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Deciding whether a company should use a Human Resources Consultant or an Attorney can significantly impact its operational efficiency, legal compliance, and overall success. These two roles, although sometimes overlapping, typically serve distinct purposes. Understanding the value of both and knowing who to reach out to can help a business navigate complex regulatory environments, manage employee relations effectively, and mitigate legal risks.

When to Use a Human Resources Consultant

Developing HR Policies and Procedures
When creating or updating your employee handbook, HR policies, or procedures to ensure they align with best practices and meet legal requirements without being overly complex.

Talent Management and Strategic HR Planning
For identifying talent needs, developing effective recruitment strategies, planning workforce development, and implementing performance management systems.

Employee Relations and Engagement
To provide guidance in the handling of sensitive issues, conflicts, underperformers or policy violations, improve employee morale, and enhance communication between management and staff, ensuring a positive work environment.

Training and Development
For designing and implementing training programs that align with the company’s goals and employees’ professional development needs.

Compliance with Employment Laws (Initial Guidance)
To ensure the business is adhering to relevant labor laws and regulations at a foundational level, such as wage laws and anti-discrimination statutes. To conduct audits to help ensure a company is complying with employment regulations.  HR Consultants can provide initial guidance but may request the business seek the help of an attorney to handle complex legal disputes or nuanced interpretations of the law.

When to Use an Attorney

Legal Disputes and Litigation
In cases of lawsuits or legal actions against the company, involving employment issues, contract disputes, or intellectual property rights, among others.

Complex Compliance and Regulatory Issues
For navigating complex legal requirements or when dealing with specialized industries that have stringent regulatory compliance needs, such as healthcare or international trade.

Contracts and Agreements
To draft, review, and negotiate specialized and complex contracts and agreements with employees, vendors, partners, and customers to protect the company’s interests.

Corporate Governance and Structure
Advising on the most appropriate business structure (LLC, S Corp, C Corp, etc.) and managing corporate governance matters, including shareholder agreements and board of director issues.

Intellectual Property Protection
For securing patents, trademarks, copyrights, or trade secrets and addressing any potential infringements.

Collaborative Approach

It’s notable that there can be overlaps, such as in compliance guidelines or employee contracts, where both HR Consultants and Attorneys might provide valuable insights. In such cases, a collaborative approach might be the most beneficial. Deploying the expertise of an HR Consultant for developing and implementing HR frameworks and engaging an Attorney for legal analysis and defense provides a comprehensive strategy to manage business risks effectively.


Companies should consider using a Human Resources Consultant for strategic HR planning, policy development, and enhancing employee relations. Conversely, an Attorney should be engaged when dealing with legal matters, including compliance with complex regulations, litigation, contracts, and corporate governance. Identifying the right expertise at the right time can safeguard a company’s interests and foster a healthy, productive workplace environment.

Consider reaching out to Marzano Human Resources Consulting for an initial consultation.  We help ensure that companies develop a culture that will help them grow and become more profitable.  We can also provide businesses with the names of attorneys to assist them should we believe it necessary.

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