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Transactional lawyers or, to paraphrase Lieutenant Weinberg, “paper” lawyers have an important job. Paper lawyers minimize and potentially prevent drama from happening in the first place. Whether it’s a real estate transaction, an estate plan, or setting up a business entity, a paper lawyer needs to combine thorough knowledge of the law and meticulous documentation.
That documentation doesn’t just have to satisfy a state agency or a court. An effective transactional lawyer should have an additional goal in mind. They should strive to convey the information to their client. Ultimately, you show your client why certain steps were taken and why certain documents were prepared. You also show your client what, if anything, they need to do once they leave your office. When we draft a trust, our clients need to be able to refer to it in future. When we create a business, our clients need documents that guide them in how to properly make decisions and keep up with periodic administrative requirements. Conveying information that well takes organization.
Fundamentally, a transactional lawyer is an organizer. An organizer who has knowledge about what legal issues can arise and how to prevent them. Whether in real estate, business or in preparation for death, we are organizing the legal affairs of our clients. In turn, the better organized we are, the better we organize those affairs for our clients and help our clients understand how they can keep their affairs that way. When we provide the actual documentation to our clients in an organized way, we better position them to effectively use the paper work we’ve prepared and to keep their legal affairs organized.
Jennifer Gumbel is an estate planning and probate lawyer in Austin, Minnesota. She takes her morbid nerd-dom to another level by talking about how to organize your after life, with the website An Organized (after)Life and the podcast, An Organized (after)Life, which you can find on the website, Spreaker and ITunes. You can also find her on Instagram with pics on death organizing and small town Minnesota life at the handle @jengumbel.