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.

Online Lawyer Marketing: A Cost-Effective Strategy for Law Firms

To prosper and increase client base marketing is necessary for every law professional. Every lawyer should have a marketing plan which should be precise, goal oriented and realistic so that it can be achieved. The marketing plan should focus on your strength and interest and at the same time it should be easy to implement.

Marketing is an investment

For every business marketing is an investment for better future, for the growth of business. When a lawyer starts practicing privately he generally has no choice but to accept every client that approaches him. Over the time an effective marketing plan can place a lawyer in a position where he can choose his client, that is, he can be selective while working for a client. However, the concept of marketing has changed a lot for small businesses like law firms.

Internet marketing for cost cutting

From print media to internet, lawyer marketing has advanced one level further. Online attorney marketing is now a cost-effective tactics that you can utilize to promote your law firm as well. Internet provides a strong, widespread yet cheaper platform for promoting any kind of large and small businesses. Private law firms and lawyers practicing privately can instantly reach millions of users who are looking for legal assistance on the web. A website can be the gateway to reach millions of users instantly. However, lawyer marketing via internet also require a well-designed plan that will channelize your time and activities to build relationship with prospective clients and maintain it for a longer term.

SEO for lawyer marketing on internet

While making a plan remember that neither a glossy brochure nor an impressive website can drive your potential client hire you. These are the basic tools for promotion. In the end it’s all about projecting the service you offer, online or offline; it’s about identifying your prospective clients and bring them to your website. This is where a lawyer requires professional SEO (search engine optimization) service.

SEO for lawyer entails targeting the popular keywords/key phrases with which people usually search internet when they look for legal assistance on a particular matter, for instance, ‘personal injury’. If you are a personal injury lawyer you need your website to be on the top in search engine result pages, unless it will reduce the chances of your website getting visited by users. Your keywords should effectively be able to draw traffic which is the ultimate goal. So, when it comes to internet marketing lawyers should invest their time and money carefully for a specific target oriented marketing campaign to get the highest ROI instead of going for mere show business.

Facts You Should Know Before Getting an Environmental Lawyer Job

Environmental law firms handle a variety of cases involving environmental related issues and are one of the best places to get an environmental lawyer job. It is important before searching for a job as an environmental lawyer that you do some research. You want to be sure that you understand what the job entails, the education that you need and what to expect during your job hunt and once you find a job.

Working in Environmental Law:
An environmental lawyer job will involve preparing cases, working with clients and going to trial. Environmental law focuses on cases involving individuals or companies that have violated environmental laws or otherwise threatened the welfare of the environment. A lot of the focus is on businesses that are harming the environment and not following the laws relating to environmental safety.

Education:
To get an environmental lawyer job it is necessary to go to college and law school, plus pass the bar exam in the state or states in which you will practice. Studying to be an environmental lawyer requires taking courses in various areas of law including administrative and alternative dispute resolution. You will also have to take courses specific to environmental law, such as air pollution, conservation, ecology, and Federal Natural Resource law.

Job Outlook and Salary:
A career in environmental law has an average growth estimate as predicted by government economists. As environmental issues continue to dominate the government and the minds of the public, it is possible for growth to be slightly more than predicted. Growth also depends on current environmental lawyers. If there is a surge in retirement, then job openings could be more than expected.

Environmental law salary, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2004, was about $73,000 for lawyers working within the government. Salary can vary depending on where you work. Jobs are available from a variety of different employers. These include private firms, various government agencies at different levels of government and businesses of varying sizes. Jobs are available to prosecute against environmental offenders and defend them. The salary can also vary depending on which side of a case you are working.

Getting a job as an environmental lawyer requires some serious commitment. Many lawyers who are involved in this area of law have some personal interest in the environment and are passionate about protecting it or they feel the need to protect those who are being prosecuted for violating environmental laws.

As a lawyer of any kind, it is very important that you are willing to work hard and make your way up the career ladder. Many lawyers start out at the bottom where they mainly handled administrative duties. It takes time to prove yourself as a lawyer and work up to the level where you actually get to go to trial and represent clients in front of a judge or jury. For those that are committed to being an environmental lawyer, it is well worth the years of education and the hard work that it takes to become a respected environmental lawyer.