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4 Ways To Help Your Lawyer Enable You To If you want a lawyer for any excuse, you need to work closely using them so that you can win your case. No matter how competent they may be, they're going to need your help. Allow me to share four important approaches to help your legal team assist you to win: 1. Be Totally Honest Or Higher Your lawyers need and expect your complete cooperation - whatever information you're planning to reveal in their mind. Privilege means what you say is held in confidence, so don't hold anything back. Your legal team should know all things in advance - especially information the other side could discover and surprise you with later. 2. Provide Meticulous Records Keep an ongoing and factual account of all information regarding your case. Whether it's witnesses or payments being made, provide your attorneys with the data they must enable them to win. 3. Show Up Early For Many Engagements Not be late when you're appearing before a court and steer clear of wasting the attorney's time, too, when you are punctually, every time. Actually, because you may need to discuss very last minute details or even be extra ready for the situation you're facing, it's a smart idea to arrive early. 4. Demonstrate You Have Your Act Together If you've been responsible for just about any crime, it's important in order to convince a legal court that you simply both regret the actions and therefore are making strides toward enhancing your life. By way of example, if you're facing driving under the influence, volunteer for the rehab program. Be sincere and linked to the city the judge is presiding over. Working more closely with the legal team increases your likelihood of absolute success. Try this advice, listen closely to how you're advised and ultimately, you need to win your case.

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How Hard Is It To Find A Job For Lawyers?
I'Ve Been Considering Law School For A While Now (Junior In High School) But I'M Not Sure If There Is A Demand For Lawyers These Days Or Not. I'M Mainly Worried About The Difficulty Of Finding A Job. If It Helps At All I'M Planning On Majoring In Criminal Law.

I e-mailed this response to a girl a couple of days ago it might help. I just completed my first year of law school:

Well I just finished my first year of law school and I was totally taken by surprise. I majored in Culinary Management as an undergrad, decided a MBA was a dying easy to obtain graduate degree and went for labor law. First, almost everyone in my law school (Mass. School of Law, is on financial aid, very few people I know can afford it. The joke is after the first year of law school you're in too much debt to go into any other profession. My G.P.A. was 3.8 and it really doesn't matter now. I took the LSAT twice, did amazing the first time, bombed the second unfortunately they take your average score. As a result I went to a school that doesn't require LSATS as they have their own entrance exam. I can practice in 65% of the states immediately, but the others I have to wait a certain time frame (usually three years). So it worked out well especially having such a different under graduate degree. As for journalism, it's a whole new style of writing, but if writing is your strength you are 1/2 way to becoming a great lawyer. The other half of course is arguing (I'm always right ;-)). My first year I didn't work until my second semester. Law school is far more than a full time job. My second semester I started at 20 hours a week down to 8. It's hard. But if you can survive your first year, you can survive the other two. The rule of thumb is the first year they scare you to death, the second is they work you to death, and the third is they bore you to death. It's a lot of work, and 150 pages is light reading, but after your first semester you become a pro at briefing cases and getting in a strong study group. However, if you don't do your work there is no way you can wing it!!! Teachers are hard on students in class, and outside are pretty cool (they all think they are the teacher from the movie "Paper Chase"). I went to law school thinking I was going to go into Labor Law, law school is different you don't really declare a concentration, your electives is where you mold your area. You can't pick electives until your second year. After my first year I really love Criminal Law and found I hate Property so I can gage my electives to that, but most also choose their electives around the bar exam. As for not going to school immediately after undergrad is pretty normal. Many of my fellow classmates are in their 30's and I (23) am considered very young. So that's not really a problem so long as you do your work. I don't know many who haven't been able to get a job after graduating unless they aren't searching. I know people who have failed the bar exam three or four times and got really great jobs. Lets see what else, litigation. Some people really have it and some people just don't. I pride myself on being court room savvy, but I have some friends who are very timid. They are the best at researching, finding things on Westlaw and Lexis Nexis and are just as valuable. In fact few lawyers actually every go to court. A good example of this would be a school attorney. They do all the research, write contracts, and have a slim to no chance of ever going to court. My Writing & Legal Research teacher told us she only went to court one time her whole career and was with so many other attorney's it never mattered anyways.

I guess my only other piece of advice is, if you over analyze everything and love to argue (written or vocal) you'll be a great lawyer!
If you decided to go, get as many study aids as you can (Black Letter Outlines and Case Notes are like a bible!).
Really research the schools you apply to, and if you decided to take the LSAT, courses are great.
Almost no one has the money for law school (and I live in Boston/Cambridge with Harvard) which keeps us all in debt.
But if you're teetering on yes or no (and more no) then don't invest.

Sorry this is long winded, but it's what I do! So Good luck!

What Happened To Judge Mabelene From Divorce Court?

In 2005, Ephriam wore a wig on the show, the consequence of a bad relaxant. Fox liked the look so much that it asked her to keep it. But Ephriam wanted cornrows. When Fox said no, Ephriam cried racism. Fox, in turn, declined to renew her contract.

Read the entire story

Here Comes the Judge
From a local bench to Divorce Court, Lynn Toler has appeal.
By Rebecca Meiser
Article Published Jun 14, 2006

Who / What:
Judge Lynn Toler
Divorce Court

Judge Lynn Toler's verdicts are homespun wisdom dispensed with a cut-the-bull edge.Judge Lynn Toler emerged from her chambers looking as stern as a police interrogator. From the bench, she locked eyes with the ponytailed plaintiff, who was suing her wedding facility for botching the event.

"You listen here," Toler said, her eyes flashing. "You said your wedding was ruined, but the only way your wedding could truly be ruined is if your man don't show."

The audience tittered. The plaintiff's attorney looked as if he wanted to object.

In a softer voice, Toler told the woman that she'd get some money back, but not the whole cost. Too many people expect perfection, she said.

With that, the judge banged her gavel and headed to her private dressing room on the Fox lot.

It's been five years since Toler, the star of the short-lived court-TV show Power of Attorney, saw screen time. But this fall, the former Cleveland Heights judge will return to TV as the leading lady on Fox's Divorce Court.

Toler's transition from municipal court judge to TV star still surprises her. Like most big events in her life, it happened by accident.

In 1993, the Harvard graduate was a fiery young litigator when the chairman of the Cuyahoga County Republican Party suggested that she run for Cleveland Heights Municipal Court.

Toler thought her odds were slim. Cleveland Heights is a Democratic stronghold, and her opponent was Russell Baron, a distinguished lawyer who'd practiced in the city for 14 years longer than Toler had been alive.

"If I hadn't run against him, I would have voted for him myself," Toler quips.

But Toler did bring some ammo: She was the only African American candidate in a largely black district and had a large war chest, thanks to her wealthy father.

On election day, Toler won by just six votes out of the more than 16,000 cast.

She quickly distinguished herself with her creative sentencing. During seven years on the bench, she offered shorter jail terms for convicts who wrote book reports and made obeying their mothers a condition of probation.

Local TV ate it up. In 1998, Channel 19 aired a special on Toler, following her from the courtroom to her living room. When she showed off her tae kwon do skills by splintering wood with her bare hands, it was clear she was made for the limelight.

Her big break came two years later. The producers of Power of Attorney, a new legal show on Fox, were in need of a judge. They canvassed the country for candidates. Naturally, Channel 19 suggested Toler.

Producers didn't tell Toler what show she was auditioning for, so when they asked her opinion of courtroom shows, she put her foot in her mouth. "I love all of them except Power of Attorney," she said.

Despite the faux pas, producers hired her.

"We tested three people, and my opinion was, we shouldn't even test the other two," says producer Laura Gelles.

Toler got her first taste of stardom when she met her co-stars, O.J. Simpson prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden. Toler and Clark became fast friends. "She's the nicest person ever," Toler gushes. But Darden was another story. "Chris is a little mercurial. One moment he can be sweet as a pie, and the next he'll hardly speak to you. I never quite figured him out."

The cases Toler presided over were like The People's Court crossed with Jerry Springer. One mother sued because her daughter refused to pay for haircuts. Another mom refused to house her pregnant daughter unless she dumped her slacker boyfriend.

Toler's verdicts were homespun wisdom dispensed with a cut-the-bull edge. She was as likely to cite her mother's advice as she was a precedent-setting decision -- ironic, in light of the fact that her mother thought the show was trashy.

"She didn't understand how her Harvard-educated daughter could do this to her," Toler recounts. "She had visions of me on the Supreme Court."

In 2001, the show was canceled. But TV judges are a lot like Supreme Court justices: Once appointed, they serve for life. For the next five years, Toler made as much as $60,000 annually, just by auditioning for shows.

"There's so few judges willing to do television work that the ones who do are really valuable," explains Michael Cicconetti, president of the American Judges Association.

Toler's next offer came in April, when Fox's negotiations with Divorce Court judge Mablean Ephriam stalled.

The sticking point was hair. In 2005, Ephriam wore a wig on the show, the consequence of a bad relaxant. Fox liked the look so much that it asked her to keep it. But Ephriam wanted cornrows. When Fox said no, Ephriam cried racism. Fox, in turn, declined to renew her contract.

When Toler got the nod as Ephriam's replacement, internet message boards lit up with accusations that she was an Uncle Tom.

"Just because you were replaced by another 'black' person doesn't mean it wasn't racial," one viewer wrote. "It simply means they found someone who was willing to abide by their rules. They found . . . a Condoleezza."

While Toler denies the charge, she seems eager not to fan the furor. "I don't know what experiences Mablean had," she says, choosing her words carefully, "but I know that Fox has been nothing but flexible with my hair."

This season, Toler has a full docket that includes a husband who deserted his eight-months-pregnant wife to audition for American Idol, a couple fighting over their 15-year-old daughter's pregnancy, and several military wives who left husbands stationed overseas.

Although the shows won't begin airing till September, Toler's already viewed as a national expert on parlaying local judgeships into Hollywood stardom. The American Judges Association has invited her to speak about transitioning from the bench to TV.

But for Toler, the biggest change may be to her grocery routine. When Power of Attorney was airing, fans would stop her in the supermarket to ask for autographs or argue over rulings. It would take two hours just to buy a loaf of bread.

"Once the show airs, I guess I'll have to start getting up at the crack of dawn again," she says with a smile. "Not that I'm complaining."

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Previous Articles by Rebecca Meiser
The Vanishing Act
Revenge of the Brokenhearted
Reins of the Father
Burning Man

Can An Employee Request An Employment Contract? If So, Can The Employee'S Attorney Produce One?
My Friend Recently Was Offered A Job At Another Firm (Company B). She Has Not Told Her Current Employer (Company A). When She Does, She Believes That Her Current Employer Will Make A Counteroffer As She Is A Valuable Employee. She Will Ask For A Promotion And Pay Raise But Wants Protection. She Is Considering Making Company A Give Her An Employment Contract For 1 Year Which Guarantees Her Job (She Cannot Be Fired Or Laid Off) And Protects Her New Salary (Company Has Cut Salaries For All Employees). I Think This Is A Great Idea But Is It? Who Normally Puts Together The Contract? Should She Let Her Employer Produce One Or Have Her Attorney? Any Advantages Or Disadvantages To This Idea? Thanks

Employment agreements are generally reserved for executive management positions (CEO, CFO, Department Heads). If she is an at will employee and is asking for promotion to another at will employment position it is highly unlikely that she will be able to negotiate for an employment agreement.

If the company has cut salaries for all employees, her expectations for a counteroffer sound overly optimistic, and as someone else indicated, even if a counteroffer were made, making a request for such an extraordinary accommodation as an employment agreement could very well backfire on her in such an environment. Assuming the company is even interested in making a counteroffer, the best she can probably expect is a letter of understanding confirming her new position and salary.

What Is The Best Undergraduate Program For International Law?
I Want To Go To Law School And Study International Law But I Need Help Choosing An Undergraduate Program. Any Suggestions?

I have graduated from law school and practiced law.

Good preparatory programs include Tufts and Georgetown, especially if you are able to take some graduate school courses in your senior year, but very honestly undergraduate instruction in international law will make little difference to your law school and post law school careers.

You will probably take no more than four classes in international law in law school due both to lack of time in your schedule and the number of classes offered, and that it is a high figure. Two or three is more likely.

Undergraduate work in the field will probably not make you better prepared for the law school classes as they do not assume undergraduate preparation by their students, and usually approach the subject very differently than is done at the undergraduate level.

More important factors in choosing an undergraduate school are cost and competitiveness.

NYU, Columbia, and Georgetown are certainly the best law schools for international law and all of them are very expensive. If money is an issue, you can receive fine pre-law preparation at your state university. Your immediate objective is preparing for selection by a top law school. However, remember that a 3.9 GPA from a state university looks better to most law school admission deans than does a 3.6 GPA from an "elite" undergraduate school.

I did not concentrate in international law, although I did take a class in it. In general, I found that my undergraduate degree in history was excellent preparation for law school as it taught the critical reading, thinking, and writing skills which are used in the study and practice of law. I majored in history and found my general history courses to be much more helpful for law school than the four undergraduate international relations classes which I took and I believe that I would have the same opinion if I had taken more international law classes in law school.

International law requires a broad undergraduate foundation, which is why, for practical purposes, the only useful instruction in it is given in law schools.

I do not recommend an undergraduate major in political science, international relations, etc. as the courses are ironically either too theoretical or too specific to be of much help in law school.

I do recommend attaining fluency in French (which with English is one of the two working languages of the United Nations) and in either Chinese or Arabic which will likely be the focus of international legal matters during the years of your career.

International law is a very competitive field and you will need top law school grades from a top law school to have career opportunities in it.

Dui Laws: How Are The States Ranked?
I'M Looking For A List Of U.S. States Listed In Order Of Toughest Dui Laws, From Toughest State Down To Most Lenient State. Thanks In Advance.

Arizona. DUI is considered any amount of alcohol in your system over .00. First time offense is mandatory week in jail (tent city) license suspended, and ignition interlock (breathalyzer) installed in your car for one year. In Arizona, you do not even have to be driving your vehicle to receive a DUI. If you are washing your car in your driveway and have your keys in your pocket and beer in your hand, you can be arrested for DUI. I knew someone who got a DUI for grabbing a sweatshirt out of the back seat of his car when he was drunk. This is all for a first offense. People can spend over a year in jail for repeat offenses.

Child Visitation?
My Little Sister Is Going Through A Divorce (Still Married At The Moment) She Lives In Tx And He Lives In Ms, Currently Her Son Is Visiting Him And He Is Refusing To Allow Him To Return Home. Is This Considered Kidnapping? What Avenues Can She Take To Get Her Son Back. Btw He Is Not The Custodial Parent And Has Not Been Paying Any Support Of Any Kind.

It all depends on what the temporary custody/visitation agreement says. If there isn't one, it was dumb on her part to send him to his dad's.

If he was already in MS at the time the divorce proceeding started, it isn't kidnapping. If he took the child across state lines before it - then it is parental kidnapping. (provided the child normally resides in TX)

If there is a temporary custody order in place, that says specifically when the child should be returned, that he violates, she needs to file an emergency order with the court for contempt and immediate return of the child.

If there is no temporary order, then that means custody has not been established yet - and he has the right to keep the child if he wants, and she will have to file in court for temporary custody until the divorce is final, although he may beat her to that filing if she doesn't act fast.

Most of the time, child support is not required until the divorce is final.