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!

Costs of Hiring the Business Law Attorney

Everyone who has already hired a business law attorney will tell you that legal services are not cheap. So, before hiring a lawyer, you should ask yourself how much you are willing to pay for the services. When you are searching for legal services, you should always ask potential attorneys to explain their fees and billing practice fully. Do not hesitate to ask detailed questions and never feel embarrassed. A lawyer’s readiness to discuss the fees is an important indicator of how he or she treats the clients. If you have a basic knowledge about how lawyers generally charge for their services, it may help you to negotiate the best deal when you need to hire one.

A best business attorney may suggest hourly fees, flat fees or even contingency fees. But the exact price of these fees structures is determined by several factors. The cost of a lawyer is influenced by the amount of effort and time required for your case, whether you live in an urban or rural area, by the outcome of the case, by the experience of the lawyer and by the processing costs. All these elements will impact the total cost of a lawyer.

  • The hourly rates are the most common arrangement. On an hourly fee basis, a business law attorney gets paid an agreed-upon hourly sum for the hours that he puts in a client’s case until it is resolved. The hourly rate depends on the lawyer’s experience, operating expenses and the location of the practice. When it comes to your business’ protection, you should keep in mind that it is more effective to hire a lawyer with a lot of experience and expertise.
  • When dealing with the business law matters such as wills and simple bankruptcy filings, most attorneys typically charge a flat fee. However, the flat fee might not include other legal expenses such as the filing fees.
  • You can be charged on a contingency fee basis in certain types of cases. It means that the business law attorney will take any fee from you, but will get a percentage of the settlement money.
  • As for the expenses and court costs, there are no averages and it is hardly possible to give an accurate estimation. You should carefully discuss everything with your business litigation attorney and anticipate any miscellaneous costs so that you can estimate those costs up front and avoid further confusions. Be prepared to check court costs, filing costs, delivery charges etc.

    Regardless of the type of your payment agreement with your attorney, you should get a fee agreement in writing. If a business law attorney is unwilling to offer a fee agreement in writing, do not choose that lawyer.

    Tax Relief Firms – Is it a Law Firm, Accounting Firm, Or Something Else?

    The tax relief industry has experienced significant change over the past several years. As the economy worsened and Americans faced increased financial pressures, many people and businesses sought relief from the strain by not paying their taxes. In response, an enormous number of tax companies started sprouting up to absorb the unprecedented demand for tax services. Tax gurus on late-night TV and radio advertise, they’ll “settle your tax debt for pennies on the dollar.” Despite being tax geeks ourselves, we couldn’t make sense of which tax companies are good and which are bad.

    Tax Relief Firms – Choosing the Right One For You

    Under the broad umbrella of “tax relief firms,” there are three types of professional firms: Law firms, CPA Firms, and Hybrids. The first two types are self-explanatory, and since there’s really no industry-standard name for the latter category, calling them a “hybrid” is probably acceptable. But which of the three categories is right for you?

    Law Firms

    As you know, a law firm is made up of ONLY lawyers. A law firm may employ assistants, like paralegals, but a tax attorney is ALWAYS the person ultimately responsible for any tax work performed. All tax attorneys employed by a law firm are subject to the ethics rules and disciplinary action of their state bar. A tax attorney may generally represent any client in any state on any U.S. federal income tax matter.

    The pros to employing a law firm are that you can feel comfortable that (i) an attorney is the one ultimately responsible for your tax matter, (ii) you have a clear method to file grievances (i.e., with the sate bar) if the attorney screws up, and (iii) lawyers are subject to strict ethics rules so they should work according to the highest of standards. The cons are that law firms generally are more expensive than the other two types of tax firms. Additionally, some law firms (or attorneys) do not focus solely (or even primarily) on tax related work, so they may lack some of the skill and expertise needed to fight the IRS. Just ask your attorney what other types of work he or she performs, and that will give you a sense of whether tax (and specifically, tax relief) is his or her specialty.

    CPA Firms

    At CPA firms, you will obviously find CPAs (i.e., certified accountants), but you may also find tax attorneys. Like law firms, it’s nice to know that at CPA firms, there is a professional behind the scenes who is ultimately responsible for any tax work performed on your behalf. The pros and cons of CPA firms are similar to those of law firms, except the method of reporting grievances with CPAs isn’t as well defined (but exists nonetheless) as it is for attorneys. CPA firms are generally a little less expensive than law firms.

    “Hybrid Firms”

    The hybrid firms include tax relief firms that are not law firms or CPA firms. Tax relief firms in this category employ a mix of tax professionals, including tax attorneys, CPAs, and so-called “Enrolled Agents.” Enrolled Agents are tax professionals certified by the IRS. They are neither attorneys nor CPAs, but are tax professionals that the IRS has concluded (either through examination or experience) that they are qualified to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

    Many tax relief firms fit in the “hybrid” category. Lots of the tax firms that advertise on the internet and radio are made up of tax attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents and thus are hybrid tax relief firms. The pros are that these companies generally charge less for tax relief work and are very good at performing tax services and working with IRS since tax controversy work is their specialty. The cons are that unlike law firms and CPA firms, these hybrid firms are largely unregulated, so there’s no clear channel (like, for example, the state bar for attorneys) to file grievances. Since they are unregulated, many of the hybrid firms are just plain bad and if they rip a client off, there’s little recourse, except the traditional routes of going to the BBB or other quasi-regulatory bodies.

    Tax Relief Firms – Is it a law firm, a CPA firm, or a hybrid?

    Here’s how you can determine whether a certain tax relief firm is a law firm, a CPA firm, or a hybrid firm. First, don’t assume anything just because an attorney or CPA works at the tax firm. As explained above, this is meaningless. Second (and the most obvious), just ask! A tax relief firm should have little problem telling you how it’s organized.

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