How to Legally Become a Consultant

Consulting is a highly competitive field, and companies expect consultants to provide top-notch advice. To become a consultant, there are no set requirements, but there are certain legal considerations that must be taken into account. These include selecting the right business entity, obtaining licenses and permits, dealing with tax issues, preparing policy statements and contracts, getting adequate insurance, and managing employees. For those who want to set up a legal consulting firm, a law degree is almost always necessary.

If you don't have a degree, start with a field related to law such as criminal justice, legal studies, or political science. After that, you must take the Law School Admission Exam (LSAT), followed by law school and a doctorate in law (J. D.).Before beginning any new project, legal consulting firms should consider requiring clients to sign a service agreement. It's important to know beforehand what your consulting company will need in order to be able to operate legally.

Companies turn to legal counsel for advice on mergers and restructurings and to modify business strategies to maximize productivity and minimize liability. These professionals provide a range of services to increase the internal capabilities of a law firm or legal department on a short-term or project basis. Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your legal consulting firm is sued. In addition, some states require certain occupations and professions to obtain state licenses. If you're going to sell products as part of your consulting business, most states require you to obtain a sales tax permit.

To have a successful legal consulting career, you need excellent communication skills and the ability to adjust to new situations. Furthermore, some consultants are authorized by the state in one legal sense or another. It's important to check with your jurisdiction's professional ethics board to see if special documents are required to provide legal services.