legal surreal

legal surreal

What It Takes to Succeed in the Legal Career

Posted on January 9, 2019 in Uncategorized

Legal careers and legal jobs are becoming one of the most dynamic and rewarding career choice; as our legal system has become an integral part of our daily lives. Either minor or major, we need legal expertise and guidance for every right that we possess.

We live in an information age, where people are aware of their fundamental rights and duties, so lawyers and other legal professionals must know how to have success for a client. A meaningful law career that solves client’s needs, leads not only to career satisfaction and a sense of achievement; but, it also can result in a high income earning potential.

More and more bright young aspirants are considering law as their prime career choice to become as successful as the lawyers and professionals they idolize. But not all who begin with high hopes succeed. So, what could be the most important qualities to obtain success in a legal career and the legal profession?

In his book, The Science of Getting Rich, Wallace Wattles notes that those who “thinks in a certain way” will succeed pure and simple. Hence, let’s take a look at the things that successful legal professionals embrace. If you do these things in that same way that the successful legal practitioner does, you will, in fact, succeed. Here, then, are a few ingredients that will lead to success in any legal job:

  • Communication: A legal professional is bound to have exemplary communication skills. Communication skills cover your written, oral and listening skills. In the legal profession one has to interview suspects, witnesses, clients and all sorts of people in order to extract any and all information associated to their case; not only that but he also needs to analyze that information on various fronts to verify the veracity of the information received. Therefore, working and improving upon your communication and listening skills is essential to your success in a legal career. Any seminars, books or training devoted to increasing your communication abilities will inevitably lead to success.
  • Empathic and Rational: Being empathic in the legal profession means the capacity to understand and know emotionally what a client has experienced and the ability to put oneself in clients’ shoes. Note I did not say to be sympathetic. Sympathetic means you feel sorry for your client. Empathy involves the quality of appreciating your client’s situation. At the same time a legal professional should have a rational mind and clear thinking, because as my mother used to say “rule your life with reason.”
  • Out of the Box thinking: Legal professionals must have the ability to find what is hidden and present the best choices for their clients. Typically, clients are in conflict with an adversary. The creative legal professional can break deadlocks through creative solutions that lead to mutually beneficial solutions
  • Specialized Knowledge: One needs to have expert knowledge in their area to work in any profession, but in this is especially so in the legal profession. The top legal professional must not only master the legal knowledge of the sector he represents but also he must gain the knowledge vital to the industry itself. As they say – “Hundred men with guns cannot steal as much as a lawyer with his words”, so to choose the right words and phrases one must be knowledgeable. For example, if you are a litigator that represents a company in the oil industry, then you must know every detail of the oil industry to prepare a strong and winning argument for the case; similarly for any client a legal professional must have a thorough knowledge of every detail associated to a client’s work.
  • Confidentiality: Legal ethics demand strict confidentially with your client. If you cannot observe this basic cannon, then you cannot find success in the legal profession. Maintaining confidentiality is the foremost task of a legal professional. Attorneys, paralegals, legal receptionists, all gain confidential information and it must be kept secret. Violating the attorney client privilege is tantamount to losing a client’s faith, which can be fatal in any legal position.
  • Commitment: There is a saying that “A Lawyer would do anything to win a case.” Commitment is required in any and every legal profession. Fighting a case for a client is like treating a patient; clients in the legal world have just one expectation of ‘success’ and to fulfill it, one must be committed to his work. Most of the famous and highly reputed people in legal careers forget about everything else, sometimes they overlook their personal commitments; it’s just 40% what they work at officially and 60% of the unofficial work that makes the difference. Success in the legal profession requires preparation-a lot of time in research and drawing up all the necessary documents. Perseverance is the key; one must be willing to work without any boundaries to time in a legal job.
  • Diplomatic: It is said rightly that “He is not a lawyer who can’t take two sides”. There are no friends or foes in legal profession; one must say the right words at the right place and the right time. Being diplomatic makes your overall personality favorable, even for those who disagree as to what you say or believe; also, it makes you a good negotiator, which is a routine task in any legal profession. You should be diplomatic if you are trying to find success in legal careers.
  • Persuasive: Whether a lawyer, attorney, paralegal or a legal assistant everyone in legal the profession should be persuasive. It requires a great amount of skill and practice to persuade a judge, jury or even client to your position. Every client expects their legal consultant to be aggressive, they do not pay you to sleep and be shy; you must learn to persuade to get success in legal careers.
  • Patience: You need to be patient in order to be successful in legal profession. If you don’t succeed at first, try again; you will not get your way the first time around. You will need to write letter after letter, draft motion after motion, in order to succeed for your clients. Practicing a legal job requires a lot of waiting. Waiting around courthouses for your case to be called. Waiting around for decisions on appeals to be handed down. It is said rightly that – “If you are a legal professional, either you will learn to wait or you will simply grow old before time.”
  • Last, but not the least, Love of argument: Legal professionals debate constantly; with courts, with adversaries, with companies and even with their own clients and associates. If you love to advance your position, not just occasionally or at work but day in and day out, and if you are difficult to beat in arguments; then you definitely have what it takes to excel in legal careers.

Media Lawyer Careers

Posted on January 8, 2019 in Uncategorized

If you are looking for a career as a media lawyer, there are a growing number of opportunities, especially so with celebrities in the public eye, such as musicians, professional sportsmen, entertainers, politicians increasingly exposed to the media glare. With reputations at stake and privacy laws very much a hot topic in the news, many people in the public eye see a lawyer as an important tool to protect their business interests and earning potential. A number of large legal firms in the UK now have at least one partner within the firm who can handle such clients. For trainee lawyers looking to move in to this field, it is recommended they get in touch with a professional legal recruitment agency which can help them develop this area of specialization.

So what it the most common problem for a media lawyer to deal with? More often than not, Defamation, Slander and Libel are the key area for media lawyers to be familiar with. If a client feels that there has been unfair and indeed untrue criticism of themselves and / or their work, that which has been published or voiced in a public arena, in most cases correctly worded correspondence from a senior partner in a law firm will insure that an appropriate apology will be issued and offence will not be repeated. If a suitable apology is not forthcoming and the perpetrator refuses to back down, then the client can decide to pursue matters through the courts, and this is where the knowledge of a media lawyer is priceless.

What else might a media lawyer tackle? Harassment and invasion of privacy is another area which increasingly occurring, either affected the client and / or the clients family. It’s not just professional photographers that media lawyers can serve with an injunction, but stalkers too, more so when these people are threatening to disrupt the lives of the client. It’s not all about dealing with negative problems for client. Clients need to maintain their reputations, but also their earning potential too. That said, any law firm worth their salt will retain a commercial law specialist who has the skills and knowledge to deal with a number of different areas. There are many examples of this, for instance a lawyer can act as the mediator for a newspaper or magazine wishing to publish pictures, an interview or information about their client maximizing the fee and making sure the client is protected at all times.

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The Lawyers’ Guild Meets The Modern Age

Posted on January 7, 2019 in Uncategorized

It has become a cliche to say that we live in a globalized economy. But that doesn’t make it true – at least not for all of us.

For instance, the legal profession still operates in some respects as though we live in the 19th century, when new practitioners hung their shingles after merely “reading the law,” and judges and counselors alike served rural America by “riding the circuit.”

Granted, we do not have self-taught lawyers anymore – though the Internet may eventually change that. And only one state, Wisconsin, retains the diploma privilege, in which graduates of the state’s two accredited law schools are eligible for admission to the bar without first having to pass the much-feared bar examination.

But in most states, the legal profession still operates more like a preindustrial guild than a postindustrial industry. As an example, only lawyers are allowed to own law firms, on the dubious theory that outsiders’ capital, and the resulting increase in competition, would compromise the interests of clients. And individual lawyers may ply their trade only in states where they have secured individually state-issued licenses, though there are special provisions in which a court can grant limited permission for an out-of-stater to appear in a particular case.

Historically, each state has tied its licensing to its own individual bar exam. A lawyer wishing to relocate or to practice across state lines had to sit for multiple examinations in order to do so, except in cases where two states granted some form of reciprocity. Taking a new test requires not only a significant investment of time, but also significant additional fees.

That arrangement is slowly beginning to change, however.

Given the large body of federal law that applies in many situations, along with the large and growing body of uniform state laws that are based on a model statute and often adopted by state legislatures with little change, a national law credential would make a lot of sense. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist. Nor is one on the horizon.

But the next best thing is a uniform national bar exam. That does exist, and New York recently announced plans to become the 16th, and so far the largest, state to implement it as of next year.

The test, called the Uniform Bar Examination, includes questions about general principles of law, along with six essay questions and two “skill tasks,” such as drafting a client letter or creating a memorandum. In New York, students will also have to pass a shorter multiple-choice exam with questions specific to New York state.

The major advantage of the Uniform Bar Exam for test-takers is that the score can be transferred across jurisdictions. So in the future, a lawyer who passes the bar in New York and who later relocates to Seattle can have her official transcript sent to Washington; if she meets Washington’s criteria, she can simply fulfill a few requirements instead of sitting for the entire test again. The more states that adopt the standardized test, the more attractive it will become.

The three states with larger populations than New York – California, Texas and Florida – do not offer the Uniform Bar Examination so far. Nor does Delaware, a state whose legal influence is outsize relative to its population because the state is home to many corporations. (Delaware lawyers do very well by this fact.) But many hope that New York’s adoption of the test may push other big states in that direction.

New York’s move has very little to do with serving the interests of the broader public. It has a lot to do with serving the interests of the state’s law schools, who – like everybody else these days – struggle to fill their classes. Jonathan Lippman, the chief judge of New York State, made this clear when discussing his decision to adopt the Uniform Bar Exam. “Law school enrollment for first-year students has declined 30 percent in the past four years,” he said, “and is at the lowest level since 1973.” (1) New York’s law schools would love to attract candidates who ultimately hope to practice elsewhere, where prospects for economic growth are better.

But just because New York is thinking of its schools and not its populace as such doesn’t mean this isn’t a useful step. Young Americans are no longer likely to spend their entire working careers in states where they grow up or go to school. Nor are they well-served by having their professional practice limited to just one state. A universal bar exam would recognize this new reality.

The legal profession remains about as far from the globalized world as young Abe Lincoln was from the jet age. The trend toward the Uniform Bar Examination is at least a small step in the right direction. It is also a sign that the people who set the rules for the legal community may have at least a vague awareness of the world around them.

Source:

1) Brooklyn Daily Eagle, “Brooklyn Law School dean reflects on NY adoption of uniform bar exam”

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