Finding A Good Criminal Lawyer

Part of our democracy is the opportunity given to people suspected of crime to be represented by criminal lawyers in a case. However, not all criminal lawyers are created equal. Some will boast of their education, others of their length of practice. However, these are not enough. When you talk about criminal law, you talk about experience. Law schools are there to educate aspiring lawyers but there is more to these schools that anyone seeking a good criminal lawyer must consider.

It is true that the law school a criminal lawyer attended could matter when assessing his professional expertise. However, there are many things the university won’t teach him and the only things that truly matter when you want the best criminal lawyer is to find one who has extensive experience in the courtroom. In other words, if you want someone who can represent you in a manner that brings the most advantage to you, find the one who has had a good number of jury trials in his career. This is because criminal attorneys do not really perfect their skills unless they have had the chance to practice them in a real courtroom handling real criminal cases. If you go looking around for a criminal attorney, ask how many cases they’ve handled in their career. This number will give you a good idea about whether or not they’ll make a good choice.

Board certification is another thing to look for when finding a criminal lawyer. When the lawyer has it that means he has devoted his career to criminal law and this will make him a much better candidate than someone who has simply “experimented” with this branch of law practice. There are many areas of specialty for lawyers and if you want criminal representation, then you must choose someone who specializes on this. Besides, only those who are board-certified can legitimately claim to be criminal law specialists and there is enough reason to believe they will be good for you.

One thing you’ll want to avoid, however, is having a criminal lawyer promise you victory. There is no good lawyer who can even guarantee that he can win your case. He can promise to give you the best legal advice for whatever situation you are in but that is as far as he can go. He can also promise to do his best while representing you in the courtroom but he will never ever say that you will win, especially if he hasn’t reviewed your case thoroughly.

Why Nursing is the Best Career Choice

Are you finishing high school soon? Having trouble what career you want to do? If you do, then you should consider nursing as one of your career choices.

Nursing is a job that involves caring for sick and injured people. Nurses also help to treat and diagnose patients in which no other health professional is available. It is an exciting career in which sadly not enough people choose as their primary career choice. Here are 7 reasons why nursing is the best career choice for people leaving high school.

1. There is always a job available for nurses

Unlike other professions, there is always a need for nurses. From aged care nursing homes to private medical practices and to the big general hospitals, there is a big need for nurses everywhere in the country. If you need to move interstate for family reasons, then it is easy to get a job local to that area. Nursing has the best job mobility than any other profession.

2. Recession proof

In times of financial meltdowns or political conflicts, there is always a job available for nurses. It is one of the safest careers, and you will never fear about getting another job as a nurse.

3. Does not take long to finish a nursing degree

To get study to be a nurse only takes approximately one year. To be a qualified registered nurse only takes approximately two to three years, which gives you more medical autonomy and high financial benefits compared to being an ordinary enrolled nurse. It does not take long to be a nurse. Compared to being an accountant or a lawyer, it can take three or more years to finish. With nursing, you can achieve that in a quicker time and hence be earning money faster than other professionals.

4. Nursing allows you to specialize

With nursing, you can specialise in all sorts of different medical areas. For instance, you can be a specialist pathologist nurse looking at diseases in blood and tissue. You could also be a nurse who can diagnose and prescribe certain medication like a doctor. There are so many areas in nursing you can specialise in, you can never be bored in this profession. If you feel that you need a change of atmosphere or job, you can quickly adjust to different areas of nursing to give you a fresh occupational experience.

5. Nursing is rewarding profession

Nursing is a rewarding profession. It is a profession where you can talk to many different people from different backgrounds, class and profession. It is also a profession that can bring smiles to many hundreds of people.

Book Review – The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the Legal Wilderness

In his 2010 book entitled “The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the Legal Wilderness” (“the Song”), Hugh Duvall sings a heartfelt tune about what it means – and what it ought to mean – to be a lawyer. Written from the perspective of a lawyer-litigator, the Song is intended to reach two main audiences. For non-lawyers, the Song is meant to provide “a window into the complex intellectual, emotional and ethical frontier of [the legal] profession.” For lawyers, it is an affirmation of all that is good in the legal profession – a melody meant to “charge us up and to speed us on our way.” Mr. Duvall performs to both audiences with admirable aplomb.

A quick and engaging read, the Song pursues its purpose in a refreshingly creative style. Each chapter (or verse) focuses on a key theme of legal practice; and each is presented in two parts. The first is a vignette of a story set in 1842 Oregon in which a woman hires a guide to lead her through the backcountry in search of her husband. With the chapter’s theme as a springboard, the second part dives into a non-fictitious account of the various ways in which the issues presented in the vignette affect the day-to-day lives of present-day lawyers.

Within its verses, the Song sings of the hard realities of legal practice. These include the risk and challenge of law school, the long lonely hours of legal practice, the anguish of a case fought and lost, and the betrayal of a thankless client. These darker notes are important for any law student or aspiring lawyer to hear – especially one bedazzled by the gloss of legal practice as it appears on the big screen.

Floating above the bass register are the treble notes of the more ennobling aspects of legal practice. These include the sanctity of the lawyer-client relationship, the humility of faithful service, the decorum of loyalty, and the thrill of victory. These higher notes give the Song a more edifying tenor for those who are uncertain or otherwise cynical about the inherent dignity of a legal career, or those otherwise in need of affirmation.

As much as the Song serves to demystify some of the realities of legal practice, at the same time it also serves to enshroud it in a cloud of romanticism. For example, laced into the narrative are some pretty rosy assumptions about what it is that drives people to pursue a career in law. As Mr. Duvall puts it:

Ours is a profession to which we were called. We were always aware of its presence. The feeling. The thought. The notion that we would become lawyers…It was one’s essence. One’s being. There was no real choice involved at all.

It would be nice if this were true. But the reality is that all sorts of people go to law school (and eventually become lawyers) for far lesser reasons. Some go to law school to please their parents. Others go because they want money, security and prestige. Still others go because they don’t know what else to do with themselves. Yet once on the conveyor belt, the pressure to identify as a lawyer gets stronger and stronger. Years later, well into their careers, all too many wake up and realize that what they are doing is not their calling – that this is not their song.

The romanticism of the Song also surfaces in other verses. For example, in the verse about “passion”, Mr. Duvall notes that “[w]e cannot meet the rigorous challenges we regularly confront without passion for our work.” Lawyers, just like anybody else, are much better equipped to do their jobs when fuelled by passion. Yet the truth is that on the whole lawyers aren’t exactly known for their passion for their work. In fact, many plod their weary ways through their entire careers without much enthusiasm for their jobs at all.

While Mr. Duvall may be romantic, he is not blind. As he notes, many lawyers do such things as “take shortcuts to the prejudice of the client”, “make as much money as possible”, “gain attention for personal aggrandizement”, and “run a business as opposed to a law practice.” It is clear that Mr. Duvall is fully aware that such “imposters” exist among our ranks; the simple fact of the matter is that they are not part of his intended audience.

While such “imposters” may well not deserve admission to Mr. Duvall’s performance, I contend that they constitute a third audience that must not only attend, but also listen extra carefully. For it is to this audience that the Song carries a special – albeit implicit – message. And that message is this:

If you are not in harmony with the basic values of your profession, you must do something about it or your career and life will ever be dissonant.

In listening to the Song, should anyone find themselves scoffing or otherwise rolling their eyes in cynicism at its lyrics, then it may well be that they belong to this third audience. Should they recognize the special message the Song has for them, and should they be inspired to take corrective action, Mr. Duvall will have truly outdone himself.

Bravo, Mr. Duvall!

Educating Children to Think Outside the Box

When asked the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” my nine year old daughter constantly replies “a famous singer”.

When I try to bring her gently back to reality by asking “but what if you don’t manage to succeed in being a singer, she immediately replies, “then I will be a famous actress instead.”

It is sad but true that in today’s fame obsessed culture most young people aspire to be a famous celebrity rather than seeking careers in the more traditional roles like nursing, teaching or becoming a lawyer.

How can we, as parents, address this situation?
In my opinion it is vital that we try to educate our children to know that there are other exciting opportunities available for them that can lead to being successful and fulfilled in life.

In addition to promoting the traditional roles like teaching and nursing we should also try to encourage our children to “think out of the box”.

Very often we live our lives as though we are in a box. We pursue roles and lives that we feel we ought to. We are educated to think that we need to either get a job straight from school or to obtain a degree if we want a” higher” profession. We are encouraged to seek traditional careers and to keep the status quo.

This does not have to be the case. As well as valuing the traditional education offered to our young daughters we should also try to encourage our children by stimulating their imagination to think of more exciting ways to succeed. Our youngest daughter is already showing great business and entrepreneurial potential. She particularly enjoys watching entrepreneurial programs and gets quite excited when she tries to think of ideas of her own for various tasks presented in these programs. My children also enjoy helping me to devise various ideas for my business and my website. They quite often offer me very novel ways to present my web pages.

My wife enjoys nurturing their creative skills in other ways. Very often they enjoy making things outdoors like mobiles made from twigs and leaves or jewellery made from string, wood, leaves and flowers. My eldest daughter even made a beautiful necklace from a shell that she placed on to a piece of chord. She often jokes that she is one day going to open a stall selling her home made jewellery to make extra pocket money. This enterprising spirit should be encouraged as many top entrepreneurs have started out by selling something small for extra pocket money and gone on to bigger fortunes…Just look at Lord Sugar who is a perfect example of this.

My youngest daughter enjoys being creative by writing stories along with her own illustrations when she has been on an “adventure” with her mum. When she returns from a walk in the woods both she and my wife then sit and write stories about who they think live is the tree in the woods. My daughter particularly likes these stories as one of the trees actually has a door with a handle on it. She is convinced that a family of squirrels live there whereas my wife writes that a family of goblins live there. It doesn’t really matter which version is best, the important thing is that it stimulates my daughter’s imagination and actually encourages her to write, something that she isn’t normally keen on doing. Who knows it could also encourage her to be a famous writer in the future.

It doesn’t really matter which career path our children take. The important thing is to ensure that they enjoy whatever they choose to do and that they realise there are many other exciting opportunities available other than the traditional roles that are encouraged at school. Using entrepreneurial and creative skills can easily lead to running a successful business. As can utilising good writing and illustrative skills. If your children choose the right career path for them, whatever that might be, they will be capable of achieving the same success and fulfilment that they would get by being a celebrity. The plus side is that they would be able to still enjoy their lives and privacy without fearing that they are being followed at every opportunity by the media.

What It Takes to Succeed in the Legal Career

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.