Teamwork, with professionals outside of your firm or legal community, can help you help your clients. While we usually think of networking as a way to create a referral base, it also creates a team that will help us better serve our clients.
Teamwork isn’t just a good idea in the context of a law firm or within the legal profession. I recently attended a farm succession seminar that reminded me how important it is for attorneys to go outside of the legal community and have a team of professionals they can contact in order to best serve their client. The seminar touched on a host of topics and pointed out issues that were outside of my expertise as an attorney. Things like how an LLC versus Corporate setup affects deductions and how land ownership of trusts can complicate Farm Service Agency (FSA) payments are issues that are outside of legal expertise in the strictest sense. However, these type of issues may make, what seems like great legal advice, less than attractive to our clients.
Fortunately, attorneys don’t have to know everything. There are other professionals whose expertise may be needed to fully assist your clients. If you’re working with client to create a business entity, it’s invaluable to have a CPA involved in the process. While you are able to present the many vehicles to limit personal liabilty, are able to fully execute the documents necessary to create the entity and help the client prevent a court from ignoring the entity down the road, the CPA will be able to review the full tax ramifications of each entity.
CPA’s aren’t just helpful for transactional issues. Attorneys who deal in family law frequently need help from a CPA to determine the best way to word stipulations regarding property awards, so that there are not unintended tax consequences. Other types of professionalscan help you help your clients. Financial planners and insurance providers can provide great insight in estate planning matters. Public employees, like FSA agents and child support officers can give valuable insight as to how legal actions can have unintended consequences.
Rubbing elbows with other professionals isn’t good just for client referrals, it can help you better serve your clients. What other professionals do you work with who help you help your clients?