NALP Exchange

Discussion of the Law

Month: March 2012

Growing Marketplace for Graduate Lawyers

The growing online marketplace has opened up an entirely new field of law practice in recent years- one which the younger generations of newly qualified lawyers are uniquely suited to deal with. The recent national outcry over SOPA and PIPA should demonstrate to the interested observer that this field is still subject to fundamental changes. Factional and economical concerns could still lead the US policymakers to push through game changing legislation at any stage. This means a fast evolving field of law practice and a growing need for well qualified individuals to guide and advise the vast marketplace.

Independent online entrepreneurs in particular need to be careful to dot their i’s and cross their t’s when it comes to the law. For example, a discount code provider website can run foul of their partners if publishing any promotional code comes into conflict with the terms of their affiliate agreement. A blogger must then choose whether to continue on in the affiliate capacity or publish the codes and generate income through alternate methods. Doing otherwise may result in an abrupt termination of the partnership and significant loss of income.

The digital world is certainly the biggest areas of expansion for many legal practices.  The digital marketplace is growing exponentially and as such is the need for a rigid and workable legal framework to conduct business.   One of the biggest problems in this area though is that many of these contracts are conducted across international borders and as such are potentially affected by more than one countries legislation.  For example if a US citizen buys a product over the internet from a company in Germany using a British VPN – there are potentially three countries involved all with extensive digital laws and regulations.

How To Befit From Business Intelligence Tools In A Law Firm

It is not easy when it comes to important law firm decisions and this should never be made instantly. Law firms to do some important techniques first before they do decision-making and an abundance of the right information in hand is required. They don’t just simply voice out any decision which is being finalized in just reading an information at once. Before making any decision, they have to make sure first that they have plenty of information before they come up into the final decision. With this fact, Business Intelligence Tooms in law firms is really important to make these important decisions. The right information for many law firm decisions means having a competitive intelligence. From the term competitive, it is needed in the law firms to have that full of information and precise details so that they can prove that they are really making the right decision. If you are not sure what types of Business Intelligence Tools you can get, you can find a full review of the various tools here at Business Intelligence Tools.

For decision-making, it is important for the law firms to have the right information acquired as this will help them for analyzing it. Business Intelligence Tools in law firms can be a big help in order for them to make their work and job done appropriately. Law firms needs to have more information gathered as they have to analyze it first and read information based on the problem that they are dealing with. So, business intelligence will probably their best way and technique not to experience difficulties on their decision-making. Business intelligence software is an important tool that will help law firms gather, analyze and manage information on the problem or issue that they are facing as it will assist them for the decision-making that they are going to finalize.

For all the information that can affect all of the law firm’s decisions, operations and plans is needed. And with the use of business intelligence, gathering and storing important information and data will be simple for law firms. It is important on law firms to gain sufficient market analysis such as entering into a merger or to gain a profitable client. The lawyers are giving many stock with competitive ideas and knowledge because the work market becomes more and more trendy and have an increased competition. We can expect to see a huge boost of the use of business intelligence tools in the various law firms that are around today.

Law Schools Dupe Kids With Allure Of Instant Riches

Recently there has been a lot of news centering on the shady practices many law schools are engaging in.  Many schools have been getting caught fabricating to students the amount of money they will be making directly after graduating from law school.  All of this so they can garner their expensive tuitions to enter into a prestigious law program.  But the problem is that many lawyers who graduate find that they are not going to make anywhere near what they thought upon graduation.

This is quite a shame on a few levels, for one students who want to practice law solely based on financial gain instead of the love for practicing law, and two the greed of the schools to prey upon these budding young scholars.   The NALP organization is one that allows for realistic expectations of what to expect once you graduate; in fact the organization is founded with the goal of making the transition from school to practicing law much smoother.  A bankruptcy lawyer I knew got into law because of the money he could make, and not long after found that running a credit card debt relief business was more suiting to him.  The only benefit his law degree has at this point is the power of the paper in which it was written, strictly to afford his company more prestige.  No longer does he truly practice law but only uses his name to strengthen people’s confidence in his ability.

The bottom line is that this guy like many others were duped into thinking their law degree would make them a lot of money, but in the end it was this man’s business skills that really had nothing to do with law that made him successful.

NALP and Wine

When I was asked to compare the training which the average lawyer receives with the training the average winemaker recieves, the difference was stark indeed.  I have two sons, one of which holds each job title.  One of my sons is an immigration attoryney here in California while the other makes wine for a wine of the month club as well as part time for a small winery. At it’s core, NALP was meant to help bridge the chasm between a lawyer’s education and his practical experience.  That is something the wine industry, amazingly seems to be doing a better job at promoting.

A winemaker receives training, largely through hands on working in the field.  While a few Universities have programs which train winemakers, the bulk of the training truly starts after graduation.  Of course, that education allows the average graduate to hit the ground running on their first day at a winery.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for attorneys.  Too many law schools these days are training good general attorney’s who can pass the bar.  Unfortunately, those same attorney’s leave law school with little practical experience.  That lack of experience can be partially made up with a quality summer internship, but the average law firm counts on spending at least six months training their new hires on how to file even rudimentary paperwork for their clients and other staff.

That’s something which needs to change for both graduates as well as for law firms alike.

Illegal Immigration a Matter of Law, Not Race or Politics

For many months, illegal immigration from Mexico has really flared up to become a hot topic of debate in this country. On the one hand, there is the extreme political left that seems to welcome illegals with open arms and touts that the United States is a country of immigrants and that if you disagree with their standpoint, you are racist. On the other hand, there is the extreme political right that would not seem to mind seeing every one of them thrown in jail and the key tossed in the trash. And of course, in the middle of these two hands lie a number of compromise solutions and probably the majority of Americans.

As for my viewpoint, I am outraged by those who attempt to justify the actions taken by those who enter the country illegally. If my ancestors from Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Poland, and so on, attempted to enter the country illegally, they would have been deported without any doubt. Allowing people to enter the country illegally is an insult to all past and present immigrants that came here to live the American Dream legally. When I shared this statement with an African-American friend who graduated from Stritch not too long ago and who adheres to the extreme leftist ideology on this issue, I was told that I was being a racist. How is this racist? Is it because I just happen to be a male descending from Anglo-Saxon ancestry? Perhaps if my friend had said this, it would not be racist? I don’t know. That is a whole other debate. Personally, I think the sympathizers of the illegals try to make it a racial issue when they know that they are losing the argument.

In any case, this issue has nothing to do with race. Ideally, it should have nothing to do with petty politics either. I see the issue as only being a matter of law, which is separate from politics. This issue has everything to do with respect for our laws and for equal justice for everyone under those laws. It does not matter if a person came here illegally from Mexico, Ireland, Canada, or anywhere else in the world. The law is the law.

Speaking of laws, sympathizers of the illegals should consider this one question: “Would you like it if someone trespassed on your property and left it vandalized?” Many ranchers just beyond the U.S. side of the border have had their fences and other property damaged or destroyed because some sociopath doesn’t really give a damn about somebody else’s property & damage. Many report missing items as well. So, not only are they breaking the law by crossing illegally, but they are breaking countless other laws along the way dealing in such areas as trespassing, vandalism, larceny, and so on. Food for thought.

The “Legalized Drugs” Debate and Our Class System

My brother and I were once having a debate about the legalization of marijuana.  His argument was that it shouldn’t be legalized, because you have to draw a clear line of which drugs can and can’t be legalized and never betray that line, because it might end up being a slippery slope.

My argument was that it should be legalized, because it’s already on THIS (safer) side of the line, since alcohol is clearly much worse than marijuana.

My whole theory is that the way we look at drugs is basically backwards – or, failing that, a bit skewed.


It’s possible that as you’re reading this, you’re hopped up on caffeine from soda or coffee.  Caffeine is the best example of a drug with real side effects that is widely consumed because it’s mild enough to be socially acceptable. That said the acceptance leads to regular & frequent use by MANY MANY MANY.

Slow reaction time, more dopamine – caffeine is like a mild form of a madeup hybrid drug, Crackahol.  If I was listing those symptoms as symptoms of marijuana, would you feel justified in supporting its continued illegalization (assuming you already did)?  Probably.

3/4ths of Americans supposedly drink coffee regularly, and 9/10 consume caffeine somehow every day.  Social proof is so powerful that even though I can list facts and figures about why caffeine is a mind-altering drug and you probably won’t think twice about it over your next cup of coffee.

Even though caffeine is milder than hard drugs, it’s strong enough to make your Pituitary gland think there’s an emergency going on.  But moving on…

Look at Alcohol Objectively

Let’s consider the political ramifications of deciding which drugs should be legal or not.

There are some who would like to de-regulate all drugs (cough Ron Paul cough), and those who probably support bringing back Prohibition.

Given Aristotle’s principle that the truth lies somewhere in the middle, we have to assume there’s some line between total regulation and deregulation that would work the best.  But where is that line?

Start with alcohol.  Clearly, people want their booze.  Prohibition was so bad that it gave rise to some of the top criminals of the 20th Century.

Imagine if there was some other substance, say “Substance X,” that no one knew about, that had all of the same characteristics of alcohol and the same statistics (drunk driving fatalities, liver problems, etc.).  If people suddenly found out about this, would they be totally for alcohol, or would they want it heavily regulated, or even banned?

Think about it objectively, like an alien studying human civilization.  If you were an alien, you would see the humans consumed this Substance X in mass quantities.  It was available in a variety of forms, some of which are acceptable over lunch and dinner (call it “beer”).  In its concentrated forms, it had more powerful effects, where humans congregate at buildings built solely for the distribution of Substance X.  These buildings then become a sort of mating ground – the males fight psychologically and physically for dominance and the women pick and choose the best humans to mate with.

Excessive abuse of Substance X leads many humans to vomiting, next-day headaches and in some rare cases, even death.  Substance X severely inhibits driving capabilities, so humans drive huge machines totally impaired, leading to huge amounts of traffic fatalities.

Yet humans are totally hooked – one human government once tried to ban it, and entire crime syndicates rose, providing underground distribution of Substance X.  I think I don’t have to make it any more clear how drugged/doped up we people are every day, even on the milder drugs like caffeine and TV.  Not necessarily the worst thing in the world, but it helps to be aware of it.

Where to Draw the Line?

What’s better politically – to ban something like Substance X (alcohol), or to let the people have it because they’ll do it anyway?

If you want to ban it, that means you want the line drawn closer to home than most.  Maybe you think caffeine is causing major health problems for both kids and adults.  Maybe the government should more heavily regulate the foods you eat.  Maybe you should just turn commie.

If you’re like most and want it legal, then where do you the draw the line of its own legality?  Why can’t 17 year olds drink it, but 22 year olds can?  Why can’t you have drive through liquor stores?

If you’re like my brother and Captain Picard in Star Trek: First Contact, then you say “the line must be drawn HERE!  This far, no farther!”  Taking it farther only takes you down the slippery slope.

I generally agree with that, except that I think marijuana is already on the “safer” side of the line.  It could also be a great way to keep the working class sapped of their energy and unmotivated so that the elite, drug-free (thanks, D.A.R.E!) intellectuals are free to reign.  I’m joking.  Sort of.  Not really.

One thing we don’t talk about with drugs ARE the class issues.  The way I see it, we’re dividing up into three classes:  the ruling class (those with the most economic leverage and who don’t need to work for income), the thinking class (those who have jobs that don’t involve manual labor;  about half of us), and the working class (those who have jobs with manual labor).

There’s a clear pecking order.  The ruling class leverages their capital to get both other classes to do their work for them.  The thinking class still works, but can leverage their higher incomes to get others to do their manual labor.  The working class basically drinks a lot.

Think of most of the jobs you’ve had, and you’ll see that you fall into one of these categories.  It’s possible you really have a manual labor job even though you’re not installing someone’s pool or cleaning their toilet.

In the ruling class, you would be in favor of opiates, depressants, stimulants and other stuff they use to numb down the mentally “ill” and their manic depression symptoms, to control those who work in the factory.  Working at a gas station two summers during college (working class;  it doesn’t seem like manual labor but it is because there’s no thinking work really), I couldn’t tell you how many industrial workers would come in and buy alcohol, many on a daily basis.  Their lives involved making someone from the ruling class rich in their 9 to 5, and then going home and drinking so that it was an easier fact to accept.

So if you’re ruling class, you love alcohol.  You also love pot, because there’s no way the workers could rise up against you if all they’re thinking about is fourthmeal at Taco Bell.  You also love stimulants like caffeine because they keep your thinking class compatriots working and thinking hard.

Sometimes I think that the form of government I favor is generally just the most suited government for huge companies and tycoons like Andrew Carnegie to work in.  If I think that’s a good thing, then I’d want to be consistent with that idea.  In that case, I would have to be for legalized caffeine, alcohol, and marjiuana.

You might say, “wouldn’t legal cocaine help CEOs somehow too?”  My answer is:  “Doesn’t matter.”  Crackahol and any of the current legal drugs seem strong enough already.

Lawyers – Keeping Refrigerator Reviews Honest

Lawyers serve a valuable purpose in keeping people honest.  As consumers, imagine how hard it would be for us to buy products if we had no assurance that the manufacturers and retailer were truthful about what they sold – or if we had no means of legal recourse if a product were to cause us harm!

While some firms will always misrepresent their products, the fear of lawsuits helps keep the level of this activity in check.  Let’s take as an example refrigerators.  Picture a new model of refrigerator hitting the market – now imagine what an imaginative firm might say about it.

“This new refrigerator will keep food from rotting for months at a time.  If you eat food from this fridge you will stay and look young forever”

In years gone these snake oil salesmen like claims were common, but if someone wrote refrigerator reviews making claims like this now there would be trouble!  Assume for a minute that someone believed these claims and purchased the products based on them.

A few weeks later there is a tragic news story about a family dying of food poisoning after eating chicken left sitting in their refrigerator for 3 weeks.  They thought it was safe, because their refrigerator review literature said it was ok to do this.

Once word of this spread around Lawyers would come out of the wood work to assure justice was served for the families’ relatives.  They would file suit to claim damages for those left behind.  Of course, they would not do this out of the goodness of their heart – the Lawyers would be in it for a chunk of the settlement money – but nevertheless, if there was a solid case it would get pursued.

Fear of claims like this are what keep product manufacturers from being too outrageous in their claims – particularly if their mistruths could lead to personal injury of fatalities.

So while it is fashionable in some circles to have nothing good to say about lawyers, the profession does serve a valuable purpose that people sometimes overlook.


Sole Proprietorship or LLC?

When I first started to make money online years ago, it was mainly just a hobby. Like many others I wanted to see if I could do it and what the potential was. My job was going downhill and I though that perhaps I could supplement my income a bit online. Not much different than hundreds of people will do today, tomorrow, and every day after that.

However, I was one of the lucky ones that started to make more than pocket money. I soon realized that I was responsible for taxes on the money and figuring out how to better protect myself.

Any person who makes money in a home business is a sole proprietorship by default. Nothing has to be done and the person who is making the money is responsible for the taxes on their personal tax return. Seems easy enough and it is.

However, in this society where everyone sues everyone else for the silliest of things, I was concerned that I needed some protection. My website and others were making a bit of money and I didn’t want want to be sued and lose some of my personal money because of some out of control lawyer.

Lawyers are needed but in recent years things have gotten out of hand. They take cases from just about anyone who sues for just about anything. I wanted to protect myself from something like that and thought that getting an LLC might be a good idea.

LLC’s are supposed to separate your personal assets from business assets in most cases thus reducing the risk of losing personal money if you get sued. But there are a lot of conflicting opinions about this as it seems this type of situation has not been thoroughly tested in the courts yet. No one knows for sure if they will really protect you.

Nevertheless, I do have my LLC now and have an “official” business even though I still go to work every morning just the same as I did every morning before the LLC. I hope I never have to find out whether the LLC really works!

The Lawyer Surplus

There used to be two professions that always garnered respect and admiration: medical professionals and lawyers. Granted, there is a subset of people who say that lawyers are nothing more than glorified ambulance chasers, however when someone tells you that they are in law school or that they have a JD it sounds very impressive.

The fact of the matter is that today there are way more lawyers than there are open positions for them. There is currently a lawyer surplus in the United States.The New York Times reported that, based on estimated job openings between 2010 and 2015 and the amount of people who passed the bar exam in 2009, there were only three areas that did not have more lawyers than vacancies for lawyers: DC, Wisconsin, and Nebraska.

My good friend is experiencing this hardship first hand. She is extremely smart and always had an interest in law. About 10 years after getting her Bachelor’s Degree, she decided to go to law school. She was Valedictorian of her graduating class. When it came time to find work as a professional attorney, there was nothing in her area available (and she has no desire to relocate to any of the three places that do not currently have a lawyer surplus). She has been using the NALP (National Association for Law Placement) and while they are being as helpful as they can, nothing has panned out for her.

In the meantime, in order to earn a living, she has stumbled upon internet marketing (with my help). Her hobby is collecting lalaloopsy dolls and she decided to blog about her collection and her new purchases. She makes videos showing the new dolls, she keeps up with all the latest lalaloopsy news, and she is genuinely passionate about the product. After she showed me all the blogging she’s been doing, I taught her some ways to earn money through advertisements on her site. Now she is actually starting to see a decent income from all of her blogging. So much so that she is rethinking becoming a lawyer at all!

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