form to use when I start up?
- 30:23 – What do I need to watch out for if I look for crowdfunding?
- 32:15 – What are some other mistakes that entrepreneurs make when it comes to attorneys?
Without further ado, the interview is below!
What did you think of the interview? Let me know in the comments below!