Category Archives: Law
Law is an enticing career for many, but it is a highly competitive field to which admission is quite challenging. And for someone who has a criminal record, the ride is even tougher to say the least. Perhaps your past is your past and you want to turn over a new leaf, and there are many practicing lawyers who have such a record in their past. However, it has only been an uphill task to be able to attain a degree and then give the state license exams to become a practicing lawyer with a criminal record, be it for drug abuse or for felony. Even so, there is a little hope for you if you seek to become a lawyer with such a background. Here are certain things you may have to do.
What You Can Do
A lot of you may assume that you can just avoid mentioning that you have had a background where you have been convicted of some kind of crime, so that you can smoothly get into law school. However, do that and you will kill all the possible chances you have to become a lawyer. Law schools run a criminal background check on all applicants, and if it shows up then, you are likely to be banned from gaining admission into any law school all over the country.
The best way to become a lawyer with a criminal record is to be honest about your situation at the time of application. This will allow the university to be a little more considerate towards your cause. Honesty clearly shows that you are of good moral character and are willing to take responsibility for your actions. Even then, whether or not you will be able to gain admission to the university depends on several factors which have been enlisted here.
- The kind of crime you have committed along with its intensity are factors that matter. For instance, the consideration for someone who has been involved in drug peddling vs. someone who has been convicted of felony will be different. Chances will definitely be better for someone who was involved in minor offenses such as misdemeanor.
- Next, the time period that has lapsed between your sentence and your application will matter. The longer it has been, the more relaxed the rules may be for you. Of course, your record has to be completely clean after the particular instance to prove that you are capable of becoming a responsible lawyer.
- Finally, a one-on-one interaction with the admissions committee where you will explain the circumstances surrounding the crime will help them decide whether or not you should be given a chance. This session should be used to persuade them in your favor.
Some universities will require you to provide affidavits that serve as a character certificate for you. Further, letters of recommendation from people you have worked with in the past will also give you the additional boost in trying to become a lawyer. Do keep in mind that it is ultimately the discretion of the university to give you admission. They have the complete right to deny you admission based on your criminal background.
Whether or not you are allowed to become a lawyer will also depend on the laws of the state you are applying in. Bar associations are independent bodies that have their own laws and may slightly differ from the other. If they do have a law that does not allow candidates with a criminal background to become lawyers, you may find yourself in a tough spot. However, you may fill out the bar exam application and honestly mention exactly what your criminal background is. If you are denied admission, you may appeal to them and present your case to convince them why you should be allowed to become a lawyer. Having witnesses along with you who will vouch for your good character in the appeal will always be more helpful. You may benefit from applying in states where the laws are a little more relaxed.
Law in itself is a system of justice and a means to ensure that all crimes are given due punishment. However, those who have gone ahead and broken these laws (intentionally or unintentionally), but wish to become lawyers, will have to take a lot of efforts to do so. It is not impossible to become a lawyer with a criminal record, as long as you are honest about it.
Does the legal side of commercial undertakings interest you more than the pecuniary exchanges themselves? Do you feel intrigued by all those legal formalities and paperwork involved in the fulfillment of a commercial agreement? Does watching a corporate undertaking’s back to make sure it doesn’t get into legal hassles sounds challenging to you? Well, that clearly indicates towards your love for ensuring proper obedience to procedures and regulations. If that’s true, then I would say you have the callings for a career in the field of commercial law. Mulling over the career prospects of corporate law? Well, you’ve hit the right page in that case! Read straight ahead to gather all the information you’re looking for.
Academic Requirements for Corporate Lawyer Profile
So, what educational and vocational qualifications should adorn a professionally drafted corporate lawyer resume that will fit the requirements of your prospective employer? To begin with, you need an undergraduate certification in any pre-law discipline, management or business administration. Thereafter, you must get yourself enrolled in a decent law school. In case you wish to pursue a career in the US, make sure the law school is accredited by the American Bar Association. You need to sit for and clear the LSAT with decent scores to get into a good law school. Besides graduating in law, you also need to have an excellent vocabulary along with good writing and speaking skills. A knack for details, logical reasoning and research is an added advantage. While you’re at it, also make sure you participate in clinical law programs and practice trials as much as possible to hone your skills and gain experience in handling legal situations and cases. Once you graduate, zero in upon the state where you intend to practice law and take the bar exam that is held for prospective practitioners in that state. Get yourself an internship spot with a reputed firm or a well regarded senior lawyer for more exposure and hands-on experience.
Corporate Lawyer Job Description
The primary duty of a corporate lawyer is to represent his/her corporate client in all matters that have to do with commercial, state and Federal law with regards to commercial transactions proposed or undertaken by the latter. Other duties of a corporate lawyer involve overseeing legal aspects of taxes, account statements, acquisition and renewal of various commercial licenses, payment of tariffs, fees and duties, etc. Supervising and advising the client in matters of labor relations, workmen’s compensation, strikes and lockouts, retrenchment and other such matters affecting labor relations also fall within the scope of a corporate lawyer’s job description. Also, keeping an alert eye on copyright and patent issues and overseeing the legality of all commercial contracts (writing them as well) is a part of the corporate lawyer’s duties.
Corporate Lawyer Salary
Law pays – trust me! On the entry-level, a corporate lawyer can expect to earn an average salary of $65,000 in a year. With an experience ranging between 2-4 years, a corporate lawyer can earn as much as $1,00,000 on an average in a year! As you gain more years in terms of experience in the field of corporate law, the fatter your paycheck gets! Don’t believe me? Well check this – 10 years of corporate law experience equals an average annual income of $2,00,000! How much you earn also depends upon the type of undertaking that hires you. Private commercial corporates are regarded as the highest payers while hospitals and NGOs are somewhat thrifty payers. Also, instead of being employed at a single undertaking, you can practice as a consultant and offer your legal services to a number of corporate clients, charging a fixed amount of fee for each case/consultation.
So, now that you know how to become a corporate lawyer, go ahead and get studying the right stuff. Trust me, all those long hours of mugging up (endless acts, case laws, clauses, sub-clauses – I know it sounds cumbersome, I’ve been through it all myself!) will pay off handsomely once you graduate with good scores and set your foot in the professional arena! Perseverance and burning the midnight oil is the key to clicking as high earning corporate lawyer with a formidable reputation in the courtroom! Wish you all the best!
A lawyer’s career can be both challenging as well as rewarding and it also offers a wide scope of practice. A lawyer can have his or her own private practice, can work with a law firm or in a corporate firm, can be employed with the government or even pursue a career as a political leader. However, getting to this very lucrative career requires a lot of time and dedication towards the purpose. In fact, it is said that obtaining a lawyer’s degree is tougher than obtaining a medical degree. It involves pursuing high level of education and qualifying various examinations, even after obtaining the degree. Those wanting to become a lawyer, must understand that they need to focus on their educational goals, all throughout. So, what are the qualifications to be a lawyer? Listed below are the requirements to become a lawyer.
Requirements To Be a Lawyer
There are three main lawyer requirements. The first requirement is that you should have studied for four years and achieved a bachelor’s degree. After that to get enrolled into a law school you will need to pass the law school admission test. Once, you are done with this you will study in the law school to get another degree. Finally, to get the license to practice law, you will have to appear and pass the bar exam.
Obtaining a bachelor’s degree is the first requirement to be a lawyer. There is no specific course that you need to pursue at this level. You can pursue a course of your choice, provided you do well in it. College grades will matter a lot, while seeking admission into a law school. When in college, you can start training yourself for law school. You will need to develop your communication skills, analytical and logical thinking, writing and researching skills. You can also take up additional courses in foreign languages, history, philosophy, public speaking, etc. Also, you can enroll for preparatory courses for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), as it is crucial in obtaining admission into a good law school.
Law School Admission Test
The law school admission test is an entrance exam for law schools, conducted four times in a year by the Law School Data Assembly Service. It mainly evaluates verbal reasoning and reading skills. Its grades are important in determining the law school, you would be enrolling into. The law schools that fall under the jurisdiction of the American Bar Association, require their applicants to qualify the LSAT. Law schools consider the applicant’s LSAT scores, college grades, undergraduate school quality and if required, may also conduct a personal interview before accepting the applicant. You will also need to send your certified transcripts and college grades to the Law School Data Assembly Service, which then forwards the same to the law schools.
The first year of law school involves the study of courses such as legal writing, contracts, property law, civil procedure, constitutional law and torts. In the remaining two years, you would be pursuing specialized courses, like corporate law, tax or labor law. The three years in law school would also include activities, like moot court competitions, practicing in legal clinics and practicing under experienced judges and lawyers. At the end of the three years, successful students obtain the ‘juris doctor’ degree.
Those who would like to teach or research in the field of law, would need to acquire advance law degrees. Others can become accident lawyers, bankruptcy lawyers, divorce lawyers, etc.
A law school pass out, holding a ‘juris doctor’ degree, would need to get licensed before he/she can practice in a court of law. Getting licensed would mean being admitted to the bar of the State, under the rules established by the State’s highest court. For this, you would have to qualify a written examination conducted by the bar and also a written ethics examination. The criteria for qualifying these examinations is – that the applicant should be a graduate from an American Bar Association accredited law school and should hold a valid college degree.
These requirements to be a lawyer, will help you obtain the degree required, but to be a successful lawyer you would need certain qualities like perseverance, the ability to reason appropriately and effective communication skills with the clients. These were the requirements to become a lawyer in United States. However, the requirements to be a lawyer change slightly from country to country.
Because of the ever changing legal provisions, it will not be that easy for most people to understand just how business policies really work. Society constantly demands changes and revisions to make sure that the law goes for the benefit of everybody. As a business owner, it is only right for you to acquire a legal counsel or representation.
Preparation for the future is best done with your legal counsel at bay for what may come. You do not need to look for investments and businesses before you find it necessary. As soon as you become property owners or start building your assets, you will have to obtain business law services. Along the way, you will encounter business related issues that will require the expertise of a reliable legal counsel. It is crucial to get your representation even before issues arise.
The following are some tips to guide you so you will be able to make a good choice when searching for a lawyer.
Name your budget. Often, you get what you pay for. Know that most of those who charge high will give the best service.
Normally, big firms have better connections as well as better experience. Their years of exposure to how business laws work will truly give you an edge over your issues. Also, the connections a big firm has will make it easier for you to work out your legal problems. Preparing documents will also be easy for you. In case you face a legal issue that your resident lawyer is not an expert of, you can always rely on his connections in the firm for assistance. This can be true for services that include drafting a will or managing your investments. You may also choose to go with the smaller firms such as when conveyancing fees. You will only pay lesser than what you need to pay for the bigger firms for business law. However, you must be very careful in checking out if your potential choice offers real good deals.
Start making a choice among your potential lawyers by narrowing down your list to their corresponding fields of expertise. In this way, it will be easier for you to know which one is fit for your need for business law assistance.
Although these given tips can help you, you must know that nothing compares to working with the most reliable and reputable in the industry. Their reputation will not only assure you of their trust-worthy track record but also better and bigger opportunities in your business ventures.
Personal injury law is one of the most lucrative fields of law and is concerned with providing compensation for injuries, both physical and emotional. Personal injury lawyers are also referred to as trial lawyers and represent people who are involved in vehicle collisions, work injuries, assaults, medical errors and other accidents. The injury claim settlement often run in thousands of dollars, making for a large percentage for the lawyer.
Personal injury law or tort law helps individuals to claim relief for the damages suffered because of a third party. The third party can be a government agency, large corporation, medical institution or a person. Personal injury law deals with charges such as assault, trespass, battery, negligence etc. Personal injury law is categorized into three broad categories. These are:
- Intentional torts
- Negligent torts
- Strict liability torts
Individuals who wish to take personal injury law as a career field should have completed a four-year degree course and a law degree from a accredited institution. After completing the law degree an individual is required to pass the following bar exams:
- Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)
- Multistate Essay Examination (MEE)
- Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)
After passing these examinations, it is important for an individual to get certified by the American Bar Association to be recognized as a specialist in personal injury law. Some of the best institutions to study personal injury law are
- Harvard Law School
- Stanford Law School
- Yale Law School
- Columbia Law School
- University of Chicago Law School
- Cornell Law School
- Georgetown University Law Center
- Northwestern University School of Law
- University of Michigan Law School
- University of Pennsylvania Law School
A personal injury lawyer has to research all the aspects of the case to determine whether he or his law firm would benefit from representing the client. If he feels that the case is strongly in his client’s favor, then he starts the paperwork for the case by conducting researches, interviewing clients and evaluating the strategies. Some other duties and responsibilities are
- A personal injury lawyer has to gather evidence that can be produced in court like medical records, police records, etc.
- He has to prepare legal briefs and testimonies for case preparation.
- Personal injury lawyers are entrusted with advising corporate clients on various legal matters as large organizations are most vulnerable to lawsuits.
These were some of the duties and responsibilities of a personal injury lawyer. The demand for personal injury lawyers has increased in the last few years and the employment outlook for this field is positive. Let us now more about the career opportunities and average salary of a personal injury lawyer.
Like other branches of law, personal injury lawyers either work independently or with a firm. Initially, they work as associates, but with experience, they can work as partners in a firm. The lawyers who work independently usually work for lower fee and are willing to take up smaller cases. The employment outlook for personal injury lawyers is positive with estimates pointing out that this field will see a growth of 13% by the year 2018.
The average salary of a personal injury lawyer depends on certain factors like the state that they are working in and the size of the firm that has employed them. The salary range for personal injury lawyers in America is between $51,700 to $90,000. New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are the cities that offer the best compensation packages to personal injury lawyers. As far as the state wise ranking is concerned, California leads the list, followed by New York and Florida.
This was some information on the average salary and employment outlook of personal injury lawyers. As accidents, bankruptcy cases, work related accidents continue to rise, personal injury lawyers are being sought after by organizations and individuals. A career as a personal injury lawyer is financially rewarding and provides you with numerous growth opportunities for advancement.
The process of immigration is extremely complex and it requires, in most cases, the assistance of attorneys. Before you move to the US, the US government wants you to complete all the formalities stipulated by the immigration laws and submit all the necessary documents. One of the main reasons behind strict and complex immigration laws is to control the influx of people with nefarious pursuits and ensure that security of the nation remains unchallenged. Believe it or not, the same policy is followed by many other nations which definitely creates a lot of hassles for law abiding citizens who want to change their future prospects by immigrating to some other place they think has opportunities for them. Choosing an immigration lawyer can help you in the entire process.
Choosing the Right Immigration Attorney in US Immigration
It is vital to choose an experienced and reputed lawyer to take care of the issues related to your immigration. It is because you don’t want to end up facing adverse situations in getting permission to enter in the country, even if you deserve it so, from all angles. A right lawyer will help you in dealing with all legal and official formalities. Being aware of all the complex laws related to immigration to US, a lawyer will help you in a professional way. You won’t get stuck with piles of legal papers and completing all formalities without guidance. Hiring an immigration lawyer must not be done in a hurry. Follow the below tips to know how to hire an immigration lawyer.
- His integrity and honesty in making you aware of the rules and laws regarding immigration is also important. If he is encouraging you to lie or go for counterfeit documents, you should forget about hiring that lawyer. You don’t want to live in another country, with fake documents. Right?
- Check the affiliation of the lawyer you are choosing. If he or she is a member of the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA), then it is a good sign. The AILA is, by far, the most reputed network of professional immigration lawyers. If he is there, it means he is in sync with changing dynamics of immigration laws.
- Communication skills of the lawyer matter a lot. If you are unable to understand or explain the lawyer your case, it can lead to lack of understanding between you both. You must be comfortable with the language of the lawyer.
- Immigration is strictly federal in nature and there are no specific state laws. So you don’t need to go for a state attorney. Choose the best lawyer irrespective of the state, as nowadays, petitions can also be filed online.
- Credentials, board certifications, accolades and educational qualifications of the lawyer give you a detailed idea about the expertise of the immigration lawyer. But this is just an indicator and not a cent percent truth. It is best to research about the work experience of the lawyer. What he did as a lawyer is more important, even if he has graduated from a mediocre law school.
- How do you find the services of the immigration lawyer and his team. Does he own a dedicated office with upgraded technology and Internet. Does he own a secured website? Do you find it easier to browse the website?
- Do you find the information on his website, well researched and with citation? A good lawyer will always give his best to keep all information on his website, updated.
- Lawyers fee is certainly the most crucial factor. If he is charging you way too high or low (highly unlikely, isn’t it?) then look for competitive prices by contacting a number of other lawyers in the same line of business. Don’t pay too much, as there are many other talented lawyers whom you can hire. Search well!
- Work experience of the lawyer is also one of the greatest determiners of success in this field. Immigration lawyers with years of experience in the field of immigration laws can help you immensely.
- You must make sure that the immigration attorney has no track record of irregularities or complaints in the reputed State bar. Any complain in the state bar is a sign that the attorney has some problems in his business practice. And it is only in genuine cases that complaints against attorneys are considered in state bars, so you must examine this factor.
- You can also rely on referrals of people close to you. It is always great to go through referrals, as you don’t need market sources to question the ability of the lawyer.
- Office of the attorney and the number of staff workers can also give you a great idea about his work.
If you have your eyes set on building a career in the field of law, you’d be one of the several thousand other hopefuls who are sharing your ambition. Every year, these very hopefuls embark upon the procedure to apply to different business schools, with varied levels of success. While there are various factors that play a role when it comes to gaining admission, one needs to put forth an application that centers on our strengths.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that every law school uses its own yardstick to measure every student’s application. It is nearly impossible to accurately gauge what determines an admission, however, there are certain efforts you can put in to make your application stand out.
Shortlisting Law Schools
Before you begin the actual process of application, you need to make a list of colleges that you’d be applying to. This list needs to be ambitious and realistic at the same time. A cautious approach would be to select approximately 10 colleges, instead of 4 or 5, which broaden your chances of getting into a college of your choice. Again, don’t let the cost of bearing the application fee deter you, as you can consider it to be the first step towards building your dream career.
So how does one go about selecting the colleges to apply to, out of the hundreds of options? With a little research, you can safely list around 4 colleges that you think you can realistically get into. These are colleges in the “safe” category, where you know you’d surely secure a place.
Next, you can choose another 3 colleges where you have a considerable chance of gaining admission. Applying to these colleges would be slightly ambitious, but getting into them wouldn’t be impossible.
Choosing the final 3 colleges would require a detailed and thoughtful study on your part. These would be colleges that you think are out of your league, but since we’re completely unaware of what exactly determines an admission, it would only make sense to try your luck with it. After all, applying to such colleges at the very least gives you some hope, rather than completely losing out by not applying.
While selecting this list of colleges, you need to consider each school’s requirement regarding LSAT scores and GPAs. Also, there are a few colleges that give precedence to in-state applications. You need to make a thorough study of the curriculum they offer keeping your specialization in mind, the faculty members, and importantly, tuition and boarding costs as well.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
This is as basic as it gets, but a good GPA does take you places. At the very least, a high GPA puts most of the top-ranked law schools within your reach. While most law schools do not strictly require students to have a bachelor’s degree in a specific field, it would help if you’ve studied subjects like U.S. History, Economics, Jurisprudence or Government. However, of late, top law schools have been encouraging applications from students with diverse backgrounds in order to dismiss uniformity. Therefore, you should not let your undergraduate specialization deter you from applying to the law school of your choice. Ultimately, the transcript that you send to the admission office will play a major role in getting you a positive answer, rather than your undergraduate specialization.
Law School Admission Test (LSAT) Score
It is mandatory for law school aspirants to take the LSAT before they begin their application procedure. This exam gauges a student’s proficiency through its sections on reading comprehension, verbal reasoning, and logical reasoning. One can say that the importance of having an impressive LSAT score is at par with possessing a good GPA. These two factors, in combination, more or less decide the fate of your application.
The personal statement that you send along with your transcript and LSAT score, provides the admission officer with an additional aspect to assess your capabilities. A good personal statement focuses on your background and achievements, along with your ambitions. Your academic accomplishments are clearly reflected through your transcript and LSAT score; the personal statement carries your character sketch. It is okay to highlight your achievements here; just be mindful of sounding boastful and over-the-top. Keep the tone formal at all times. You could also ask your college professor or senior to evaluate it.
While some schools insist on at least one recommendation letter, others do not require them. However, having said that, a recommendation will surely increase your chances of getting a seat in a law school. If you have had any experience working for a law firm, you could get a letter from them as it would build your case. Otherwise, you can include recommendations from your professors at the undergraduate level.
There has been a definite shift of focus when it comes to the admission requirements for any graduate course today. While law schools, until a few years ago, used to rely on the student’s academic performance to make a judgment, they’re now looking at the overall personality to come to a decision. So what does suitably manage to impress them? It’s really hard to pinpoint one aspect. Rather, it is the combination of several factors at play. Admission officers like to see a well-rounded resume that contains work experience, participation in extra-curricular activities, community service; basically, everything that does not restrict your personality to be simply described as academically-inclined.
A lawyer in the making needs to be hardworking, passionate to seek justice and possess a sharp acumen. The process to become a top-notch lawyer begins with selecting the right law school. Hopefully this writeup has shed some light on the correct way to go about the procedure.
The prospect of divorce in itself is a messy affair for those involved. One definitely wants to get it right, as far as the legal aspects are concerned. However, paying for a divorce lawyer is not possible for everyone. Many people lose out on what they are entitled to just because they cannot afford a lawyer who can represent them well in the court of law. The enormity of the legal fees plays a major role for those searching for a lawyer.
Here is where pro bono lawyers come into the picture. A pro bono divorce lawyer is one who fights a divorce case free of cost, or if not, at least at a very nominal charge. Such a lawyer may not specialize in divorce cases, however, he may provide legal services in divorce at no or little cost to individuals or charitable organizations.
Why do Lawyers Work Pro Bono?
Pro bono is the Latin phrase which translates as ‘for the public good’ or ‘in courtesy of the people’. Under the ethical rules of the American Bar Association, every lawyer is recommended to set aside 50 hours of pro bono service every year. Some individual State Bar associations may require its lawyers to put in lesser hours of such kind of service. Besides fulfilling the ethical obligation, pro bono cases enable lawyers to gain experience in fields other than that in which they specialize. For example, a criminal law attorney can act as a pro bono divorce lawyer, which adds to his portfolio, for his own good. However, the urge to act as a pro bono lawyer can also be absolutely out of unselfish interests. Even highly experienced lawyers take up cases for free in the same area that they specialize in, in case they feel that the case is challenging and interesting. Or sometimes, it could be strictly for altruistic inclination of helping financially challenged individuals, or those who have been laid off and are unable to meet the customary legal fees. Some lawyers take up pro bono cases if they feel that taking up specific cases would be for the greater good of the community.
Does this mean that anyone and everyone can avail the services of a pro bono divorce lawyer? The answer to this question is a big NO. One needs to DESERVE a pro bono service to get it. One requires to qualify on the basis of his financial status or some other disability, to be able to avail pro bono legal services. These legalities again depend upon those stipulated by the laws of one’s residing state. The other common criteria that can entitle one for pro bono services is abuse in marriage. Be it physical, verbal, sexual, or even if it concerns one’s children, abuse of any form can help one qualify for having a pro bono lawyer fighting the case. However, one needs to present strong proof of such abuse in these cases.
Ways to Find a Pro Bono Divorce Lawyer
Finding a divorce lawyer who charges less fees can be a difficult task, as most of the lawyers fighting pro bono cases do not advertise themselves. One way to find a pro bono lawyer is to call the general practice attorneys in one’s local county and check if they are taking up pro bono cases. One can also contact the State Bar Association to find if there are pro bono divorce lawyers to take up a case. Certain firms have pro bono lawyers or have an assigned pro bono coordinator to look after such cases. Check with such organizations and legal firms to see if you meet the criteria to qualify for these legal services, for free or at a reduced cost. Ask your friends and family about lawyers who are willing to offer a pro bono service. It is always advisable to look for references of people who know such lawyers, so that you are sure, that despite working for no or lower fees, the pro bono divorce lawyer would handle your case efficiently.
It is very important to have an efficient divorce attorney. Despite all the benefits of having a lawyer fighting your case for free, employing a pro bono lawyer is not completely a rosy picture. There are pitfalls associated with it which one needs to be wary of. Many times, these lawyers do not have enough experience in handling divorce cases, as that may not be their field of expertise. It is best to do your research and talk to a couple such lawyers, if that is possible, before you are sure that you want a particular pro bono lawyer for yourself.
Consult with friends and family or those who can give references regarding the lawyer you are considering. The best help that you could do to yourself is to gather as much information about the laws regarding divorce, as you can. This ensures that you are not absolutely dependent on your divorce lawyer and left in the lurch in case things go wrong or not up to your expectations. Make peace with your past in a smooth and organized way, bereft of the hassles.
Employment law covers all aspects of the legal duties and responsibilities shared by both the employer and employee. Some of the most common employment issues that result in litigation involve unpaid overtime wages, withheld wages and benefits, unsafe working conditions, wrongful termination, unlawful discrimination, disability pay, and work visa permits. Apart from filing the complaint or claim, it is equally important to hire an attorney who understands your case completely and deals with it seriously.
How to Search for Employment Lawyers
- Contact Your State Bar Association for a Referral
A sure-shot way is to visit the online American Bar Association Lawyer Referral Directory, wherein you will be able to find attorneys from your State, and who are specialists in the field of employment matters. The second thing you can do is to search for State Bar Association Referral Directories and streamline your work. For example, Utah residents simply have to access the ‘Utah State Bar Lawyer Referral Directory’, select the area of legal service they seek, select the language they prefer, and the years of active practice they prefer their lawyer to have gained. The search results reveal a detailed list of lawyers living in Utah, along with the names, email, and contact information, among others. Some referral sites do not charge money for giving referrals; however, you may be charged USD 30 once you have contacted one of the lawyers referred. However, the lawyer you meet may charge a fee for his time and service for the half-an-hour consultation. Therefore, make sure you find out the initial consultation fee so as to assess whether you’re willing to bear the additional expense or not.
- Search for Referred Lawyers
Once you have spoken to the free referral service providers and jotted down the names of the employment attorneys to contact, you can search for their credentials over the Internet. You may come across their law firm’s website, which can be an informative resource for you to evaluate the attorney, his areas of legal practice, years of experience, rate of success, and rating given by clients and other websites. Based on your needs and the research done by you, go in for an attorney who you believe will be able to give you time and invest all efforts into your case. You can do the same for attorneys who have been referred to you by colleagues, friends, and family members. That being said, make it a point to visit other employment attorneys in your area, who have successfully managed the cases of people you know.
- General Online Attorney Search
You can also conduct a generalized search engine search. Streamline the results you get by specifying the State and city in which you reside. You may also check membership directories for employment attorneys who reside in your State and handle individual cases. The results you may be given will include several websites owned by law firms and individual lawyers. Read through some of their blogs and the information mentioned on their website. Make sure that you try to focus on attorneys who are experts in Employment Law and have formidable years of experience. Thereafter, shortlist some attorneys, and call their office to fix an appointment.Factors to Consider While Meeting a Lawyer
- Is there a Conflict of Interest?
Some employment lawyers represent only employers and will not meet with aggrieved employees. On the other hand, some attorneys handle only employee grievances. Therefore, before fixing an appointment, make sure you specify the type of employment lawyer you wish to meet while speaking to the referral service providers, during your online search, as well as while contacting law firms. In case the lawyer you meet handles all types of employment cases, inquire whether he is associated with your opponent’s/adversary party in any way.
- The Traits to Look for in Your Lawyer
– During the consultation, you will need to observe the lawyer very carefully. A good lawyer is also a good listener and will always be attentive towards his client.
– Do not choose the lawyer if you find it very hard to communicate with him. Go in for a lawyer who can listen to your side of the story and give you sound advice.
-He must also be able to tell you whether your case has any merit in the court of law and whether it has any scope of success. He must do so in a simplistic manner so that you are able to understand the complexities involved in your case.
-Ensure that you observe the behavior of his staff, because the lawyer may delegate your case to them and thus, they will be doing most of the research and paperwork for your case.
-Select a lawyer who wins your confidence and has several years of experience in the field of employment law.
-He must also be well-informed about the recent trends and changes in the field of law and your job market that may affect the outcome of your case.
- Sort Out Finances
You will need to inquire about how the lawyer charges for his/her services. Most of them charge by the hour, while some may ask for refundable/non-refundable retainer fee. On the other hand, some attorneys may charge a contingency fee, wherein you will be required to pay an agreed percentage of your claim to the lawyer in case you win. In order to avoid confusion, financial loss, and misunderstanding, demand that you be given a lawyer’s retainer agreement that specifies the expenses you will be expected to bear. Find out if the law firm will bear the costs at the outset and require you to pay after the case is decided, or you will need to pay at every step of the litigation.
Keeping your finances in mind, determine whether you will be able to manage these additional expenses or not.
With a divorce rate in the U.S. of approximately 50 percent, there are many reasons why couples end up embroiled in family law battles. Custody issues generally top the list of concerns, as parents want to know who their children will primarily reside with and how substantial decisions will be made regarding the continued upbringing of the children. Here are seven family law tips to help you win difficult custody issues.
1. Be the First to Take Action
If you are the father, the worst thing you can do is wait until the mother of your children takes you to court. Make sure to file first, and it will show that you are sincerely interested in being the primary person in your children’s lives and are committed to taking action. If you are the mother, the same reasons apply. You want to show the family law judge how motivated you are to have primary custody by being the first to file a custody action.
2. Avoid Conflict
During divorce proceedings, emotions are usually volatile. Do your best to take the higher road, remain calm, and try not to argue with the other parent. Conflict will only make matters worse and will show the judge that there’s a problem with your emotional control.
3. Utilize the Police
If conflict happens and the other parent argues with you, walk out immediately and telephone the police. This will ensure that there is a record of the argument and will stop the disagreement from escalating. It’s important to remember not to argue back as that will be recorded in a police report and may be used against you at a later time in court.
4. Be Proactive With Child Support
Even if child support has not yet been ordered, if the other parent spends substantial time with the children, it’s a good idea to give at least some amount to that parent every month. Make sure to give the child support in the form of a check or money order and do not give cash.
5. Keep Records of Everything
Keep a written record of every time you see your kids and when you don’t see your kids. If you have a custody arrangement in place, make sure to record every instance where the other parent is in breach of that agreement. Record items like late pickup, missed attendance at a parent-teacher conference, and when payments to things like tutors don’t get made.
6. Be Consistent With All Your Visits
Always keep your word and make your visits on your agreed upon day. In the event that you’re unable to make a visit, call the other parent and explain. The family law judge will look poorly on not making scheduled visits.
7. Go to All Your Court Dates
Attending all court dates is extremely important. If you don’t show up for a court date, a warrant could be issued for your arrest.
If the parties cannot agree on a resolution to custody issues, the judge will make this extremely important determination using the evidence presented in court. Following these straightforward tips should help you build a case in your favor.