Do You Know Qualities of the Best Law Firms?

How do you know that your attorney will provide you with confident legal representation? A responsible legal attorney will ensure that he will do the best for you.

Here’s a look at the Qualities of the Best Law Firms:

Effective Leadership

An effective leader is one of the key factors in determining a successful law practice. A good leader will have a commitment to serving its clients, and a vision for the firm’s direction. He will have a desire to find the best people, believing both in the clients and the brand of the firm. Effective leaders have a good understanding of the legal work, an awareness of the employees’ total job satisfaction, and overall satisfaction of its clients. Good leaders always remain cognizant of the factors such as success and growth associated with the firm.

Compassion for its Clients

The best law firms have qualified attorneys that listen to the clients concerns, and show empathy towards their situation. They are also concerned towards their overall goal through representation by the firm. Some attorneys look at their clients and see the opportunity to bill the total fee they will earn for a huge settlement. These attorneys lack the basic ethical consideration and compassion for its clients. The attorneys of the best law firms always act in the best interest of the clients and take good care of them. Some law firms even recruit brand new attorneys and start the legal process afresh with them.

Focus on a Specific Area

It is the quality of the best law firms to focus on a particular area of law. Laws are complex these days and these can change depending on the new case handed down by superior courts. The best law firms are aware of recent changes in their area of specialization. They can change strategy and become the power to their clients by exhibiting their knowledge in a particular area of law. A lawyer who claims to practice in all areas is not the right choice. With a narrow focus, a lawyer can represent your case instantly.

Organizational and Transaction Skills

Any attorney firm who wishes to be successful must possess skilled lawyers. The possession of exceptional organizational and transaction skills will enable the law firm to distinguish themselves from the other firms. These skills may vary with the different fields of law. The technical knowledge of lawyers will enable them to succeed. Moreover, this will assist them in retaining clients and winning cases. The practicing attorneys should have a mastery over the rules of evidence, which is an essential part of litigation. A client wants an attorney with a firm and confident determination. With confidence in their law firm, a client’s trust will increase and finally the potential of repeat business is huge.

Honesty and Persuasiveness

The best law firms never misguide their clients with an incorrect answer. Appeasing a client with false statements will cost the firm at the end. Honesty is totally important in maintaining client relations and should be of extreme importance. A lawyer must possess the skills to persuade a judge and the client, and in this situation, the power of persuasion is important. The idea of persuasiveness is the ability to understand and identify the concerns of the audience. It is the attorneys who can interpret the law in order to remain successful.

Clearly Defined Fee System

To avoid any future complications, good law firms always put in writing and explain to the client the method of billing. Many billing disputes arise only due to discrepancy in the understanding of the client regarding the fee matter. A clearly explained fee agreement in the first intake helps to avoid many of the post case disputes.

There a lot of law firms available to select from, however when picking out the best of the lot, it is important you verify the qualities of a professional one. The qualities of the best law firms have been discussed above to enable you to choose the right one.

Criminal Law – Keep the Public Safe From Felons

Criminal law involves different rules that can cause the prosecution of a person for acts identified as crimes by the government. People found guilty of committing a criminal act would be incarcerated, fined, or both. Committing a crime means violating public laws which are established by the federal government, the state or the local government. These include felonies such as murder and rape as well as misdemeanors such as petty theft or jaywalking. Most felonies are punishable by one to two years imprisonment while misdemeanors are punishable by less than a year inside the slammer or other lighter punishments such as community services depending on the weight and kind of crime committed.

Ancient civilizations such as the Sumerians were the first to write codes of laws but did not distinguish civil and criminal laws. Most violations of the written laws were punished accordingly by physical punishment such as whipping or caning, incarceration which may vary from a day to life, house arrest, paying damages, or execution. As the written laws developed and distinguished civil laws from criminal laws, criminal sanctions are enforced according to five objectives:

  • Retribution – the aspect of making criminals pay for the crime they committed by placing them at some unpleasant disadvantage
  • Deterrence – this aims to sufficiently penalize offender to discourage him and other offenders from committing the crime and other criminal behavior
  • Incapacitation – criminals are taken away from the society so that the public can be safe from them. Prison sentences as well as death penalties serve this purpose.
  • Rehabilitation – involves transforming an offender into a better citizen
  • Restitution – this aims to repair any hurt inflicted to the victim by the offender such as paying for damaged properties or embezzled money.

The different crimes that fall under the criminal law statutes include:

  • Appellate law
  • White Collar Crime
  • Bribery
  • Counterfeiting/forgery
  • Embezzlement
  • Fraud
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Government fraud
  • Murder/homicide
  • Tax evasion
  • Violent crime
  • Theft/property crime
  • Drug crime
  • Juvenile crime
  • Child abuse crime

In the United States, prosecutions for criminal law offenses are initiated by complaints issued by a judge or an indictment issued by a grand jury. However, felonies in Federal courts require indictment or a formal accusation based on the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Furthermore, the Sixth Amendment provides the criminal defendant with a right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the State in both state and Federal courts, to be informed of the nature and cause of accusations, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to obtain witnesses in his favor, and to be given a right to a Counsel for his defense but can defend himself and act as his own lawyer.

How to Become a Partner in a Law Firm

Becoming a partner in a law firm is an objective for most lawyers. Partnership entails successfully running the law firm and meeting the expectations of your partners and clients. Lawyers who want to make partnership have to dedicate several years to building good reputation inside and outside their law firms. This usually requires consistently performing good work, earning the respect and admiration of the junior lawyers, the partners and clients they work for. It also requires staying active in their local bar associations and publishing articles on related legal issues.

Lawyers frequently think that being a good lawyer will be sufficient to qualify them for partnership appointment. Being a good litigator is certainly a big part of the criteria for partnership in a law firm. However, there are usually numerous other factors that are taken into consideration for eligibility for legal partnership.

Why is it important to become a partner in a law firm?

As a beginner in the legal world, a lawyer needs to work as a trainee in a law firm for a few years. To succeed as a lawyer, you need to have a clear understanding of the law and get to know the inner workings to help you win cases. Once you have gained enough experience and earned a reputation for winning cases, your chances of becoming a partner is close to reality.

Being a partner has lots of benefits. One of these is become a part owner of the firm and acquiring a share of the profits. A law firm partner also has a right to vote on decisions made by the firm which will include voting on how profits are distributed, making decisions involving the appointment of future partners and deciding the types of clients to represent.

How can a lawyer work up to become a law firm partner?

Being a partner starts with having a common goal and a vision of how you are going to become a part of a law firm and reach the important milestones in your legal career.

Here are tips to successfully become a law firm partner;

Number One
Work the hours: More hours are better.

Number Two:
Bring in new clients: Working hard is a given but a lawyer must also bring new business to the law firm.

Number Three
Be proactive: Anticipate and plan for the future before it transpires. These efforts will please partners and clients.

Number Four
Be result-oriented: Strive to deliver results quickly.

Number Five
Be a team player: The best lawyers are team players who take a personal interest in the firm’s success.

Number Six
Respect firm employees: Treat every staff member the same way you treat your boss.

Number Seven
Practice consistency: Success results from exercising good habits every day. Do not delay and be prompt when responding to any legal concerns.

Number Eight
Accurate time sheet filling: Filling your time sheet truthfully and on-schedule is the best of establishing credibility.

Number Nine
Create work-life balance: The legal profession can be demanding. Therefore, it is very important that you ensure you maintain work-life balance focusing on your family and your health.

Living the life of a professional litigator is challenging. Therefore, having the drive to succeed is not enough. You must also be smart and to prepare yourself for partnership. Those actions will exemplify your true desire for success in the legal profession.

Katie’s Law

In September of 2010 the State of Colorado enacted “Katie’s Law.” This law requires persons arrested and suspected of a felony to submit to a DNA sample when they are fingerprinted photographed and booked by police. The law was passed in an attempt to assist in solving violent and sex-assault crimes that have been pending for some time. The law also requires that if no felony charges are filed after 1 year, then the DNA samples are to be destroyed. The state of Colorado is one of 12 states that has approved Katie’s Law to collect DNA in every felony arrest, not just violent felonies..

In the first 4 ½ months, 15,404 DNA swabs were collected from suspected felons. Of these, 9,212 of the samples were processed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation once felony charges were filed. The samples are then entered into the Combined DNA index system (CODIS) which stores results collected from crime scenes and victims throughout the country. Of the initial samples run, 40 matches have been found and charges are now pending in these cases.

Since 2006, 16 states have adopted Katie’s Law. The law is credited with hundreds of arrests, not to mention the exonerations of over 200 suspects serving time for crimes they didn’t commit. Advocates of the law, such as New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez states that the law “convicts the guilty, exonerates the innocent and prevents untold people from becoming victims of violent crime.” Katie’s Law helps increase public safety by not giving criminals a second chance. Opponents of the law, on the other hand, want to ensure that the suspects fourth amendment rights are not violated and want assurances that DNA testing doesn’t occur unless the suspect is actually charged with a crime.

“Katie’s Law” was first enacted in New Mexico and is named after Katie Sepich, a 22 year old college student at New Mexico State University who was raped, strangled and set on fire by a man released on bond back in 2003. So far, 24 states have enacted Katie’s Law or similar legislation. In February of 2010, Congressman Harry Teague (D-NM) introduced the Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act of 2010 on the Federal level. The bill was overwhelmingly passed in the House by a vote of 357-32. A similar bill in the Senate was introduced in September of 2010 by senator Jeff Bingham (D-NM). In an interview with John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted, President Obama stated that “it is the right thing to do” and voiced his support for national legislation.