It’s been a while since I blogged about me, or more specifically, attorneys that represent community associations. I’m curious to know what are the most important factors that go into a Board’s decision to hire counsel. I’ll list a few and it would be great if you respond to the blog by putting each category in the order of importance to you and/or your Board.
- There are over 77,000 licensed attorneys in the State of Florida. Only 127 are Board Certified in Condominium and Planned Development Law. Do you want to have a Florida Bar Board Certified Attorney working with your association?
- How important is it to have an attorney with experience? At what point would you consider an attorney as “experienced?” 5 years? 10 years? 20 years or more?
- Teaching or writing: Do you care if the attorney is out in the community teaching seminars, appearing on the news or writing columns or blogs? How about doing a radio show? LOL
- Reputation in the community? How important is the firm’s or the attorney’s reputation amongst the people you ask for recommendations?
- A recommendation from your management company? Do you ask for an opinion from your management company as to which attorney or firm to hire? Do you even let the management company make the choice for you?
- Do you just browse a few law firm websites and choose from there?
- Some associations ask for in person interviews. Do you? Question: Why is it OK to ask an attorney to come to your home for an interview, but not your doctor?
- Does it simply boil down to price? I’m not embarrassed to admit that there were times I was not hired because an association decided to go with a far less experienced attorney or firm who was simply cheaper in price. Or….do you believe you get what you pay for?
- Size of the firm? Would you rather work with a sole practitioner? Large law firm, small law firm?
- Do you care if the firm solely represents community associations or should the firm also represent the individual owners?
There are no wrong answers today. There is however a tremendous amount of competition amongst law firms who work in the community association arena, and perhaps all associations would benefit by the attorneys knowing exactly what each of you are looking for and how we can all serve you better.