Aim of Legal Directories and Legal Information Providers

There are certain problematic occasions when you need an attorney and comprehensive legal assistance. It is essential to take legal decisions seriously otherwise it could lead to severe consequences and even jail also. Whether you need a bail bond agent or an immigration attorney for your favor in court that can defend you. Therefore, it is always good to seek them for instant help. You can also search them online through online legal directories. Most of the people find attorney as and when needed through the online search directories for utmost convenience. It is the simplest method to search and locate a lawyer in your region through these legal resources.

In fact, these legal resources are the pure repository of the complete profiles of the attorneys, their experience, office address and their area of expertise. These resources also provide vital set of legal information to the public in order to make them aware about the legal terminologies. These directories itself serves as a catalog and provides enough information regarding, immigration law, bankruptcy law, divorce law, real estate law, intellectual property law, business law, tax law and other legal documents and forms. Even you can expect emancipation forms, guardianship forms, marriage forms, power of attorney forms (including, but not limited to, power of attorney durable, power of attorney – health care, limited power of attorney, power of attorney – childcare, power of attorney – revocation, and all types legal forms), name change forms, citizenship forms, passport forms, passport application, visa forms, federal tax forms and much more from these online legal resources.

The primary advantage is that you can find the best attorney for your DWI or any other legal difficulty, through online resources. In fact, you can find the renowned bail bond agent and bail Bond Company easily with the help of these websites. You can locate them and personally visit them to discuss criminal record (if any), history of showing up for past court appearances, and any other concerns. You can discuss the complete process and initiate it consequently. Moreover, you can access a list of the County jail locations and access to the County Jail Lockup system for your convenience.

Finding an attorney is supposed to be the common way that people adopt these days. It is not only an easy and simple way, but also the fastest means of getting legal information & assistance. Online law firm information providers or directories also offer free legal forms, guide for lawyers, the latest news and information that can be accessed free of cost. Anybody can access these directories for their personal reasons; however one thing must be noted that these legal directories cannot provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation to a consumer about possible legal rights, defenses, selection of forms or strategies. The very aim of these directories is to modernize legal technology and develop technologies that facilitate internet marketing for legal professionals.

Tips to Find a Good Bankruptcy Lawyer Who Will Provide the Necessary Legal Services

Bankruptcy is quite a serious matter and there is nothing worse for an individual or a corporation than having to file for bankruptcy. It can affect many people and ruin their careers and lives and render them completely helpless. The very word bankruptcy means a legal state of being unable to repay debts that one owes to the creditors. It is also sometimes referred to as insolvency. It can happen to both individual and organizations. Creditors will normally file a bankruptcy petition in an endeavor to recover a part of the money payable to them by the company or organization when bankruptcy happens to an organization. When it happens to an individual then they get buried in so much debt that they find it impossible to recover from it, and have no other option but to file for bankruptcy.

Therefore, whether it happens to an individual or an organization, it is absolutely necessary to seek the services of a bankruptcy lawyer who is well acquainted with bankruptcy law and will be able to shield you against the petition filed by the creditors. The bankruptcy lawyers are quite expensive and they will only render their services once you convince them that it is possible for you to bear their fees, and pay them on time. But since they are expensive and since your entire financial future depends on their expertise you should be careful as to whom you hire and follow some guidelines while looking for a good bankruptcy lawyer.

  1. The first step in hiring a bankruptcy lawyer is to look for an experienced lawyer who has the necessary expertise to handle any kind of bankruptcy. Remember that your future is in the hands of this individual who will represent you in the court of law. It is their knowledge and expertise which will determine how your case unfolds in the court and what is your chance of winning the case.
  2. It will be prudent to do some background research before you hire an expensive bankruptcy lawyer. Ask your colleagues, friends, neighbors, or any of your acquaintances who have gone through the same ordeal or knows someone who have required the services of a bankruptcy lawyer. Internet search can also throw back results about the lawyers in your location and their specialties. Yellow pages can also be a good source from where you can get hold of a lawyer. Any bankruptcy lawyer that is working in your area should be listed there and hence as per your requirements you can get the contact details of such a lawyer. Just look into the bankruptcy section and you will immediately give a list of all bankruptcy lawyers in your area.
  3. Once you have listed the lawyers in your area, it is time for some background checks on the list and then pick one from the list. Through the internet, it is easy to get information on the lawyers and their case histories, their success rate, and client feedbacks. You can also ask for a review on the lawyer you are interested in, by calling up the court and asking them for a review. You will also be able to check which bankruptcy lawyer has the majority number of winning cases. Also important is to find out which bankruptcy lawyer has the maximum experience of working in your area and the local court, because that will mean that the particular lawyer will have good rapport with the court officials. Hiring lawyer who has a winning streak but belongs to another state is a bad idea, because laws change from one state to another and a lawyer who is working in another state may not be successful in your state, as he won’t have enough information to fight your case.
  4. A consultation session is a must once you have shortlisted two or three lawyers. You can always cal up and request them to meet you for a consultation session. These sessions are usually free of the lawyers’ billing time. If a lawyer demands money for this session, it will be best to avoid that lawyer. This session will be the deal maker, and will certainly help you make that final decision regarding which lawyer is best suited to fight your case.

The current world is dominated by credit card users, and people fall into debts because it is difficult to keep a check on the spending for most people who enjoy the good life. But the result can be huge debts which have led to the increase in bankruptcy petitions which in turn has resulted in an increase in demand for bankruptcy lawyers. The above tips can be used as a guideline for finding the right lawyer as there are risks for a lay person without any knowledge of legal matters to bump into a money grabbing legal monster who is only interested in making a few extra bucks while offering poor legal services in return.

Doing Well by Doing Good: Law Firm Social Responsibility

Corporations increasingly subscribe to the principle of corporate social responsibility. CSR is based on the belief that a demonstration of concern for the environment, human rights, community development and the welfare of their employees can make a corporation more profitable. And if not more profitable, at least a better place to work.

Law firms can learn from corporate experience to create their own social responsibility programs. Such programs can help law firms to do well by doing good. They can strengthen the firm’s reputation and market position. They can help the firm identify with the culture and CSR activities of clients and potential clients. They can help lawyers and staff find more meaning in their work and improve as human beings.

In the words of the social responsibility Karma Committee at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck: Be kind. Be generous. Be concerned. Donate time. Donate effort. Donate money. Just find a cause and give. You’ll quickly discover giving is also receiving.

A panel discussion about how law firms can learn about CSR and introduce some of its elements into their own models was sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association. The program was held May 8 at Maggiano’s Little Italy in downtown Denver.

Panelists included Sarah Hogan, vice president of Barefoot PR; Bruce DeBoskey, lawyer and founder of The DeBoskey Group, which focuses on philanthropic advising; Joyce Witte, Community Investment Advisor and director of the Encana Cares Foundation, Encana Oil & Gas (USA); and Amy Venturi, director of community relations & karma at Brownstein. Moderator was Cori Plotkin, president of Barefoot PR.

At law firms, the product is the people – the lawyers and support staff who provide high quality legal services. It is an easy fit. There are many ways that this ‘product’ can contribute time, talent and treasure to socially responsible activities.

Social responsibility: Focus and strategy

Law firm social responsibility is all about making a difference within the community and the profession, and within a firm. Even the best efforts will make no impact if spread too thin. You cannot maximize the value of your contributions or tell your story if your efforts are too diluted. To decide how to most effectively invest its resources, a law firm needs a social responsibility focus and a strategy.

Social responsibility efforts must be authentic. Law firms and other entities should always avoid ‘green-washing’ – telling a story that is aspirational, but not really true. Know yourself. Let your firm’s unique culture and skills determine which efforts to pursue and which to avoid.

When examining your culture, don’t limit yourself to partner input. Law firms are small communities, almost like families. Any effort to define culture and social responsibility should represent not only the interests of lawyers, but the interests of all levels of support staff. Efforts must be meaningful throughout the firm. The benefits to employee recruitment, retention and satisfaction can be remarkable.

DeBoskey outlined three types of community involvement and stated his belief that a good social responsibility plan includes elements of all three.

In a traditional model, an organization ‘gives back’ randomly to the community when asked – as a good citizen, rather than for any strategic purposes. In a social responsibility model, these efforts align with the capabilities of the business – like the legal skills of lawyers. Every non-profit needs legal advice.

At it’s most sophisticated, a social responsibility program involves using your core product – legal services – as a tool for social change. Volunteer with organizations like the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, or the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center.

A strong focus makes it much easier to make decisions. Encana, for example, focuses its charitable giving strategy on issues surrounding its product — natural gas. Brownstein will donate money only if the request comes from a client, or if one of their attorneys is a member of the organization and on the board.

Law firms looking for additional advice can find valuable resources within the Corporate Community Investment Network. CCIN is an association for professionals whose primary responsibility is to manage community investment programs in a for-profit business setting.

Many corporations and a few law firms have actually created separate foundations to mange some of their giving. A foundation comes with more restrictions and different tax methods. As entities with a life of their own, however, foundations are more likely than one-off efforts to continue a useful existence.

Social responsibility: Good policies make good decisions

Strategy and focus provide the foundation for an effective social responsibility policy. Most law firms are inundated with requests from good causes asking for their support. A policy helps you know when to say “yes” to and when to say “no.”

In the law firm model, where all partners are owners with a sense of entitlement to resources, it can be very difficult to say no. A keenly focused policy makes it much easier to do so and keep the firm’s efforts on track.

Encana, for example, uses a five-step tool to determine the level of fit between a request and the company’s strategic goals in the field of natural gas – with level five being the largest commitment and level one the lowest.

Level five efforts integrate core product or service and often involve natural gas vehicles and energy efficiency initiatives using natural gas. These efforts contribute to best practices and leading trends in the industry, while enhancing the company’s reputation as a leader.

Level four efforts focus on strategic partnerships and often involve sustainable and long-term solutions like workforce development initiatives, signature programs (which can be repeated in other markets) and multi-year grants.

Level three efforts include strategic grants to assist with projects, programs or initiatives made to local non-profits aligned with natural gas.

Level two efforts include responsive giving, which is a one-time gift for a broad community effort that has local support. Participation of company representatives is required.

Level one efforts include the “t-shirt and banner” category, which contains one-day items like dinners, receptions, golf tournaments, events and races. These offer the least impact and awareness for the money, and therefore the least support.

At Brownstein, requests made to the firm are judged by two factors. The firm considers only requests made by clients and requests made by organizations where one of its attorneys participates at the board level.

Social responsibility: Engagement

Effective social responsibility programs involve not only checkbook involvement, but personal and professional involvement.

At Brownstein, the brand has always been about being out in the community. Six years ago, Venturi was asked to formalize this essential component of the firm’s culture into a social responsibility program that would further energize lawyers.

She started by spending 15 minutes with each of the attorneys, to discover their passions – which were used to identify a good non-profit match. After all, lawyers and staff will stay involved and do their best only when an organization is something that they care deeply about. If there is no engagement, the placement will backfire.

Finally, Venturi offers the lawyer’s services to the non-profit in some capacity – but it must be at the board level. Otherwise, she won’t make the match.

Project Karma is a Brownstein program dedicated to volunteer opportunities, and maintains a committee in each of the firm’s 12 offices. It sponsors informal lunch & learn presentations by local non-profits to encourage interest.

The message about active engagement by lawyers and staff must come from the top. Brownstein makes it very clear that the path to partnership for a new attorney is based not only on legal skills, but also on engagement and involvement with the community.

It is important to add a community involvement component to lawyer reviews, even if it is only one goal a year. That lets the lawyers know that you are serious. The Colorado Supreme Court asks every lawyer in to contribute 50 hours of pro bono work each year. Integrating these programs leads to win/win results for the firm.

Not every firm can match the efforts of a large company like Encana or a large law firm like Brownstein. However, there are good matches for firms of every size. Once again, it is all a matter of focus.

In fact, it is much easier to get five members of a small firm to focus on a strategic initiative than 500 lawyers in a huge firm. If a law firm has $10,000 to donate, that money goes a lot father and has a lot more impact to one organization than do $100 donations spread across 100 organizations.

Smaller law firms can also multiply its impact by partnering with others in an industry, like vendors or clients, to support a particular non-profit.

Social responsibility: Return on investment

Corporations measure the results of their social responsibility programs, and use these results to make decisions on efforts going forward. Law firms should do the same.

At the end of the year, Encana uses its five-level model (outline above) to analyze our charitable giving. How much was given at each level? Then the company sends a form to each non-profit, asking the recipient to evaluate outcomes (statistics for what was accomplished), process (did efforts meet the intended audience) and impact (what difference did it make).

Encana asks recipients to reply within 60 days, and uses this information to calculate return on investment. Those who do not report back are not eligible for further contributions. The non-profits might gripe at first, but they seem to change their minds once they’ve been through the process – finding that it has useful strategic value.

It is entirely appropriate to ask a non-profit to document the results they’ve achieved based on your contribution. It lets them know that you are truly invested in the organization. They will see you more as partners and engage you differently.

Most corporations have created and benefited from well-thought-through and strategic social responsibility programs. Law firms are starting to do the same. A program with tight focus and strict guidelines guarantees maximum impact and awareness in exchange for a law firm’s commitment of time, talent and treasure.

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