Category Archives: My Blog

Choosing an Attorney: 10 Things to Consider

Much like an accountant or a contractor, you should approach choosing an attorney wisely. Not only will you be sharing confidential information with this person, but you will also be entrusting them to offer you proper legal advice and guide you through a situation you wouldn’t otherwise be able to navigate on your own.

From qualifications and cost, to the area of law and location, there are several aspects to turn over in your mind before selecting the attorney that is best for you and your legal situation.

Here are 10 factors you should think about when searching for a lawyer:

1. Long or short term?

Before you begin looking online, or asking colleagues, friends, or family for referrals, you need to address your own needs first. Why do you need an attorney? Do you have a legal problem that you cannot solve on your own? If so, would a professional be able to help?

After you have identified you do need legal assistance, figure out whether you need a lawyer short term or long term. This will depend on the work you would like done. For instance, do you need an attorney to provide advice on a current legal situation? This may only require a short term hire or a consultation. Oppositely, if you are looking for someone to handle all your legal affairs indefinitely, then you may require a long term attorney who you can call on when you need them.

2. Area of law

Lawyers tend to specialize in certain areas of law, as it is a very large field of study, similar to medicine. Some cover real estate law, while others pursue business, family, intellectual property, immigration, employment, accident/injury, bankruptcy, criminal, or civil rights law.

Attorneys can also be open to a wide range of situations, in which case they are referred to as general practice attorneys. Smaller communities see more general practitioners because there is limited legal help in the area.

However, if your situation is specific to your business, then you may want to choose someone who has experience in corporate law. Alternatively, if you need help settling a loved one’s estate, an estate planning lawyer would be the best fit.

3. Are they highly regarded?

When you hire someone to perform a service or offer advice, you want to ensure that they know their stuff. You may need to ask for referrals from people who have worked with them before. You can also seek out referral services online who can pair you with a locally certified lawyer suited to your needs.

Personal recommendations or connections can also be valuable, such as friends or family who have worked with a specific attorney.

4. Location

Laws vary by state. This means you should look for someone in your area who is familiar with the region’s legal requirements. 

If you happen to live in a rural area with limited resources, you can use other methods of contact, such as phone or email, to discuss smaller issues. With larger legal matters, or for long term counsel, it’s important to find someone close to you so that you can develop a trusted, face-to-face relationship.

5. Experience

In addition to someone with a specialization in the area of law you require, choose an attorney with experience cases similar to your own. You can find out information about their practicing history by simply asking them, or checking out their firm’s website (if they have one). An attorney with more experience may be more valuable, but only if their experience matches your situation, as well as your budget.

To find out more about an attorney’s past history, you may be able interview them to see if they are qualified to take on your case. Asking questions will give you insight into the type of experience they have, if they communicate well, and most of all, if they can help you.

6. Size of firm

The size of the law firm can affect your decision in a few ways. Larger firms are usually more established and have greater resources, but can also be more costly.

Smaller firms may be more personal and perhaps less expensive, but they may be limited in their services if they don’t specialize in the area of law that you desire.

7. Cost and billing

Ultimately, cost will be a factor when you’re choosing an attorney. How much you are willing to spend is up to you. You can gather more information beforehand by asking the lawyer for a quote, as well as how they bill their clients. It could be an hourly fee, a flat rate, a contingency fee, a negotiable fee, or possibly even a retainer for future fees.

Find out if the fee includes expenses (such as shipping, filing, and travel) because these costs are not always treated the same and could be billed separately.

If you are not satisfied with the quote or the cost does not suit your budget, shop around and ask the same questions. When you do settle on a firm or a lawyer, always make sure the cost terms are clear and don’t be afraid to talk about price, so there are no surprises. You may even wish to confirm all costs in a written agreement.

8. Compatibility

While there are many professional things to consider when choosing a lawyer, their character should also factor into your decision. Find someone that is trustworthy and makes you feel comfortable. Mutual respect is also important. A lawyer who will work hard for you, exercise good judgment, and be thorough and thoughtful in the process is a valuable asset.

9. Availability

Does the lawyer you want to hire have enough time to dedicate to your case? How is their caseload? Can they take on your case immediately? These are important questions to ask if you plan on being in contact with the attorney often. If they appear to be overworked, consider looking for someone else who has the time to attend to your needs.

10. Communication

Communication goes hand in hand with compatibility and availability. Often, between paperwork and meetings, there can be a tendency to fall out of touch. Try to establish proactive communication at the beginning. Mention your preferred form of communication and discuss your hours, so you are both on the same page. This will prevent missed meetings or phone calls. Agree on regular check-in times to discuss updates and ask questions.

A good attorney should also take the time to explain complicated matters, provide you with plain English advice on your situation, and present you with an array of options or solutions to mull over before deciding on a plan of action

Selecting the Right Attorney for You

Choosing an attorney may take time, and you might not always find one that you click with immediately. A quality attorney will be worth the recruiting effort, even if it means researching and interviewing several before you decide on one.

Most importantly, finding a lawyer that fits your needs, your budget, and your welfare is going to give you peace of mind because you will trust that they are looking out for your best interests.

7 Must-Know Tips for Hiring an Attorney for Your Case

7 Must-Know Tips for Hiring an Attorney for Your Case


When you find yourself faced with a legal issue, the steps you take next can literally impact the rest of your life. Hiring a legal professional – and doing it the right way – is one of the most important decisions you’ll make.

Not sure how to hire an attorney for your case? You’re in the right place! Keep reading for ten must-know tips that will make hiring an attorney easy.

1. Ask for Recommendations

One of the best ways to find a good attorney is to ask people you trust for recommendations. Start with family and friends – ask if they’ve had a positive personal experience with an attorney in the area of specialty you’re looking for.

If you have a relationship with an attorney who works in a different specialty, he or she may also be able to give you a recommendation. For example, your business lawyer probably can’t help with a personal injury case, but he may be able to refer you to a great personal injury lawyer.

Use these recommendations to create a short list of three to five attorneys who you’ll investigate further before making a decision.

2. Do Online Research

Next, it’s time to hop online and start doing some research about each of the attorneys on your list. Check Google reviews and at least a couple of the lawyer review sites – like Lawyers.com and Justia.

It’s also a good idea to take a look through the lawyer’s website and their social media – including the reviews section. Remember that you can’t please everyone, so don’t put too much weight into one or two bad reviews, but if you start to see a pattern, consider crossing that lawyer off your list.

3. Schedule a Consultation

Once your research is done, narrow down your list to the top three, then call to schedule consultations. Most attorneys will meet with you for at least a brief consultation without charging you.

Pay attention to whether the person who answers the phone is polite and accommodating. When you arrive at the office, notice whether the location is convenient and whether you feel comfortable in the space.

4. Ask the Right Questions

When you sit down with the lawyer, it’s a good idea to have a list of questions prepared. This will ensure that you make good use of the time you have and that you don’t forget anything important.

Some of the questions you’ll want to ask include:

  • Do you specialize in cases like mine?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • Do you feel that I have a strong case?
  • How much do you think my case is worth?
  • How often do you take cases to court vs. setting?
  • Who will be handling my case?
  • How and when will I need to pay?

Look for an attorney who is honest and upfront when answering your questions. Don’t be afraid to take notes, as you’ll want to compare the interviews with each of your top three options and remembering who said what could become a challenge.

5. Assess fees and Costs

You never want to hire an attorney based on cost alone, but, of course, price does matter. Ask the attorney to thoroughly explain their fees, and, if possible, to provide you with a written summary. Don’t feel like you’re “being cheap,” you deserve to know what you’re paying for and how much it’s going to cost you.

6. Review the Payment Arrangements

There are different ways that your attorney might bill you. Options include:

  • Contingency fee – the attorney receives a percentage of what you’re awarded if you win your case.
  • Flat fee – a set dollar amount for services. This is common for simple things like writing a will or filing a non-contested divorce.
  • Hourly rate – this is a set fee per hour. The final cost will depend on the number of hours worked.
  • Retainer – this is a fee you pay upfront. Lawyers often use this to pay expenses and fees associated with trying your case.

It’s important to understand how your attorney bills so you know when and how much you can expect to pay. If you don’t ask these questions, you could end up with an unpleasant surprise.

7. Listen to Your Gut

Once you’ve reviewed all of this information and met with each potential attorney, it’s time to evaluate your experience with each and make a final decision. You’ll use logic for most of this evaluation, but it’s also important to listen to your gut. If you have a really great feeling about one attorney that you met with – if you feel like you trust and believe in him or her – then this is a great indication that you’ve made the right choice.

The same goes for a negative feeling. Even if you can’ quite put your finger on it, if there’s something that just doesn’t seem quite right to you, then move on. There are thousands of lawyers out there, so it makes sense to keep looking until you find one that’s a good fit for you.

Hiring an Attorney is a Critical Decision

Follow these tips for hiring an attorney and you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve made an excellent choice. If you need even more information, take a few minutes to scroll through some of our other helpful blog posts!

7 REASONS YOU NEED A LAWYER

7 REASONS YOU NEED A LAWYER

Picture for our blog

If you have been issued a traffic ticket or are involved in a small claims case, chances are you will not need a lawyer.  The answer to “When do I need a lawyer?” can be overly complex and often depends on the exact circumstances of your specific situation. The attorneys at Handelin Law identified 7 common reasons you may need a lawyer to help guide you in deciding whether to hire a lawyer for your particular circumstance.

Personal Injury

By their very nature, accidents happen fast, without warning, and usually at the worst possible time.  In order to maximize the benefits and recovery to which you are entitled, it is wise to have an advocate on your side fighting for you during your recovery.  Whether your injury was work-related, caused by a car accident or a defective product, a knowledgeable attorney at Handelin Law can assist you in your fight.

Someone in Your Family Died Without an Estate Plan

Another reason why you would need to hire an attorney is when a family member has passed without an estate plan. When a family member dies without an estate plan, it can lead to chaos: family members may start to argue about who gets what, money issues can sometimes arise, and more. Hiring an experienced probate attorney at Handelin Law can save you and your family a great deal of pain, stress, and confusion.

You Want to Start a Business

Starting a business without an attorney is possible; however, it is not recommended. Hiring one of our experienced business law attorneys at Handelin Law can help you navigate all the legal requirements of your company, ensure compliance with all applicable laws, as well as guide you through each step of building your business. This is especially true when your business involves a partner, where you need to set forth the respective rights and obligations of each partner to avoid potential issues before they threaten the business itself.

You Need an Estate Plan

While there are free or downloadable forms that websites offer as an estate plan, these are often unenforceable if not executed properly, they can leave out important considerations, and end up causing more harm than good.  A properly crafted and enforceable estate plan prepared by one of our top-notch estate planning attorneys will ensure you that your wishes are carried out by those who you appoint and will avoid costly litigation.  In doing so, you and your family will be able to enjoy one another and remember you for you, and not for the mess you left behind.

You are Going Through a Nasty Divorce

If you find yourself in an emotional or complex divorce where disagreements over assets, children, allegations of domestic violence, or finances arise, your first step should be to call Handelin Law and sit down with one of our family law attorneys.  Far too often emotion and anger control these discussions and decisions and our family law attorneys can guide you to a fair and proper resolution if one can be had; however, if litigation is required, we will fight for you and your children.

A Contract is Involved

When creating a contract between you and another person, it is crucial that you understand the terms and conditions you are being asked to sign and ultimately obligating yourself thereto. If you have an agreement that will legally bind you and you are not absolutely positive of the terms, sitting down with one of our Handelin Law lawyers can save you a significant amount of time and money by protecting you before you sign.

You Received a Letter from an Attorney

It is never ideal to receive a letter from an attorney (trust us, we know!), but it may be either a misunderstanding or an opportunity to resolve a dispute.  Our experienced attorneys can assist in either event.  It is usually not wise to communicate directly with another attorney, as you may unintentionally divulge damaging information or misstate your position which may be used against you.

If any of the above happens to you, or if you have other legal concerns, contact us today or scheduling a consultation online.

5 Reasons Everyone Should Have a Lawyer

Lawyer Image

Simply put: Lawyers get a bad rap these days.

While I love a good lawyer joke as much as the next guy, the truth is that most lawyers are honest, hard-working, and knowledgeable professionals who look out for the best interest of their clients. Like doctors, mechanics, or accountants they are professionals with an area of expertise and an important service to provide.

But where most of us don’t think twice about having a family doctor or keeping a handyman on call, many people feel that having a lawyer is a sign that something is wrong. To many, it’s a sign that someone is either looking for trouble or doing something risky that might make them more likely to have legal problems.

Generally, if you aren’t super-wealthy or a villain on a crime show, it’s not widely expected you’d have an attorney you can call when needed without searching. Instead, you’re expected to “get an attorney” when things get rough.

But what’s expected of you is not always best for you, especially if you’re a webmaster, businessman, or someone who is in a position where they may need a lawyer sometime in the future. Just like with a doctor or a mechanic, it’s best to have an established relationship with someone before things go bad, so you have someone who knows who you are and can dive right in to help.

If you aren’t working with an attorney, today is a great day to get one because tomorrow it may be too late. But, even if there isn’t an urgent need on the horizon, there are still several reasons why it is a great idea to get a lawyer today. Here are a few to consider.

1. They’re Not That Expensive

One of the big reasons that people avoid talking with an attorney before it becomes absolutely necessary is cost. TV shows hype up lawyers with high rates and make your lawyers look more expensive than they actually are.

While lawyers do charge different rates and some can be very hard on the wallet, most are actually very reasonable. In fact, you can probably find a very capable attorney for a lower hourly rate than your doctor or even a licensed plumber.

Besides, even if a lawyer is expensive, they likely provide free consultations. In those consultations, they will talk with you about your situation and provide some idea of how they can help and how much it will cost.

In short, there’s no risk in talking with an attorney and trying to build a relationship with one.

2. Lawyers Prevent Problems

Most people think of attorneys as people who fix problems but, in truth, most of the work that they do is preventative in nature. Whether it’s reviewing contracts, writing up agreements, filing paperwork, or making sure that their client is compliant with the law.

An attorney is there to represent the interest of their clients and those interests are best served by keeping them out of legal trouble, not just merely defending them when they are in the middle of it.

Having a lawyer that can read your contracts, keep up your business filings up to date and guide you through any paperwork you may have can go a long way to preventing legal problems and that, in the long run, saves you a great deal of money and headache.

3. Your Partners/Competitors Have One

If you’re signing a contract with another company to do work for them, do you assume that they had an intern write the document? No, they had an attorney write it for them and prepare it with their interests in mind.

If someone you’re negotiating or competing with has an attorney working with them and you don’t, that puts you at a disadvantage. Not only will you understand less about the document and the law, but you won’t have someone in your corner acting and advising on your behalf.

While attorneys shouldn’t be seen as part of an arms race, you still don’t want to be the only one in the room without one representing you when it comes to any kind of negotiation or dispute. It’s safe to assume that the companies you’re working with and competing against have lawyers working for them so it makes sense to have one of your own.

4. Powerful Networking

No lawyer operates in a vacuum. Every attorney operates in a network with other legal professionals, including many different specialties, officials in various areas of government, and other professionals of all types.

One of the talents that makes a good lawyer a good lawyer is his or her ability to reach out, contact the right people and get active. That also makes a good lawyer a good place to get contact information for other professionals, informally and formally.

For example, if you need an accountant to help with your taxes? A lawyer is a good person to ask who in the area is good. Need to file some papers with the local government? A lawyer can usually tell you where to go and what to watch out for.

Having someone who can direct you to the right people is always invaluable and that’s something attorneys excel at.

5. You Never Know…

What if something happens and you find yourself sued tomorrow? You have a limited amount of time to respond and you are going to waste a lot of it trying to shop around for a lawyer and, when you find one, they’re going spend a lot of time getting caught up on you and your situation.

You never know when the next legal bump is around the corner and you might need a lawyer urgently. It’s important that you have an established relationship with one so they can hit the ground running and spend less time backtracking through your history.

A quick, effective response generally means a better outcome for you and money saved. In short, the better you know your attorney, the better he or she can help you.

Bottom Line

We live in a society that thinks nothing of going to a doctor for checkups when nothing is wrong, having an occasional home inspection or even getting your car checked with every oil change. Yet, even having an ongoing relationship with an attorney is a sign of something being off.

I’m not saying you need to visit a lawyer every six months or even yearly, but you should establish a relationship with one as soon as you can and see about stopping by every time your situation changes. Routine stuff such as minor car accidents, contracts, wills, etc. is great, low-pressure opportunities to introduce yourself to a lawyer and find one you like.

So take the opportunity to seek one out. Most likely, you’ve been putting off some legally-oriented task for a while so make it a late New Year’s resolution to get it done and, along the way, establish a relationship with a legal professional that can help you a great deal down the road.

When you need your lawyer, you’ll be glad that you met them when you did.

5 Things to Look for When Choosing a Car Accident Lawyer

Finding a reputable car accident lawyer to work with is more important than you might think. If you’ve recently been injured in a car accident, you’ll want a car accident lawyer who can represent your best interests, so you can focus on recovery. A good accident lawyer will be able to make sure all the right paperwork is filed, provide general legal advice, determine an accurate settlement estimate, collect evidence to strengthen your personal injury case, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and represent you in court, if necessary.

To make sure you find a reputable car accident lawyer you can trust to handle your case to the best of their abilities, look for the following things when consulting with prospective lawyers:

1. Clear Communication

A good lawyer will make it easy for you to understand what they will do to help you with your case. They will provide you with clear information about their process, fees, values, and more. If you have any questions, they should be direct and to the point. You should not leave their office with more questions than answers. If they are unable to provide clear insight into their practice during your initial conversation, there’s a good chance you’ll have issues with communication further along the line if you hire them.

2. An engaged conversation

A good lawyer should be interested in your case. A lawyer that’s not engaged will only put in the minimum amount of required effort. You can end up getting a smaller settlement than you could have gotten because of this. How can you tell if a lawyer is engaged? They should ask you many detailed questions about your case and what your legal goals are.

3. Willingness to provide references

Always ask a lawyer for a list of references you can contact and speak to. These references should speak to the reputation of the lawyer. Even if you don’t contact their references, you can have confidence in the fact that they provided them to you. A lawyer that doesn’t have references or won’t provide you with any should be avoided.

4. An organized office space

The more organized their office looks, the more organized they probably are. Keep an eye on how their staff does their work and how tidy the lawyer’s desk is. If they have to shuffle through piles of paper in order to find what they’re looking for while their staff struggles to handle incoming calls, they’re probably not very organized, which doesn’t reflect well on their ability to handle your case.

5. Experience

Ask the lawyer about their experience. Make sure they have specific experience handling car accident cases. You will also want to be sure they have experience arguing cases in court and have a winning track record.

These are five things you should look for when meeting with a car accident lawyer. We’re confident that you will find all five of these things when you speak to a car accident lawyer. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

7 Law of Attraction Tips to Help You Manifest Success

Knowing some basic Law of Attraction tips can set you on the path to manifesting your actual desires and less of what you don’t want. The Law of Attraction is always working whether we’re aware of it or not. Either you’re living by default or design.

Awareness and learning to use it to your advantage is the first step in changing just about any aspect of your life.

That’s great news, right?

So you’ve accepted this and you’re ready to start manifesting the life of your dreams. But where do you start?

How do you get the ball rolling when you’ve never done it before?

My best advice is sharing some of my daily practices with you.

I developed these practices over several years of testing and these law of attraction tips seem to work best for me.

So here’s the list…let’s go!

1. Define and Clarify Your Goal

One reason so many people don’t accomplish goals is they aren’t specific enough. Manifestation works the same way.

By just saying, “I want to make more money” will not be effective, but saying “I want to earn $10,000 per month by July 1, 2019” will.

A couple of ways to really boost your manifesting power is to write out what it would feel like to have already accomplished your goal and read it often. But not just read it, close your eyes and envision that success scenario in as much detail as you can.

Creating a vision board can be helpful if you really feel inspired by it AND take action towards what you want.

2. Set Daily Intentions

After reading The Miracle Morning in late 2012, I made it a priority to wake up really early. I get up around 4:15a 7 days a week. If you haven’t read that book, I highly recommend it.

So since December of 2012, I’ve been doing this and I’ve found this to be the most creative and productive time in my day. But I plan my day the night before so I can hit the ground running when I wake up.

A great day starts with intention. By deciding the most important things I need to do or setting a daily theme and then visualizing myself progressing through the day to the best of my ability and accomplishing my tasks with ease. I picture my interactions with others and the activities I think I’ll be doing. I envision my perfect day. I envision myself happy and content.

3. Ask for Assistance from Your Higher Power

Another technique that can be used right away in the morning is to ask for universal assistance in creating your perfect day. You can do this by writing down requests, which could be something like, “please allow my flight to arrive safely” or “please help me be my best self and truly serve others.”

4. Recite Positive Affirmations

You can also write out some flashcards or separate pieces of paper and put a carefully crafted affirmation on each one. I go through my flashcards a couple of times a day and recite each positive affirmation over and over for 5 minutes. An effective affirmation should only use positive wording and should always be in the present tense. For example, don’t say, “I wish to be debt-free.” Instead say, “I live an abundant lifestyle.” Need some ideas for positive affirmations? Check out this post.

5. Keep a Gratitude Journal

Keeping a gratitude journal is an excellent way to keep your vibrations high. I do this every night before I go to bed. I always list 5 things I was grateful for that day. It doesn’t have to be anything really huge, it could be as simple as “I’m grateful to have a roof over my head.” I also try not to ever do the same affirmation more than once (at least to the best of my memory). This is truly one of my favorite Law of Attraction tips and it leaves me with a positive, elevated mood as I go to sleep each day. It’s also a great way to raise your vibe if you’re trying to manifest during tough times.

6. Visualize Yourself Conquering Your Goals

And this one is by far one of my favorite Law of Attraction tips. This is similar to setting your daily intentions, but different because it’s visualizing you achieving a specific goal. When you picture yourself already at your final destination, in great detail, with the people, place, and things you want around you, you’ll start to attract the tools and other resources you need to make that actual goal (and visualization) a reality. And to really be effective, don’t just think about accomplishing your goal, really FEEL it. When you imagine it with emotion, is when the real magic starts to happen.

7. Identify Negativity as it Comes Up

When you’re going about your day, negative things are bound to come up, it’s just what happens when we live in the real world. It’s how we deal with this negativity that really counts. When negative situations arise in my life, I take them head on and deal with them as swiftly and effectively as possible BUT I also imagine the opposite feeling or experience and put all my focus on that. So basically when negativity shows up, acknowledge it, deal with it as much as possible and then find and focus on the good. I know this can be hard, but you really can find something good in just about every situation you can think of.

  • The biggest thing to remember when test driving any of the techniques above is to BE CONSISTENT. Keeping a consistent practice keeps your vibrations high and you should start to notice small changes in a relatively short amount of time. I can’t give you a timeline…it’s different for everyone. Inconsistent practices will bring you inconsistent results or no results at all.

The Purpose of Law and Its Functions In Society

It is easy to understand how important laws are if you imagine a society trying to function without them. There is no way for one legal system to cover every situation because individuals and circumstances are unique.

In the U.S., there are a wide variety of laws, including laws created by legislatures, those created by administrative agencies, and laws created from tradition, or common law. Then there is a court system to help decide which laws apply in each situation and how the laws should be interpreted. It seems like a lot of rules, but all of them are important to help protect us in our day-to-day lives.

The Purpose Of Law & Its Functions Within Society 🥇 Halt.org

Functions of Law

Law fulfills several important functions, but these four are the most important:  

  1. Laws protect individual rights and liberties. The Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution to guarantee several important protections. The laws protect individuals from other individuals, from organizations, and even from the government. The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights prohibits the government from making any law that would interfere with an individual’s right to free speech. There are some exceptions based on what is considered free speech.
  2. Laws provide a framework and rules to help resolve disputes between individuals. Laws create a system where individuals can bring their disputes before an impartial fact-finder, such as a judge or jury. There are also legal alternatives where individuals work together to find a solution, such as by using alternative dispute resolution (ADR). There are courts at every level, from local to federal, to decide who should win in a dispute.
  3. Without laws, there would be no way to set standards. It is easy enough to see why murder and theft are crimes, but laws also provide a framework for setting many other kinds of standards. Without the Federal Code of Regulations, it would be difficult for individuals or businesses to transact businesses using banks. Federal regulations provide enforceable rules and protections regarding taxes, commercial transactions, employment laws, insurance, and other important areas.
  4. Laws help societies to maintain order. What would society be like without the rule of law? You might need to provide your own protection because there would be no police force or army.  Without federal banking protections, you might need to find other ways to get what you couldn’t provide for yourself. With the structure and organization of laws come order and predictability. Individuals can feel safe, leading to wider social structures and greater productivity.

Purpose of Business Law

Business law is unique because it has so many aspects of other areas of law. In order to understand such a complex subject, attorneys must understand diverse areas like commercial transactions, employment law, business formation and dissolution, and insurance law. Business law helps to protect not just the businesses but the owners, employees, and customers of the businesses.

The business attorneys at Cronus Law, PLLC  are flexible and knowledgeable problem solvers. We assist the residents, families, and businesses of Phoenix, AZ, and the surrounding cities with simple and complex problems in the areas of business and real estate law. We can help with estate planning, civil litigation, and other matters. If you need assistance with an important legal matter, call us at  (480) 739-3683 or visit our website today.

4 ways legal ops & vendor partnerships benefit both parties

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All relationships require work, and the business relationship between legal ops teams and their vendors is no exception. Unfortunately, legal ops teams often rely on a single, pre-existing connection between the in-house team and an attorney from an outside firm. While personal recommendations are a great start, even existing relationships need to be nurtured.

All too often, in-house teams avoid treating vendors as business partners. Outside firms are considered a separate entity — you have work, and vendors wait around to get it.

But this line of thinking sets both parties up to fail. Without healthy partnerships, work and budget decisions are reactionary. Treating vendors like partners allows you to plan ahead.

Partnerships between legal ops and outside counsel set expectations for a healthy working relationship and allow everyone to focus on high-value work. When you start viewing vendors as your business partners, everyone benefits in four key ways.

1. More Predictable Spending

Long-term relationships encourage both legal ops and outside counsel to establish set spending amounts for ongoing work. If vendors don’t know how much work to expect or when, they’ll default to billing by the hour. Not only is hourly billing unpredictable, but it also incentivizes inefficiency by allowing law firms to dictate the amount of time they dedicate to each matter.

Partnerships, on the other hand, favor predictability. Long-term relationships can lead to alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) that establish fixed total costs, flat fees for specific tasks, volume discounts, and other stable pricing models.

Legal Invoice Validation Rules

Vendors want predictability as much as you do and tend to be open to arrangements that provide them with a set amount of work. For example, “our team can guarantee your firm $X spend per quarter if you agree with Y terms.”

Not sure how to initiate those conversations? Take a look at tips from our CEO and co-founder, Nathan Wenzel: How to Get Legal Spend Predictability in 90 Seconds.

Keep in mind that partnerships have a positive domino effect. They lead to a better understanding of the business requirements, which leads to more opportunities to review past work completed, which can lead to better fee agreements. Long-term business partnerships give both sides the opportunity to create mutually beneficial agreements that provide predictability for everyone.

2. Work Stability for Vendors and Legal Ops Teams

When you know which firms you’ll be working with on an ongoing basis, it’s easier for both the vendors and your team to predict workloads.

Partnerships lead to go-to teams — also called preferred panels — of experts in particular matters. For instance, your team can designate a preferred panel to handle 75% of your patent prosecution work. With that kind of partnership, your team can feel confident that quality work will get done, and the preferred vendor is guaranteed a certain workload.

Long-term relationships are all about savings — but that savings can come in the form of jobs as well. When firms and legal ops know how much work to expect for certain matters, both teams know how many employees to keep on staff. Stable work (and the data to back it up) can literally save jobs.

To find that data, consider running legal analytics reports, such as:

  • Overall spend by practice area and business unit
  • Staff productivity
  • Work by timekeeper classification level

In the above example, the overall spend by practice area can show you which areas could benefit from a preferred panel. The staff productivity and work by timekeeper classification-level reports will help you determine which firms and specific attorneys should be considered for that panel.

3. Opportunity to Improve Work Quality

Onboarding new vendors is time-consuming and frustrating. Every time you assign a matter to a new vendor, you have to re-explain your preferences, invoicing rules, required tools, and more. Partnerships facilitate ongoing working relationships that help you and your vendors improve together.

Consider all the steps you take to onboard a new vendor. Chances are it looks something like this:

All of that can take up to a month or more. If you hit any snags — like billing guideline disagreements or scheduling issues — the process can drag on for months.

Long-term work not only saves you from repeatedly onboarding new vendors; it gives you a chance to collaborate with vendors on your preferred work style. Partnerships encourage both sides to improve work quality together. Because both parties know the work is ongoing, everyone is motivated to keep work quality high.

Partnerships simplify vendor management, as well. Think of it like a garden. Planting and nurturing seeds (new outside counsel) take a lot of time and attention. But once you get a strong root system (established partnership), the plants don’t need nearly as much attention to thrive. Lay down roots with your vendors and grow together.

4. Access to Internal Software and Resources

Treating your vendors like partners allows you to leverage law firm resources for your department. In fact, many vendors have a client success team dedicated to coordinating access to shared tools and managing the ongoing relationship between their firm and your department.

Client success teams may provide access to compliance software, legal entity management software, and/or customized web portals. In turn, vendors may take advantage of some of your internal tools, such as your document management system.

When you treat outside firms like partners, they are more likely to extend other internal benefits to you as well, including opportunities for continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Law firms often create CLE-accredited presentations for their own teams and are happy to invite partners to attend the sessions as well.

This can be especially valuable near certification deadlines when firms will offer a day-long “CLE blitz” to help legal professionals in their network complete the requirements on time.

Be sure to ask your vendors to connect you with their legal pricing teams as well. Much like the client success teams, pricing teams exist to improve the relationship for both parties. However, instead of coordinating shared resources, pricing teams help negotiate mutually beneficial fee arrangements for ongoing partnerships.

Partnerships Between Legal Ops and Vendors Benefit Everyone

Strong partnerships are a win/win situation — everything else is lose/lose. When legal ops has all the power, it may feel like you’re winning, but the power dynamic creates animosity. If your vendors don’t like working with you, everyone is losing.

Vendors are just as interested in finding a good fit as you are. They want to be your partner. Many law firms even have customer success or pricing teams dedicated to building better relationships with legal ops teams. Our upcoming webinar, Behind the Scenes with Law Firm Pricing Teams, will feature professionals from both the vendor and the legal ops side of the relationship. Sign up now to see how talking with legal pricing teams on the vendor side can lead to successful partnerships.

8 REASONS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A CAREER IN LAW ENFORCEMENT

Did you know that January 9th was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day? On this day set aside to recognize officers, everyone has a chance to thank those professionals who put their own safety at risk to serve the public. And if you have ever looked at them with respect and admiration, maybe you also wondered if you could cut it in law enforcement.

List of Criminal Justice / Law Enforcement Careers

These jobs, including police officers, security guards, sheriff’s deputies, correctional officers, and others in law enforcement are open to a wide variety of people. What those who pursue law enforcement careers have in common is a desire to serve the public, to contribute to public safety, and to have a job that is more than just a job, that is meaningful and useful.

Careers in several areas of law enforcement are currently growing, offering more opportunities for those individuals who are willing to take the time to go through appropriate training. It doesn’t take a lot of schooling to be ready for this kind of career. Most criminal justice programs take two years or less to complete. In some cases, there are additional certificates or examinations that you have to complete but acquiring an associate degree can be a way to get your resume to the top of the applicant pile. f you have been thinking about getting into law enforcement but are still weighing your options, consider these reasons that people working in this field love their jobs.

Law Enforcement Exams Overview | Career in Law Enforcement

 1. You can actually save lives working in law enforcement.

There are few more compelling reasons for wanting to do this work than the ability to save lives. Few careers will give you that opportunity, which makes this kind of work among the most meaningful job that anyone can do. Alongside firefighters, EMTs, and doctors, you can save lives doing the work you have been trained to do when you work as a police officer, sheriff’s deputy, security professional, or state or federal agent.

Expanding that fact, it’s also important to remember that even when a law enforcement officer has not directly saved a life in this line of work, his or her hours on the job have protected people. For meaningful, important work that has a real impact on people every single day, it’s tough to do better than law enforcement.

2.  In law enforcement, you can make an impact right in your community.

In this line of work you also have the opportunity to make that important impact on people right where you live. Many people choose to work where they live, which makes this kind of career even more meaningful. If you work as a police officer, for instance, even when you are not actively saving lives, you are working toward making your community a better, safer place. You have a true effect on the daily lives and experiences of the people who live around you. A lot of law enforcement work is related to reaching out to the community and strengthening relationships so that crimes and harm to people and property can be prevented.

3. Law enforcement careers are never boring.

If your current job is repetitive or rote, or if it doesn’t allow you to problem-solve or make decisions, it is probably boring. What you get with a career in law enforcement is the exact opposite of boring. While there may be slow days, every day on the job in this field has the potential to be exciting and interesting. Officers and other law enforcement professionals have to be prepared for anything to happen any day on the job.

In addition to actual, adrenaline-pumping action, these jobs are also interesting because they require you to think on your feet. You will have to make quick decisions after analyzing a situation and determining the best solution to a problem. That problem is likely to be different every single time, so you can’t possibly get bored. There may be some desk time and paperwork in law enforcement, but in general, this is not a desk job.

4. Earn a great salary in law enforcement.

If your current job has you slogging away for minimum wage or barely more than that, it may feel like you can never get ahead or save. A job that requires training or a degree will cost you a little more upfront, but the eventual payout is well worth it. This is certainly the case for careers in law enforcement. As a police officer, for instance, the average salary is $34,970, while detectives, transit officers, fish and game wardens, and sheriff’s patrol officers make, even more, up to $78,000 per year. And with the field always growing, you can be sure that you will be able to find a job soon after finishing a program.

5. Many types of law enforcement jobs come with great benefits.

Salary isn’t the only number to consider when choosing a career. You should also look at the benefits offered. Every agency will have different offerings, but most police departments and state and federal law enforcement agencies offer competitive benefits. For instance, most law enforcement officers get a pension or other type of retirement plan and the opportunity to retire earlier than in many other professions.

Other benefits that many people in law enforcement can expect to receive include extra pay for holidays and overtime work, an allowance for tuition to pursue an advanced degree, increased pay or bonuses for being on call or working irregular hours, and generous and comprehensive health insurance plans that cover workers and their families.

6. There is room for career advancement in law enforcement.

Because of how law enforcement agencies are structured, with a chain of command and several levels of authority, there is plenty of room to work toward a higher position. By advancing through the ranks of a police department or other agency, you can earn a larger salary, more benefits, and greater respect with more responsibilities.

With the chance for advancement, you also get the opportunity to challenge yourself. You can choose to work up to a certain position, such as sergeant, or go all the way to the top of a department. The ability to advance is only limited by your own willingness to work for it. On the other hand, many officers in law enforcement are satisfied to stay in one position for their entire careers. There are many different options for how a career in this industry progresses.

7. You can work anywhere in law enforcement.

Law enforcement is needed everywhere in the U.S., from the smallest town to the biggest cities. While different states and agencies have different requirements for officers and other types of law enforcement workers, the prerequisite education is similar. You can choose where you want to work, staying in your home town or moving out of state for new adventures.

You can choose between small-town police departments, county-wide sheriff departments, federal agencies, state agencies, big-city police departments, and private security and protection positions. Whichever specific type of law enforcement job you choose, no matter where you go there will be a need for trained professionals.

8. Communities need more women in law enforcement.

If you are a woman, you are needed in this career. On local police forces, only about 12 percent of officers are women. That number is higher in big-city departments and lower in state and federal agencies. Most experts in law enforcement agree that communities and public safety could benefit from having more women officers and in command in departments. There is evidence that women in these positions use less force and are better able to use communication to de-escalate tense situations. A more diverse force also helps departments and agencies relate to and serve their diverse communities. As a woman trained in criminal justice, you could be a very desirable candidate for many positions.

These are just a few of the excellent reasons that law enforcement should be on your list of possible future careers. When you’re ready to explore this option further, take a look at the criminal justice colleges in Florida. Spend some time finding the one that works the best for you. Look for programs that offer flexible class schedules, affordable tuition, and locations and campuses that are near you.

A good law enforcement program should have courses in law, criminology, crime scene analysis, computer crimes, and other subjects important to working in law and criminal justice. It should also have instructors with experience working in law enforcement and an emphasis on analytical problem-solving. If you’re ready for a career that is meaningful, that has room for advancement, and that really makes a difference, find the best criminal justice program in your area.

How to Find an Excellent Lawyer

If your legal problem is complex or involves lots of money, you might not want to attempt to handle the entire matter without a lawyer. After all, lawyers do more than dispense legal information. They offer strategic advice and apply sophisticated technical skills to legal problems. Ideally, you’ll be able to find a lawyer who’s willing to serve as your legal “coach” to help you educate yourself to the maximum extent possible and to take over as your formal legal counsel only if necessary.

How to Find the Right Lawyer

Locating a good lawyer who can efficiently help with your particular problem may not be easy. Don’t expect to locate a good lawyer by simply looking in the phone book or reading an advertisement. There’s not enough information in these sources to help you make a valid judgment.

Personal Referrals

A better approach is to talk to people in your community who have experienced the same problem you face — for example, if you have a claim of sexual harassment, talk to a women’s group. Ask them who their lawyers were and what they think of them. If you talk to half a dozen people who have had a similar legal problem, chances are you’ll come away with several good leads.

But don’t make a decision about a lawyer solely on the basis of someone else’s recommendation. Different people will have different responses to a lawyer’s style and personality; don’t make up your mind about hiring a lawyer until you’ve met the lawyer, discussed your case, and decided that you feel comfortable working with him or her.

Also, it may be hard to find a lawyer through a personal referral with the expertise you need (for instance, if your friend had a great divorce lawyer, but you need incorporation advice, the referral may not do you much good).

Online Services

How to Find a Good Divorce Lawyer | Terry & Roberts

Many sites, including Nolo.com, offer a way to connect with local lawyers based on your location and the type of legal case you have. You answer a few questions about your case and your contact information, then the right type of lawyers contact you directly. Talk to a local lawyer.

Nolo’s Lawyer Directory

Nolo offers a unique lawyer directory that provides a comprehensive profile for each attorney with information that will help you select the right attorney. The profiles tell you about the lawyer’s experience, education, and fees, and perhaps most importantly, the lawyer’s general philosophy of practicing law. Nolo has confirmed that every listed attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with their bar association.

Business Referrals

Businesses that provide services to key players in the legal area you are interested in may also be able to help you identify lawyers you should consider. For example, if you are interested in small business law, speak to your banker, accountant, insurance agent, and real estate broker. These people come into frequent contact with lawyers who represent business clients and are in a position to make informed judgments.

Lawyer Referral Services

Lawyer referral services are another source of information. There is a wide variation in the quality of lawyer referral services, however, even though they are required to be approved by the state bar association. Some lawyer referral services carefully screen attorneys and list only those attorneys with particular qualifications and a certain amount of past experience, while other services will list any attorney in good standing with the state bar who maintains liability insurance. Before you choose a lawyer referral service, ask what its qualifications are for including an attorney and how carefully lawyers are screened.

What you may not get from any lawyer referral service, however, is an insight into the lawyer’s philosophy — for instance, whether the lawyer is willing to spend a few hours to be your legal coach or how aggressive the lawyer’s personality is.

Other Sources

Here are a few other sources you can turn to for possible candidates in your search for a lawyer:

  • The director of your state or local chamber of commerce may be a good source of business lawyers.
  • The director of a nonprofit group interested in the subject matter that underlies your lawsuit is sure to know lawyers who work in that area. For example, if your dispute involves trying to stop a major new subdivision, it would make sense to consult an environmental group committed to fighting urban sprawl.
  • A law librarian can help identify authors in your state who have written books or articles on a particular subject — for example, construction law.
  • A women’s or men’s support group will probably have a list of well-regarded family and divorce lawyers.

Consider a Specialist

Most lawyers specialize in certain areas, and even a so-called “general practitioner” may not know that much about the particular area of your concern. For example, of the almost one million lawyers in America today, probably fewer than 50,000 possess sufficient training and experience in small business law to be of real help to an aspiring entrepreneur.

It can pay to work with a lawyer who already knows the field, such as employment discrimination, zoning laws, software design issues, or restaurant licensing. That way you can take advantage of the fact that the lawyer is already far up the learning curve. Sometimes specialists charge a little more, but if their specialized information is truly valuable, it can be money well spent.

Interview the Prospective Lawyers

When you get the names of several good prospects, the next step is to talk to each personally. If you outline your needs in advance, many lawyers will be willing to meet with you for a half-hour or so at no charge so that you can size them up and make an informed decision.

Personality

Pay particular attention to the personal chemistry between you and your lawyer. No matter how experienced and well-recommended a lawyer is, if you feel uncomfortable with that person during your first meeting or two, you may never achieve an ideal lawyer-client relationship. Trust your instincts and seek a lawyer whose personality is compatible with your own. Look also for experience, personal rapport, and accessibility.

Communication and Promptness

Family Lawyer vs. Divorce Lawyer - Drendel & Jansons

Ask all prospective lawyers how you will be able to contact them and how long it will take them to return your communications. And don’t assume that because the lawyer seems friendly and easy to talk to that it’s okay to overlook this step.

Unfortunately, the complaint logs of all lawyer regulatory groups indicate that many lawyers are terrible communicators. If every time you have a problem there’s a delay of several days before you can talk to your lawyer on the phone or get an appointment, you’ll lose precious time, not to mention sleep.

Almost nothing is more aggravating to a client than to leave a legal project in a lawyer’s hands and then have weeks or even months go by without anything happening. You want a lawyer who will work hard on your behalf and follow through promptly on all assignments.

Willingness to Work With You

When you have a legal problem, you need legal information. Lawyers, of course, are prime sources of this information, but if you bought all the needed information at their rates — $150 to $450 an hour — you’d quickly empty your bank account. Fortunately, many lawyers will work with you to help you acquire a good working knowledge of the legal principles and procedures you need to deal with your problem at least partly on your own.

If you are hoping to represent yourself and use a lawyer only for advice, make sure the lawyer is open to that type of setup. Likewise, if you’re going into business and will draft your own bylaws or business agreements, ask the lawyer if she’s open to reviewing your drafts and making comments.