Graduating As a Lawyer

“I know we can’t abolish prejudice through laws, but we can set up guidelines for our actions by legislation.” – Belva Lockwood (American Attorney, 1830-1917)

No profession other than law has multiple variations for a ‘lawyer’. Titles Attorney, Lawyer, Barrister, Solicitor and Esquire are used, in the field of law. However, each title holds a unique responsibility than the others. An attorney or attorney-at-law is a qualified and licensed member of the legal profession, who may act on the client’s behalf and plead or defend a case in the court of law.

A lawyer is a trained professional who provides advice and aid on legal matters, in addition to performing tasks that of an attorney.

A barrister performs trial works in the higher courts and does not deal directly with clients.

A solicitor, speaks with the client, prepares documents and may appear as an advocate in the lower court.

An Esquire is an honorary title, similar to the use of Dr. or Ph.D. Today its’ usage is less frequent and when used it is prefixed by an attorney’s full name.

In the U.S. attorney and lawyer are considered synonyms. While in the U.K. barrister, solicitor and advocate are the popular variants used.

Each country on the globe offers study courses in the field of law. A Law degree allows its’ holder to practice in the court of law. In addition, joining a “bar association” is like a key for entering the kingdom of law. An individual without any legal training can be an attorney-in-fact, but to be a lawyer, bar exam needs to be taken. It provides both license (educational evaluation) and certificate (character and fitness evaluation) to practice law.

In the U.S., formal requirements to become a lawyer requires a 4 year college degree, 3 years of law school and passing a written bar examination. However, requirements may vary by State.

The legal system of Florida includes state judiciary, courts (State and Federal) and the Florida Bar Association. Both Federal and State laws govern the outcome of a legal proceeding. The court system, an individual enters depends on factors like the amount of damage involved, location of the parties involved and whether a court has exclusive jurisdiction over the subject matter.

For an attorney to practice law in this state, he has to be licensed from the Florida bar association. This reflects:

– An attorney has been subjected to ethical rules.
– Is required to take continuing education courses to maintain his license.
– Is required to maintain the confidential of the clients.
– Is professionally accountable to any authority. If found guilty by the bar, they can loose their license to practice.
– Maintains’ a Clients’ Security Fund intended to reimburse clients in case a lawyer misappropriates trust funds.

In, 2008 The Florida Bar Association, The Florida Bar Foundation, Florida Legal Services, The Real Property Probate and Trust Law section joined hands to fight back against the ‘foreclosure’ crisis that made Florida notorious in the nation. The statewide effort is called “Florida Attorney Saving Homes”.

According to a survey, most searched cities for Florida Attorneys are Boca Raton, Clearwater, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Melbourne, Miami, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Tamp and West Palm Beach.

It is imperative for an individual seeking a lawyer to have a background check done. An important step in evaluating whether an attorney is legible for handling legal proceedings or not.

How to Find a Lawyer Who is a Perfect Fit

If an organisation is in a situation where it needs to deal with legal knowledge, sound analysis and proper business sense, it is important to engage the services of an attorney who can play the role of “business advisor”. In fact, most experts agree that fostering relationships with specialized legal eagles is the key to successfully navigating issues which can hamper the economic growth of any organisations.

The question that needs to be asked now is “How do we go about finding this so-called specialized attorney?” It would be a folly to just flip the telephone directory and appoint the first lawyer that comes into view.

A good management practice is still by word-of-mouth recommendations – that’s getting referrals from friends and colleagues. When requesting for their referrals, make very sure you tell them very clearly what you need solved and the kind of attorney you need.

Another way is to do an advanced search on the Internet. The websites that pops up every time you do a search, no matter what keywords or phrase you had typed into Google or Yahoo! do not mean that they are top class. It is possible that they are top class in terms of advertising only!

If your firm is in the healthcare business, it is wise to focus on getting a lawyer whose niche is healthcare law, meaning a healthcare attorney. Don’t go for those “Jack of all trades, master of none” lawyers.

After some soul searching, if, for instance, you fancy law firms A, B and C, the next logical thing to do would be to go to review sites, forums and blogs to see what people have to say about A, B and C. Read testimonials too, but be careful because some testimonials are fakes.

If you can get hold of Speakers’ Lists at academy meetings etc, it would come in very handy in your search for an attorney who is a perfect fit for your organization.

Do knock on the doors of the state attorney’s office, relevant societies and Bar associations in your area and ask them whether they can give you referrals for the kind of lawyers you are looking for.

Yes, getting a good lawyer requires a lot of leg work but it will be worth it. If you simple grab any Tom, Dick and Harry that come along, you may live to regret it.

Good Divorce Lawyers – Not Easy to Find

Finding good divorce lawyers can be a very involved and lengthy process, but it is important to make the right decision. A divorce lawyer will be the one to represent your case in front of a judge, and he or she should realize your best interest during the proceedings. Because of everything involved in a divorce, from property settlements to child custody and visitation rights, there is no reason why you should not hire a competent attorney.

Step one is to think about where you can find a good divorce lawyer. There are a few ways to find a divorce lawyer, including professional or personal recommendations. If you saw a marriage counselor before deciding to divorce, the counselor can probably recommend a good divorce lawyer. The lawyer you use for other services, like estate planning, can also make recommendations. They have insider knowledge about which divorce lawyers have good court reputations. If you have friends who are recently divorced, they may be able to recommend their divorce lawyer. Ask them to tell you honestly about their experience, what they liked and disliked, and whether, if they had to do it all over again, they would still use the same attorney.

One thing to always remember when searching for divorce lawyers is you need to know how much you are able to spend and what kind of specialist you need for your situation. There are all types of specialists ranging from family law attorneys to custody lawyers and child support lawyers. When you are researching firms, you need to inquire how much a specialist costs and whether or not your case requires the use of one. After you make that decision, you need to meet with the lawyer before signing any contracts. The attorney will be able to inform you of any specific divorce laws for your state regarding anything from property division to child custody laws.

You may not feel comfortable with the first lawyer you interview, so plan to talk to at least two or three before making a choice. A lawyer needs to fit your personal style both in and out of court. If you feel intimidated by your lawyer, you could be putting yourself at the risk of not having your voice heard in court. Every lawyer will approach a judge differently, and it is not uncommon to watch potential divorce lawyers in court in your initial search. Always remember that when you do choose an attorney, divulge all the necessary information they need for your case. If you leave anything out, your lawyer will not be fully prepared and it could hurt you during the divorce settlement.

Another factor when choosing an attorney is the matter of their fees, disbursements, and billing arrangements. Fees are different from one attorney to the next, and you should ensure you can afford them. One of the choices you will have to make is whether you want to work with someone from a large law firm or someone who is a sole practitioner. You should also find out how they bill for their services. Some lawyers require you to pay fees up front, and then refund any excess payment. Other attorneys will allow you to pay as you go. Lawyers who rely on paralegals and other assistants may charge more than lawyers who do all the work alone. Researching the length of time an attorney has practiced can tell you how much he or she will charge. Once a fee has been settled upon, check all the paperwork to make sure you aren’t charged later for additional fees.

Finding good divorce lawyers can be accomplished by using a variety of resources ranging from close friends to professional recommendations. It is important to seek the advice of others before choosing an attorney because they may know who can better serve your needs in court. After making a decision, learning to trust and divulge all the necessary information will allow you to gain the best possible stance in front of a judge. When lives are at stake, especially the well-being of children, choosing a divorce lawyer should be done with extreme caution.