How do you find the best patent attorney in the world? You make one. Lawyers have been around for thousands of years. They have always been perceived as having access to information not accessible to the common man. Well not anymore. Almost any law, statute, regulation or fact available to your lawyer is now available to you online.
Now having all of that information is one thing. Using it is another. Lawyers still have the unique skill set needed to process this information. Having access to all of this information, however, gives you tremendous leverage. If your lawyer says something that concerns you, you can check it out for yourself.
The best part of having access to the same information as your lawyer is that it makes the competition for your business more aggressive. Twenty years ago lawyers basically offered clients a “take-it-or-leave” package. They would tell the clients “This is how I bill you, this is how I update you on what I am doing and this is the documentation I will provide you.”
Today things are different. Service professions are customizing their services for individual customers. Instead of the service provider dictating what you get, YOU get to dictate what you get, often for no greater cost. If you are looking for a patent lawyer that bills weekly, itemizes every bill by the fractional hour and is on call via cell phone from 8am to 8pm, you have the right to demand that. If you want your patent lawyer’s direct phone number to bypass the front desk, ask for it up front. If you want copies of every document the lawyer prepares on your behalf, demand it.
Now not every patent lawyer is going to provide every option you could ever want, shopping around with your expectations in hand will help you narrow the field. It will also help you find which patent lawyers are willing to accommodate your business and which are not. In my own practice, I find that customizing services for clients makes them much happier, which virtually eliminates headaches for me. If the clients knows that I am never “ducking” them, and that they can get in touch with me anytime, this knowledge in and of itself cuts my calls in half and completely eliminates the irate calls.
Obviously the two most important factors in choosing a patent lawyer are the lawyer’s skill and your comfort level with the services they provide. Determining which lawyers are willing to accommodate your needs, however, is an easy way to eliminate relationships which could cause trouble down the road and to make, for yourself, the best patent lawyer in the world.