Law on Your Terms – Become the Lawyer You Want to Be

In the macho environment of the law, to express any lack of confidence, vulnerability or self-doubt has traditionally been regarded as weakness. Many women lawyers who were regarded as reliable and 100% capable suddenly find that their commitment is challenged (through no fault of their own) when they start a family.

So, what would it take for you to become the lawyer you want to be?

Refocus on what is really important to you. Build your resilience and re-energise.

Action Steps

1. Make a list of everything that is important to you about your career. What have you achieved over the last 5 years? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How can you turn you weaknesses into strengths?
2. What would being a lawyer on your terms look like? How would your life be different? Spend 10 minutes thinking and writing down your goals – short, medium and long term
3. List all the things that are likely to block your progress
4. Separate the blocks into those that you can influence and those that you cannot
5. Decide to let go of everything out of your control
6. Concentrate and only use your energy on those things that you can influence
7. Commit to taking one small step every day towards your goals
8. Remember to be successful you need both technical and “soft skill” expertise
9. Review your progress regularly
10. Enlist the help of a mentor (inside or outside your organisation). Use them as a sounding board and cheerleader to spur you on or give you that extra boost when your confidence dips.

Use these 10 steps to become the lawyer you want to be in 2009!

Understanding the Lawyers on Retainer Concept

In this life, people cannot do without the services of a good lawyer. Crime happens everyday around us. Sometimes we find ourselves in rare situations that make us suffer unfairly. Other personal circumstances such as bankruptcy, real estates and mortgage force us to hire lawyers. In one word, good lawyers are very imperative. Dealing with lawyers is not a simple thing. Many issues concerning hiring lawyers are crucial and they come first. For example, you many find yourself hiring lawyers on retainer. These lawyers are not any different from those you know.

The lawyers only ask for a retainer fee so that they can give you their services. What is a retainer fee? This type of a fee is on hourly basis. It is different from the normal charges you pay a lawyer because of defending your position in court. They include the following:

• Consultation fees – Before you can start working with a given lawyer, you have to set a few appointments with him or her.

• Research work – After listening to your side of story, your lawyer spends some time doing research to help you. You will have to pay for his or her time.

• Interviews – as the lawyer studies your case, you and him or her will look for possible witnesses. Then, your lawyer has to conduct an interview with each witness. Most lawyers want to receive a pay for their time.

Lawyers on retainer want only to ascertain your seriousness in the entire procedure. That is why they will ask for a specific deposit first. When looking for this kind of a lawyer, examine your budget first. Most people desire to save up money in legal matters as much as possible. You should look for a cheaper hourly rate lawyer. Some people do not take it kindly. However, if you think about it, you put aside huge amounts of money as down payment for the assets you love.

If you plan to hire a lawyer about a case related to the same assets, you should not feel bad if ask to pay a retainer fee. A retainer fee is just a small deposit compared to other types you have paid before. The more you refuse to pay the fee, the more you delay your justice. Even so, take your time to select a good lawyer. There is a big chance that you will sort out good lawyers from bad lawyers if you take your time. When you find a good lawyer, make sure that all retainer agreements are in writing.

Then you and your lawyer should sign the document. This is a good way of building a relationship with the attorney. The document should demonstrate how the lawyer allocates the money through out the legal procedure. You should not work with any lawyers on retainer if they cannot follow the document stipulating your agreements. The best place to look for these lawyers is the Internet. Many lawyers who could proof their expertise exist.

Finding The Lawyer That Is The Right Fit For You

Finding the right attorney can be an overwhelming task. Not only does the specialization need to be taken into consideration for the task at hand, one must also find one whom they feel comfortable divulging information to that can sometimes be personal, sensitive and perhaps embarrassing. This requires research and leg work but this is hard work that will pay off in the end.

Lawyer Recommendations

Ask Family & Friends

There are many avenues that one can take in the process of finding the right representation. Recommendations of lawyers that family or friends are comfortable with can be a great place to start. It is, however, just a start. It is important to do some research on every prospect being considered. The first check is their current standing within the bar association in the state of practice. One should be confident that the lawyer in question is in good standing.

Check with the BBB

The next check should be with the Better Business Bureau in the area of practice and also in the areas that were previously practiced in. The lawyer may have a-one credentials within the community he or she is currently practicing but it is always a good idea to understand why a move, if any, has been made. For example, is this attorney running from past problems?

The Next Step: Consultations

Consultations would be the next smart move. Depending on the reason behind the need for an attorney, consultation fees may or may not be waived. Many lawyers offer a complimentary consultation or a refund on consultation fees should one choose to retain his or her services. The importance of consult fees will be contingent on the depth of the search, the standard consult fee practice in the area and the importance of the need for representation. The potential client should understand the services being provided and the cost of said services prior to the consultation appointment. Fees for the actual service will be discussed at the consultation.

Once consultations have been scheduled, it is important that one arrives with a list of “expectations for the lawyer” in consideration as well as questions to ask. Notes should be taken as one should not expect to be provided with written information or fee schedules it may be provided. Ask questions and take notes that are meaningful and easy to understand.

A decision should not be made on the spot during the consultation. Leave the meeting with the intent to go over the information received. Then place the lawyer against the set of expectations.

Making Your Decision

The comfort level should be a measure as well as the cost of services and the strategy he or she intends to use to meet the needs in question.