It’s the year 2008 and the war for “best talent” is on. So when one of your Legal Secretaries hands in their notice, a Senior Solicitor announces his retirement or one of your highest billing fee-earners is going on maternity leave – how do you find quality candidates to replace your best assets quickly and efficiently?Gone are the days when a lineage ad in a popular weekly legal publication will attract an abundance of keen legal candidates. Whilst law firms have become more selective over the legal staff they employ, talented legal job seekers have become lazier. Ever-developing technology now means that candidates can go to a search engine, type in the title of their dream legal job; and hey, presto – generate fifty matching legal vacancies that they can apply to with just the click of a button. Why should potential legal staff spend hours trawling through countless publications, when law jobs could come straight to them?So we’ve already established that a legal job seeker’s life is becoming easier by the day, but is this to the law firm’s detriment? With competition getting stiffer for law firms as Legal Recruitment moves predominantly to the user-focussed web, it is imperative that law firms have a strong internet presence in order for their legal jobs to be seen. This will involve setting up a variety of marketing campaigns including paying through the nose to advertise on a variety of legal job boards – which, lets be honest, will probably end up being swamped by millions of other similar vacancies. Advertising legal vacancies on a law firms own website may also be a pointless exercise as when a candidate Googles “Commercial Property Solicitor job” it is highly unlikely to be seen without the website having undergone a substantial amount Search Engine Optimization work focussing primarily on keywords such as “legal jobs” – which seems an expensive and utter waste of time seeing as the primary focus of a law firm’s website is to attract new clients. Now for just a few legal vacancies, going to all of this trouble may seem an expensive and timely exercise. Relax, there is another option – why not use a Legal Recruitment Agency?In the nineties when legal recruitment began to take off, legal recruitment agencies were seen as a waste of money – a middle man placing a one or two adverts (that lets face it, the law firm could have done themselves just as quickly) and charging a whopping great fee for the no more than adequate law staff that they attracted. Well, times have changed and the Legal Recruitment industry is working harder than ever before to earn their fee, and more often than not, using a good Legal Recruitment Agency is a far more cost and time efficient method of sourcing candidates than going it alone. Good Legal Recruitment Agencies will have more time and experience in devising marketing strategies that work, they will also have the resources to invest in a number of different advertising mediums, and a good team of consultants with a knowledge and experience of the legal profession.With so many Legal Recruitment Agencies emerging it may seem like a daunting task finding a good one. However, in actual fact a good Legal Recruitment Agency should be extremely easy to find – they will have a good, user-friendly Legal Recruitment website; a large presence on the most popular legal job boards; and they will have good brand awareness online as well as in traditional media. All of these attributes are easy to measure by simply going to a Search Engine and searching for “Legal Recruitment Agency” in the area that the law firm is based. The best will have a good search engine ranking and a simple and effective website. The second step would be to call them up, discuss you requirements and judge how well informed they are about the legal profession, the culture of the area that you are based, and how well they have grasped your requirements. It is also worth discussing their fees and seeing whether there are any discounts for using that particular Legal Recruitment Agency exclusively, and whether there are any rebate periods. A good Legal Recruitment Agency should not charge you unless a candidate has been successfully placed with you.Quite often, a Legal Recruitment Agency will already have a good matching candidate on their database that is readily available. Otherwise, or in addition, the Legal Recruitment Agency will place a number of adverts in different strategic locations. Depending on the nature of the job, the Legal Recruitment Agency may even look at targeting passive candidates. The candidates that the Legal Recruitment Agency sends through will be filtered and should be good matches to your initial requirements. Should you want to interview any of them, the Agency should liaise closely with you and the candidate to get this organised quickly. The Legal Recruitment Agency should also be liaising between the candidate and client until the contract of employment has been sent out by the law firm and returned by the candidate.All in all, using a Recruitment Agency could save your Human Resources department hours of time an effort. So when you next foresee a Legal Recruitment nightmare within your Human Resources team, don’t discount Legal Recruitment Agencies – you never know, the right one could actually be the answer to all of your prayers!
I hope you find the following information on Legal Secretarial/PA jobs useful.THE ROLELegal secretaries assist in all aspects of running a law firm. The legal secretaries¡¦ jobs can include basic tasks such as word processing, audio-typing and dealing with general clerical work. Some legal secretary work can include meeting clients, arranging meeting and some even attend court or police cells.Legal Secretary jobs can incorporate all areas of law – from criminal and civil law to property, family, corporate, private client and banking.SKILLS and INTERESTSIf you are looking for a Legal Secretary job you should:Have an interest in lawHave excellent secretarial skillsBe PC literateBe accurate and methodicalBe discreet when dealing with confidential informationHave a good standard of English, spelling and grammarWork well under pressure and be good a meeting deadlinesOf course, a polite friendly manner helps!A mix of these skills would provide a solid foundation for anyone looking for jobs as a legal secretaryClick here for Legal Secretary jobsQUALIFICATIONSThere are no formal qualifications to becoming a Legal Secretary, athough a high standard of general education is required. To become a Legal Secretary office and administration experience is useful as is some existing knowledge of the law.Career DevelopmentEmployers often offer on the job training. There are different pathways that lead to legal secretarial qualifications:** The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA¡¦sThe Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA¡¦s offer a diploma that¡¦s has been recognised as the most comprehensive qualification for Legal Secretaries. The diploma is extremely useful if you are looking for jobs as a Legal Secretary. The syllabus for the general diploma is divided into five main units:Outline of the English Legal SystemOutlines of the Law of Contract and the Law of TortConveyancing and an outline of Land LawCivil LitigationSuccession (Wills, Probate and Administration)The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA¡¦s also offers courses for Legal Secretaries who would like to specialise in one are of law.The subjects covered are:- Civil Litigation- Company and Corporate Law- Conveyancing- Criminal Law and Practice- Matrimonial Law and Family Practice SuccessionClick here for Institute Of Legal Secretaries Website and further information: http://www.institutelegalsecretaries.com** ILEX Legal Secretaries Certificate & DiplomaILEX offer a Legal Secretaries Certificate (Level 2) and a Legal Secretaries Diploma (Level 3)The ILEX Paralegal Programmes (ILEXPP) for Legal Secretaries are now considered the benchmark for those aspiring to or working in a legal environment as secretaries or personal assistants. Reflecting the National Standards in Administration, the programmes offer: a flexible route,
no entry requirements (although a Grade C or above in English Language GCSE is desirable),
a choice of when and where to study, task based assignments which are all accompanied by up to date training manuals.”The ILEX Legal Secretaries Certificate covers the following areas:Legal Word ProcessingAdministration in the Legal EnvironmentCommunication Skills in the Legal EnvironmentInformation Processing in the Legal EnvironmentThe ILEX Legal Secretaries Diploma covers the following areas:Advanced Legal Word ProcessingAdvanced Administration in the Legal EnvironmentAdvanced Communication Skills in the Legal EnvironmentAdvanced Information Processing in the Legal EnvironmentClick here for ILEXPP Website and further information on the ILEX Tutorial (Training to be a Legal Secretary) Web pages** OCR (RSA) Legal Word ProcessingOCR(RSA)offers specialised qualifications in legal text and legal word processing. The course is for those with previous word processing experience who wish to specialise in legal work. This programme is ideal for those who are in employment or wish to gain employment in the legal sector. You will be taught about the production of a range of documents in a legal context. Legal styles and formats. Legal terminology and English grammar are also covered
Legal Text Processing is part of the OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA) suite of qualifications in text processing which are widely recognised by employers as benchmark qualifications in text processing.Candidates who are successful in achieving accreditation will be able to extend their range of text processing skills at intermediate level and progress to different optional units within the suite of units at Level 2 or to progress to the OCR Text Processing Advanced (Level 3) qualification.Legal Secretaries work in all areas of law from solicitors offices, barristers chambers through to law courts, police stations and within in house legal teams. It is possible to start as a legal secretary and work towards becoming a legal executive, paralegal or a licensed conveyancer. You could even study for a law degree.
What is Legal retainer-ship?In today’s complex legal environment the corporate entities and professionals need to be very careful in all the commercial dealings, communications, agreements and contracts. This is because any communication can be viewed as a contract or not a binding contract by judicial forums in a later stage when litigation reaches courts. These types of communications include appointment letters, suspension letters, removal letters, email communications, statutory notices, reply to notices, warning letters, letters notifying delays, letters expressing disagreements etc., The stakes in every dealing today is also very high. Moreover certain actions have to be taken within a particular time frame otherwise negative inferences can be drawn by the courts in later stages. In such a situation, companies choose to engage a law firm with multi-discipline experience and international exposure to advise them in their day to day legal issues. Such an arrangement helps the companies to get expert advice under one roof in a pre-determined cost for the services what they are going to avail from that firm. Law-Senate law firm is serving many companies on “Annual retainer-ship basis” which helps the companies to get quality legal consultation without worrying about the bills, since the fee is fixed in advance for a year, on the basis of the budgeted work load for all non-litigation work. Later even if the work load increases the determined fee will not be changed within that one year period.How Law Firm Legal Retainer Ship will facilitate YouThere are few facts you must know about Law Senate Legal Retainer Ship, which will clear you why legal retainer ship should be availed:
Un-limited non-litigation legal Service in fixed cost:
The Firm agrees on a fixed annual fee for un-limited chamber legal work including consultation, settling of contracts, settling of legal documents, settling of legal communication, labor related documentation, employment related documentation, issuing legal notices, responding to legal notices, arbitration notices, demand notices etc., The Firm has lawyers from various branches of law in its panel and in-house to respond to the consultation requests from the clients on issues arising out of various branches of law. The Firm also allots a dedicated lawyer for ensuring customer friendly communication and effective service. The clients can use email, courier or personal consultation to get their issues resolved. For example in case of settling of legal documentation, the client can email the proposed draft of the document to the firm’s dedicated lawyer. The dedicated lawyer will get the response and comments of the relevant lawyer and inform the client within the pre-fixed time. Hence the specialty of the whole process is the customer friendly, high quality, swift and cost effective administration of the required legal services. The said fixed annual fee is excluding Litigation, arbitration, drafting of contracts and appearance before authorities and tribunals. The above said fixed fee is not uniform for all, it is finalized after estimation of work and the size of the Company.
Litigation & Representation Services in pre-determined fee schedule:
The Firm will handle almost all types of litigation, arbitration and appearance before authorities in a predetermined fee schedule on case to case basis. The lawyers of the Firm regularly appear in Supreme Court of India, High courts, Competition Commission of India, Consumer Courts, National Consumer Commission, EPF Appellate Tribunal, Company Law Board, Electricity Tribunal, Mines tribunal, Petroleum tribunal, Civil Courts, Criminal Courts, Central Excise & Tax authorities, Revenue authorities etc., The Firm charges special reduced rates for the clients who engages the firm on annual retainer-ship basis. Hence this arrangement with our firm will help the clients to cut their legal costs.
E-reporting and online storage:
It is very difficult for the Companies to get them updated about the pending cases from the old style lawyers. But Law-senate law Firm sends periodical (Weekly/ monthly) reports about the pending cases and matters to each of its client. The Firm also has the facility of e-storage of documents, even in a later stage after many years, the firm can supply copies of the documents from its e-storage points. Since law-senate is a modern law firm with all modern facilities and technology it serves its clients with Zero error quality.
Conventional Legal advice Models:
Earlier Companies used to appoint independent lawyers and pay them separately for consultations, settling legal documents, legal documentation and appearance in various Courts and tribunals. This model gives surprises and financial strain to the Companies since the expenses under legal heads are neither predetermined nor pre-budgeted. Hence the Companies in their endeavor to cut legal costs ended up in low quality and un-professional legal services which resulted in losing of cases etc.,Appointing in-house counsel or law officers:To handle above said legal matters some companies choose to appoint their own in-house counsel or law officers. The appointment of in-house counsel or law officers may improve the situation but will not lead to the full solution for the following reasons:
Appointing experienced law officers is very expensive in the current salary market. Hence small, medium companies and professionals can afford only a newly graduated or less experienced in-house counsel. Such a less experienced person may be doing only the co-ordination work between independent lawyers and the company.
Even if experienced people are appointed they will have their expertise in a few fields of law only. Hence they need to consult independent lawyers on the other issues. Independent consultation is again an expensive matter and finding the correct lawyer is a challenging job.
Appointing Independent lawyers as consultants:Law is a complex field which is growing every day. There are so-many divisions of law and hence no lawyer can claim that he/she is aware of all the divisions of law. More over independent lawyers will not be able to ensure the high quality of service due to limitations in infrastructure, facilities, staff etc.Advantages of legal retainer-ship:Even though there are many advantages for the small, medium industries, Professional organisations, hospitals, educational Institutions, NGOs, charitable Institutions etc., in following the legal retainer-ship model than the conventional legal adviser model, the following are the important ones,
Legal advice on multiple legal subjects from experts under one roof
Unlimited non-litigation services
Litigation services on a special fee schedule
Annual customized fixed fee for unlimited consultation and documentation services
Dedicated lawyer for each client
Periodical reporting about the pending matters
Who will be benefited from Legal retainer-ship Model?Large companies may appoint their own team of experienced in-house counsel supported by law officers and para legal staff in view of their higher volume of legal work. They also engage big size law firms and pay for each service separately because they may not bother about the legal expenditure. But the following types of Companies and Institutions will be greatly benefited by legal retainer-ship model,
Medium and small size companies
Distributing Companies & Agencies
Private educational institutions
Schools & Colleges
BPOs and Call centres
NGOs and charity organisations
Professionals & Consultants etc.,
In short legal retainer ship is helpful for those organizations who are not interested in spending money for legal departments or permanent legal counsel of every practice area of Law. If you have any query about legal retainer ship then you can ask anytime.
More than 250 years ago, Benjamin Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. He was advising Philadelphia homeowners to insure their homes against fire to avoid catastrophic losses. Franklin’s advice is just as applicable today to the legal issues of your business.In this article, we explain a new legal service, Canadian Business Legal Checkup, an audit of legal matters affecting your business. Business Legal Checkup is a diagnostic tool most small and medium size businesses could use to verify if legal aspects of their operation comply with the law and to minimize risk, litigation and expense. When the Business Legal Checkup is completed, the business owner receives a lawyer’s report red-flagging matters which need correction, improvement or further legal advice.A closer look at the Business Legal CheckupYour business is built on a foundation of laws and legal procedures. As a prudent business owner, you have probably considered the following legal matters:o You had to incorporate your business. The corporation has been properly set up. All shares are properly issued. Directors and officers have been appointed. The corporate minutes and register are up-to-date.
o You and other directors of the corporation know exactly what your duties and liabilities are. All directors are protected from liability by sufficient insurance coverage.
o You have a shareholders’ agreement so that all shareholders know their roles. All partners are treated fairly. There is an orderly method for valuation and termination of the corporation. You understand the minority shareholders rights requirements of the Business Corporations Act.
o You filed a business registration and have a system to renew it before expiry and you have registered any business names that you are using.
o You filed trademark, patent and copyright applications to protect the intellectual property of your business.
o Your URL (web address) is trademarked. You have audited your website to check for breaches of privacy law, defamation and technology law issues. Your online sales portal is set up to avoid legal problems with privacy law, identity theft and contract issues.
o Your licencing and registrations are up-to-date. If your salespeople have to be registered or licenced, you have a system to ensure that their registrations are up-to-date and that their regulatory requirements are being monitored.
o You have a long term lease for your plant or office. You had your lease vetted by a lawyer. You know what it says, including the extra rent the landlord can demand. You know the deadline for your right to renew.
o You use several legal standard forms and contracts in your business. These have all been vetted by a lawyer to comply with applicable laws including the PPSA, the Interest Act, the Consumer Protection Act, the Sale of Goods Act, the Mercantile Law Amendment Act and the Bills of Exchange Act and contract law.
o If you extend credit, you know that your service charges don’t exceed the “criminal rate of interest”.
o You know prohibitions against misleading advertising and unfair competition in the Competition Act.
o You understand the privacy legislation and you have a system to ensure that you comply each time you collect, use, or disclose personal information.
o Your employees have signed agreements which spell out the length of notice they are entitled to receive if you terminate their employment. You know who is entitled to how much and what to do if you decide to terminate an employee, whatever the reason. You understand your obligations under the Employment Standards Act.
o Your employees have all signed non-competition covenants and non-solicitation agreements to prevent them from taking away your best clients, business procedures, best employees and trade secrets if they leave to set up shop on their own.
o You have a procedure to prevent violation of the Human Rights Code and you know the protected grounds of discrimination. You also understand all of the elements of sexual harassment and you know how to deal with it.
o You know your company’s rights and obligations under the Workplace Safety Insurance Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
o You have liability and multi-peril insurance and you know what it covers.
o Your manufacturing and distribution processes are set up to avoid potentially devastating product liability and class action lawsuits. You have minimized risks.
o You keep up-to-date with changes in the law which affect the corporate, contractual, insurance and employment law issues in your industry.
o You have complied with the filing requirements for income taxes, sales taxes and GST. You have had your business and municipal tax assessment vetted.
o You know what precautions to take to help prevent litigation.
o If you are about to get involved in litigation, you have an action plan to maximize your chances of success and to keep the cost in check. When hiring a lawyer, you know what you need and what to expect.Stop the presses – before we continue – do we hear you saying there are many items on this list that you haven’t looked after, that you haven’t thought of or which could be updated?We’re not surprised. In our experience, small and medium-sized business owners don’t get around to dealing with many important legal issues involved in organizing their business relationships with partners, shareholders, customers, employees and government and in preventing or managing the risk of expensive litigation. Often, agreements are not fully thought through.Small business owners tend to do only what they absolutely have to do to comply with the law and are reluctant to spend money for top drawer legal services when an inexpensive shortcut appears to do the trick. Your focus is getting your business up and running, getting your product to market, making sales and keeping costs down. You could be lucky and run your business for years without anything going wrong.Fair enough, but if you disregard preventive legal measures like the ones mentioned, your business is like a driver without a seatbelt in a car that has never been serviced —in other words, a catastrophic accident waiting to happen.Here are two examples of business legal nightmares that could have been easily avoided with a program of preventive law such as the Business Legal Checkup. These are actual cases, decided in Ontario courts:o A Toronto RV dealer sold a motor home to a customer. After using it for a couple of weeks, the customer complained that the salesperson had misled him about a “rental program” and brought the motor home back and refused to make any payments. The dealer sold the motor home as a used vehicle and suffered a $25,000 loss for which it sued the customer.The Ontario Court of Appeal decided that customer was entitled to return the RV and cancel the contract because the salesman’s Motor Vehicle Dealers Act registration expired and was not renewed. This made the contract illegal. The RV dealer didn’t have a system to check if all their salespersons’ registrations were current. The dealer not only lost $25,000 but also had to pay about $30,000 to their own lawyer and almost that much in legal costs to the customer’s lawyer. A Business Legal Checkup could have saved this business most of the $100,000 and a lot of aggravation.o A southwestern Ontario company was a wholesale distributor of car alarm systems, which started as a basement operation and developed into a successful business. The owner used contract forms he found on the internet. Why pay a lawyer when forms were right there for the taking? His standard form contracts had statements that he didn’t fully understand but if they were on the internet, they must be OK. He didn’t have a lawyer check them. The standard form agreements didn’t create a problem for several years.The distributor extended credit to CAG, a company owned by a Mr. Don for more than $90,000 worth of car alarms. He wasn’t worried about payment because Mr. Don signed the standard form contract — the one he found on the internet for free — which stated that Mr. Don was personally liable for everything CAG ordered. When CAG went out of business, the distributor sued Mr. Don. The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the claim against Mr. Don because the personal liability clause in the standard form agreement was unclear and was capable of two meanings. The distributor didn’t recover his $90,000 and had to pay legal fees to his own lawyer and costs to Mr. Don’s lawyer. A Business Legal Checkup could have saved him almost $150,000 and possible financial ruin.These examples are the tip of the iceberg. As you read this article, you can probably think of other examples that affected your business. In each case, it’s more than the legal expenses that are at stake. The business owner has to devote time and sleepless nights to the legal dispute and loses time from running the business.How does a Business Legal Checkup work?o You will be asked to complete some forms to provide confidential information about your business.
o You will have a discussion with the lawyer to assess the scope of the Business Legal Checkup. For example, it doesn’t cover tax law, environmental law or succession planning unless special arrangements are made.
o A basic Business Legal Checkup will provide a diagnostic review of the legal status of the following issues in your business: (1) Set up and governance of your corporation; (2) Relationships among the owners of the business; (3) Relationships with employees; (4) the contracts and forms used in the business; (5) Competition Law and Illegal Advertising; (6) Intellectual Property, Trade Secrets, Confidentiality and Privacy; (7) Safety and risk management; (8) Risk analysis and efficient management of existing litigation; (9) Internet Issues; (10) Regulatory licencing issues.
o A Business Legal Checkup can also be customized to meet the business owner’s specific requirements. This may require consultation with outside legal experts.
o In preparation for the Business Legal Checkup, you will be asked to provide documents and information concerning each category of the analysis.
o After the documents have been reviewed by a lawyer, consultation may be required with other lawyers. Further clarifications may be required from you and other senior officers of your business.
o A report will be prepared explaining the status of each topic and red-flagging issues which require attention and indicating their level of urgency.
o When the Business Legal Checkup report is ready, the business owner may prefer to have the Business Legal Checkup lawyer or legal team present the findings orally. An oral presentation followed by a Q&A session can assist the business owner to plan the next steps efficiently.
o The Business Legal Checkup legal team will facilitate referrals to lawyers who are specialized in resolving the legal problems identified by the Business Legal Checkup.How much will a Business Legal Checkup cost?For a small startup business with less than five employees, operating out of a single location and having only one business entity, a Business Legal Checkup can usually be completed for about $5,000 to $7,500 if there are no unusual problems.Who needs a Business Legal Checkup?Every business needs to know whether its legal processes are efficiently compliant with the law. Public corporations are obliged to provide certain levels of legal compliance to government and regulatory bodies. A small private corporation does not have the same levels of mandatory compliance but failure to do so voluntarily is like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand.A Business Legal Checkup is also useful for a business owner who is considering the sale of his business or for a prospective purchaser of a business. Minority shareholders could insist on a Business Legal Checkup annually or bi-annually to ensure that management and the majority shareholders are meeting their obligations to the corporation.A Business Legal Checkup may also be a credibility tool for a business seeking financing or government contracts. Unlike a financial audit, ISO9001 and ISO 14400 compliance standards, the Business Legal Checkup is a confidential report to management only and expressly excludes reliance by outside parties. If an outside party, such as a lender or investor, will receive a copy of the report, the Business Legal Checkup legal team must be informed in advance so that concerns relevant to these outside parties can be taken into account.Where can my business get a Business Legal Checkup?So far as we know, the Business Legal Checkup, as a fixed-price legal diagnostic tool for private small and medium-sized businesses is a new legal service in Canada. Interested business owners are invited to contact us for information.Benjamin Franklin’s famous advice has evolved. A Business Legal Checkup can be much weightier than an “ounce of prevention”. It could provide “tons” of preventive advice to save your business from damaging or catastrophic expense. The Business Legal Checkup will also provide the business owner with peace of mind which, as another saying goes, is “worth its weight in gold”.October 2008. © Igor Ellyn and Orie Niedzviecki
This article is for information only and not legal advice.Igor Ellyn, QC, CS and Orie Niedzviecki, PartnersEllyn Law LLP, Business Litigation Lawyers, Toronto
1.0 BackgroundGlobalization has brought tremendous changes in the global business arena and the BPOs and later LPOs are the direct offshoot of it. LPOs have come into being in India and elsewhere in the world primarily to cater to the clients of US and other developed nations as far as the legal processes are concerned to not only provide quality service but also to reduce the legal costs. In the past decade or so, a good number of LPOs have opened their businesses in India and in the light of rising legal costs and in order to find a workable solution to it we need to examine the issue in detail.1.1 A Few IllustrationsCisco’s Systems Inc., is a company that sells networking products, routing and switching systems. The company has a total legal spending that amounts to a little over one-third of 1% of company revenue, with non-litigation expenses running at about 0.16%. Measured in terms of dollars, Cisco’s 170-member lawyer department spends $38 million internally and $80 million a year on outside counsel. The $32.8 billion company has 51,000 employees spanning across 80 countries. (Leslie A. Gordon in GC California Magazine Published in their website http://www.law.com.) Microsoft managed to reduce its legal costs for the last fiscal year but still the company is involved in lot more litigation matters in Europe (Todd Bishop in P-I reporter). It would be an interesting scenario to collect the info pertaining to each US Company’s annual spending on the legal costs. It will certainly not please those who manage the companies, not in the least the shareholders.2.0 Existing ArrangementsThere are certain existing arrangements in place to deal with the issue of legal costs. The arrangements include in-house counsel department for every company. The in-house counsel takes care of all the legal matters pertaining to the company he works for and he also depends on outside counsels for the same. It would be appropriate if we understand the roles played by the in-house counsels and outside counsels vis-à-vis the legal costs.2.1 In-house CounselsThe American Bar Association developed a model rule on foreign legal consultants (FLCs) in 1993. FLCs offer legal advice on international law and the law of the countries in which they are qualified to practice if they meet certain requirements. American Bar Association recently endorsed recommendations of its Commission based on Multijurisdictional Practice (“MJP Commission”) including revisions to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (“Model Rules”) regarding unauthorized practice, jurisdiction to discipline out-of-state lawyers, and choice of law rules governing multistate representation. These revisions are currently being examined and awaiting for the implementation. U.S.lawyers, seeking to increase their opportunities to offer their services overseas for liberalization of admission requirements under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) including both inbound and outbound of trade of U.S In August 2006, the Committee on Professional and Judicial Ethics of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (“the Committee”) which published a Formal Opinion stating attorneys could ethically contract out legal support services abroad.American Conference Institute (ACI) announced to hold an LPO Summit at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York on January 16 and17, 2008 to develop global legal support strategies, identify negotiating outsourcing contracts, and to optimize ongoing relationship2.2 Problems and ChallengesBoth the risks and exposures an in-house counsel faces are pronouncedly greater in comparison with the other lawyers as the in-house counsels are concurrently encumbered with the task of providing valuable legal advice while ensuring compliance to the law. In-house counsels face this daunting task in a scenario where the activities of the company are inherently interconnected with the legal tasks at hand. To top it all, in-house attorneys were confronted with a myriad of potential exposures. These legal tangles include $307 of SOX; backdating stock options; new Rules of Federal Civil Procedures regarding electronically stored information; the McNulty Memorandum; Federal Rules of Evidence 502; liability to outside third parties; investigating boardroom leaks; and multi-jurisdictional practice and licensing.2.3 Outside CounselsSimilarly, in-house lawyers are increasingly asking the law firms on hire to submit estimated budgets so they can trim down the costs of legal work especially when defending themselves against lawsuits. Companies have long asked for budgets from their lawyers for business transactions and for more conventional types of legal work. But with pressure mounting on them to report higher earnings, the in-house lawyers must now monitor their legal expenditures and they want their outside counsel to follow the suit as well.The “2007 ACC/Serengeti managing outside counsel survey report” (www.serengetilaw.com) shows an average increase of 5.3% in the billing rates by outside counsel during the period from 2002 to 2007.Billing issues have always been a war zone between the in-house and outside counsels. The popular “hourly billing” method comes with its own disadvantages. It often impacts legal costs negatively as it lays more emphasis on the delivery of the work rather than on the qualitative aspect which can eventually have an adverse effect on client relationship.2.4 Some Key ChallengesThe Legal Service Act 2007 of UK, permits legal out sourcing, is a boon t. Indian law graduates who can easily cope with England Legal work. The WTO in July 1998 noted a combined net trade balance for the U.S. and the U.K., the two largest exporters of legal services.With associate lawyers in the US carrying a price tag of $225 per hour in their first year and $450 an hour in their eighth year. It was only a matter of time before law firms sought to outsource some of their countries like India, where the lawyers need to pay a price of 10 to 15% of that of US lawyers and a turnaround time of 24 hours for outsourced work. Legal Services Off shoring (LSO) which is an in-house legal departments or organizations offshore legal work from areas where it is costly to perform in United States or Europe is decreasing rapidly and on the other end in Indian services on high demand.Criminal defense specialist and former Assistant United States Attorney Jay Ethington assure that “There is no difference between Indian and American advocates. The quality of work is the same”.Outsourcing legal work to India is beneficial to western countries due to3.0 What ails legal costs?Despite taking all kinds of measures the ailment of over-expenditure continues in a company. Corporate entities, in-house counsels
and outside counsels, all seem to be caught in an escalating web of legal budget.Budgets are the chief pointers to know whether in-house and outside counsels are thrashing out strategic issues and activity levels in a fruitful manner before litigation starts. They also act as parameters against which progress of the team and the expenses while handling complex legal questions and issues faced by it can be gauzed.In a study conducted by Inside Counsel in its 17th Annual Survey of General Counsel (Published in the July 2006 issue of InsideCounsel), some 407 in-house counsels and 131 law firms felt that most of the friction between law firms and their in-house counsels can be attributed to the costs. Undeniably, when it comes to fiscal matters, the perceptions of the two groups could hardly be more divergent. 52% of in-house counsels identified ‘reduction of costs’ as the most significant thing law firms could do to develop their rapport with in-house counsel.3.1 An interesting studyA study carried out by ACCA (now renamed ACC) has shown that despite taking measures, cost controls are failing to cut overall legal spending. The ACC survey shows that in-house counsel relies heavily on outside counsel in key areas such as litigation (69%), intellectual property (45%) and employment (45%). And as salaries for junior law firm associates continue to spiral upward, along with hourly billing rates for associates and partners alike, general counsel must manage with increasing legal fees.The Way Out!The only viable and durable solution on the horizon appears to be legal outsourcing which is more beneficial to the US and other western companies not only in the short run but also over a period of time.4.0 A Few Issues!Certain issues came up after the legal process outsourcing has begun in India and elsewhere in the world. Certain myths are also doing the rounds and it would be a mistake to attribute them to unbiased minds alone. In the light of newer issues let’s examine them as objectively as we can.4.1 Outsourcing to India affects US employmenthere is no valid data to prove that legal outsourcing to India will affect the employment in the US. According to a study by Forrester Research, the current annual value of legal outsourcing to India is at about US$80 million, but this can rise to US$4 billion, and would provide 79,000 jobs by 2015. This makes the present job absorption in this sphere-which is a mere 12,000-appear minuscule (http://www.blogsource.org/2005/11/india_could_abs.html). A study conducted earlier this year by Robert Half Legal (www.roberthalflegal.com) points that more stress is put on legal expertise in areas of compliance, regulatory issues, litigation, intellectual property and real estate. This increased demand will considerably outpace the rate of the entire legal outsourcing market.These are mere forecasts. Even if such forecasts are completely believed, the amount of legal work that is off-shored will still remain 2% of that projected total and that too a major chunk of that constitute low-end work. Moreover it is widely reported that the population of the US is aging. At current productivity levels, it will need 5 percent or to put it simply, 15.6 million more workers by 2015 to maintain both its current ratio of workers to the total population and to sustain its present living standards. By 2015, despite current fears about job losses as a result of off-shoring, the US economy will certainly need more workers. Off-shoring is surely one way to meet that need. So all those doubting Johns who hold a pessimistic view on outsourcing legal services will be better off remembering that even after a substantial amount of work is outsourced from the US there is no threat to its economy.4.2 Competence of Indian lawyersThe competence of the Indian lawyers can be judged not from the fact that quite a number of advocates are being produced annually but from the fact that they are the pillars, strong pillars at that, for the gigantic judicial system prevailing in India matched only by the US in its magnitude and dimensions. There is not a single legislation in the US that is not made in India barring a few that is not subject to intricate and in-depth interpretations by the lawyers and the judges. Many landmark judgments in India were and are possible due to the presence of the highly agile and competent lawyer force. The ease with which they can tackle any legal issue pertaining to any country where common law is prevailing is predictable and natural. The fact that the BPOs in India which are a runaway success are gradually paving way for the LPOs or at least LPOs are increasingly occupying the centre-stage in the outsourcing business in India with growing number of clients from the US and other countries speaks volumes about the ability and competence of the Indian lawyers.4.3 Quality outputApart from economical costs another important factor for the US or other western country to outsource their legal work is the quality output they are assured of in India. It is an admitted fact that in most cases quality takes precedence over many other factors like cost-effective services, abundant workforce etc.4.4 Safety and ConfidentialityNowhere else does the issue of safety and confidentiality come up so constantly as in the field of law. And, when it comes to the LPOs the task of providing quality services to their global clientele should be matched by stringent safety and confidentially measures in order to earn their confidence and goodwill. There are of course competent and professionally run LPOs in India that adhere to the safety and confidentiality norms.5.0 Separating the wheat from the chaff!There are a good number of LPOs in India now and a report says 1800 lawyers are presently engaged in various LPOs catering to the global clientele providing quality services. It becomes quite a task to choose the best from among them. However, with stringent objective criteria the task becomes easier and then it will not be a Herculean task to select the best LPO to whom any legal service can be entrusted in confidence. The parameters can be-Quality output
Security and confidentiality
Hassle-free and client-friendly billingIts website (www.acumenlpo.com) can be scanned for further details.
Legal translation is a task that requires a lot of expertise and familiarity with linguistic conventions that apply to laws and legal cases.Translations consist of taking a document in one language and switching it to another language whilst maintaining the same meaning. Legal translations deal with legal issues and terms. This field involves translating statutes, contracts, patents and any type of legal documentation. These documents are often used in legal proceedings where the initial original meaning must be maintained even after the translation.Legal terminology is very complex and can vary from one country to another. Due to the fact that not every country has the same legal system, in some cases legal concepts do not have an equivalent in the target language. Codes and laws have been created to suit a particular country or culture and when the legal term does not have an equivalent in the target language, the translator needs to “recreate” the concept and the whole idea attached to the legal expression. “Transcreation” is a re-interpretation of the original concept to suit the audience of the target language in a particular time. It is very difficult to find equivalence between two terms if both legal languages refer to different legal systems.Why Are Legal Translations Important?Laws and codes seek to establish clearly defined rights and duties for certain individuals. The purpose of legal translation is to look for linguistic and juridical similarities between legal texts that belong to different legal systems. There are some cases where crimes might have similar meanings in two systems but are not identical; imply different connotations which lead to different sentences. The legal translator should be aware of intention of the original legal text and the interpretation (or interpretations) that has been attached to that text. The use of precedent is typical of Anglo-American common-law tradition that is built on the doctrine of stare decisis. (stand by decided matters)Errors in legal translation could be fatal due to the effects that a legal misjudgment could have in the life and rights of individuals. It could also affect national security, diplomatic relations and lead to lawsuits.To avoid mistakes, legal translators should be guided by standards of linguistic, social and cultural equivalence between the language used in the source text to and the target language. According to the expert on Comparative Law, Gerard-René de Groot, the difficulty of legal translations depend more on structural differences between legal systems rather than on linguistically differences.Legal TranslatorsTo deliver accurate translations, legal translators need to understand the different law systems as well as specific areas within law such as Criminal Law, Commercial Law, Property Law, etc. They also need to be competent in legal writing and have an in-depth knowledge of legal terminology. It is critical to assign legal translations to professionals that have the knowledge and experience to deal with them. It is also indispensable to have a deep understanding of Comparative Law system which helps to comprehend basic legal terms and structures in an international context.What is Comparative Law?It is the study of the diverse legal systems around the world and the differences and similarities between them. Comparative Law provides the foundation to create bilingual dictionaries that try to find equivalence among the elements of the source and the target legal texts.
Legal translators have a hard job because many legal concepts were originated within a particular social and political framework and may have no counterpart in other legal system. They must look for juridical and linguistic equivalence between the terms in order to find the pragmatic and functional equivalence in the concepts.Comparative law methods help to create a reinterpretation of incompatible legal terms and to do so technical and pragmatist aspects of legal language should be taken into account. The equation is not that simple because some specialists prioritize the technical aspects of legal translation while other put emphasis on the connotative aspects of legal language. The convergence of these two approaches can facilitate the translation of legal texts.There are some cases where the divergence between legal terms is too big that equivalence is not an option. To resolve the problem, there are few options. One is to keep the foreign term as it is. Other alternatives are to create a new term or to paraphrase the given term. The last option seems to have more adepts within the translation industry because it facilitates the reader’s understanding of the concept and the purpose of legal translation is bridging different cultures and legal systems and help them to understand each other.
When I started my Pre-Paid legal business I knew absolutely nothing about building a network marketing company. This meant that I had no choice but be coachable. I did not bring any past MLM failures with me when I signed my associate agreement and paid my $49.00 fee.What attracted me to Pre-Paid Legal was the hope of making a huge income marketing a product that I felt (at the time) would be an easy sale. I started my journey in Pre-Paid Legal by attending the fast start class in my area. I remember being super excited and ready to hit the ground running in my business. One of the first things I was exposed to was the supposedly ‘easy duplicatable system’ that Pre-Paid legal teaches.I was told to make a list of all my friends, family, acquaintances, etc. and then send them a tool (CD, DVD, Magazine) and follow up with them using my sponsor. My sponsor’s job was to build rapport with them, answer a few questions and invite them out to an event (weekly briefing, super saturday, PBR, etc.)I became the master at doing this. I was the 3-way call guru. I would cold call people, prospect people at malls, small businesses, and street corners. You name it I probably did it. I would say that 99% of the prospects that I found at random were crap. By saying crap I mean I had no business prospecting them. They were not interested. They were just strangers who took my DVD, business card, etc. because they were too nice to reject me or tell me they were not interested.So the first problem I faced in my Pre-Paid Legal business was spending an enormous amount of time prospecting and only getting crappy prospects. The few prospects that eventually turned into membership sales or recruits were far and in between. I couldn’t earn enough upfront cash fast enough to pay my expenses. This led to the second problem.Pre-Paid legal is an expensive business to run if it’s done the way they coach. I had autoship expenses every month. I paid for e-service. I had weekly briefings at $5.00 a pop. I was running all over town prospecting and spending tons on gas. I paid to attend super Saturdays and national conventions. I paid hundreds of dollars on business opportunity leads. I also paid for other miscellaneous marketing tools like business cards, paperwork, tapes and cds.This totaled to be a lot of money especially when I could only bring in limited business each month. My Pre-paid legal business was going down the tubes fast because I could not bring in enough CASH to fund the growth of my business. Does any of this sound familiar to you?It wasn’t until I began networking with other empowered entrepreneurs with a wealth of experience in MLM that I learned how to solve my two most pressing problems. They taught me how to use technology to generate prospects faster, easier, and more qualified. They also taught me how to generate upfront cash to fund my business and pay the bills regardless if anyone joined my Pre-Paid legal business or bought a membership.The best way to generate upfront cash is by utilizing a funded proposal. A funded proposal is a product or service that you offer your prospects upfront before exposing them to Pre-paid legal. For me, my funded proposal was a sales and marketing system offered by my business partners.Funded proposals work because you get a customer first and build trust. I learned very early on that people don’t join Pre-paid legal by itself, they join me. People join leaders in MLM. People want money and success, but more importantly people want mentors and friends. A sales and marketing system that coaches and converts prospects into sales is a very powerful motivator for prospects to join your team.In addition to using a funded proposal in your Pre-paid legal business, you need to learn how to generate prospects online. This is not to say you abandon offline, but online allows you to target your market more effectively and saves you tons of time because you can reach more prospects.When I started learning how to market online and generate prospects my Pre-paid legal business changed. I had people calling me for a change about my business instead of me chasing people. I learned how to use video marketing, Pay per click marketing, article marketing, social networking, forum marketing and SEO marketing. I am literally generating tons of prospects every day.So in closing, Pre-paid legal associates will forever face the problems of effective lead generation and cash flow until they begin learning how to MARKET and think like ENTREPRENEURS, not distributors.
It is quite important for single moms to know where they can get legal help with regard do different issues affecting their children. Legal help for single mothers is essential and it has assisted a lot of single moms get relief by being supported by their husbands. In most of the cases the mother undergoes a lot of problems where the husband leaves her without even thinking of how she is going to bring up the children. Legal help will ensure that the single moms rights are well articulated and respected. The situation becomes even worse where the mom does not have a job and therefore, she doesn’t have a means of supporting the kids. This is the reason why it becomes quite imperative for her to seek legal help for single mothers. They should know that they are entitled to child support from the other party. The biological father of the child must support the mother in bringing up the children.The legal help for single mothers is also quite important in deciding who should have the custody of the children. The mother in most cases will be granted right to have custody of the child provided she is in a position to bring up the child. The mother will be better placed to bring up the child in many circumstances. If the father wants to have the custody of the kids legal help will require him to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the mother is not in a position to bring up the child. The level of proof is that of beyond any shadow of doubt. When the custody is granted to the mother then the father will be required to support the mother financially. In many situations however, the legal help for single mothers is important since she will be advised to seek a court order requiring the husband to be paying the support fund without failing.Legal help has been there for quite sometime after a lot of single mothers were denied what was legally theirs by the father of their children. The legal help has as a result assisted many mothers and has remained quite determined in ensuring that whenever a single mother requires any service she can provoke their assistance anytime. Depending with the level of the relationship the mother may as well be entitled to a portion of the family property. The legal help will ensure that the mothers have legal understanding of what they should do to ensure that they get a share of the matrimonial property.Legal help for single mothers will also ensure that the mother can be in a position to claim to be provided with housing. This is very important since many single mothers were simply housewives and depended wholly on their husbands. The legal help will give mothers an insight on how they should provoke court action with regard to claiming to be provided with housing. The single mother is therefore, playing a very important role in ensuring that single mothers know their rights and are able to fight for them.
In my 22 year career as an attorney, I’ve met with countless clients who explained their legal problem in animated terms, railed about the injustice of their situation, and then expected a clear and immediate resolution to their problem without ever considering the single most important legal issue that applied to their case. So here’s the best $500 legal advice I could ever provide to a client – at no cost to you:Focus on the legal standard that will be applied to your situation.Think about it. The law is a system of standards. Unless you understand the legal standard that will be applied to a specific factual situation, it is very difficult to determine how your case will be resolved. Without focusing on the legal standard, it is almost impossible to formulate a sound strategy for achieving the client’s desired outcome.Here are several examples of legal standards. A city code enforcement ordinance specifies minimum maintenance requirements (legal standards) that could trigger a violation notice and ultimately a monetary fine. A contract defines the terms and obligations (legal standards) that will govern the relationship between the parties to the contract. A mortgage contains payment provisions (legal standards) that must be met in order for the homeowner to avoid foreclosure.During an initial consultation, an attorney must separate the relevant from the irrelevant. To do so, the attorney should address – and the client should anticipate – five specific questions:1. What is the factual situation?2. What is the appropriate legal standard?3. What resolution is the client seeking?4. How can the client’s desired resolution be reached?5. What will be the anticipated cost of the legal services to achieve the desired resolution? (Note: All clients want to control the cost of legal fees, so this is always an important question).During your consultation, the attorney should pay special attention to the second question (appropriate legal standard) and provide advice designed to explain how the law applies to your factual situation. In order to formulate an effective strategy for resolving a legal problem, the attorney needs to help the client narrow the issues, place emphasis on the relevant facts, apply the appropriate legal standard(s), consider the range of available options, and discuss how the desired outcome can be achieved.Let me make one final observation and recommendation. The pragmatic client consults an attorney to learn the appropriate legal standard before a problem ever arises. The attorney is then able to brief the client on the standard and the action necessary to comply with the law while avoiding potential pitfalls. I highly recommend that you consult an attorney to learn the appropriate legal standard before a legal problem ever appears on the horizon. That simple advice could save you far more than $500 in the long run.
Many people think of the law as a field for judges and lawyers only. But the legal profession is full of interesting types of jobs, many of which are challenging and interesting, and many of which pay well, too. The job of legal researcher is just such a job.A legal researcher is someone who researches past cases, legal precedents and legal statutes for a lawyer or a law firm. The information a researcher gathers will become an important part of a lawyer’s presentation to a jury, or to motions that a lawyer files. Legal researchers used to spend hours toiling away in law libraries, poring over documents and pawing through thick law books. The Internet has changed this profession, however, as it’s changed so many professions. Now, much of a legal researcher’s work is performed online. Still, the job requires careful work, patience, and persistence. You might be searching for one obscure case among thousands of cases. Sometimes, you might not even know precisely what you’re searching for, only that you’ll know it when you find it. You also have to be someone who is an independent worker, and someone who is self-motivated and able to follow instructions well, because oftentimes you will simply receive a complicated set of instructions and be left unsupervised to complete them. Legal researchers also prepare legal documents and memos in many cases.To become a legal researcher, you need to be an accredited paralegal (a paralegal is a legal assistant). That means you’ll have to have at least an associate’s degree, although more often nowadays legal assistants will need at least a bachelor’s degree in order to secure a good job. It wouldn’t hurt to have an advanced degree, either.When it comes time to find a job, you have to decide whether you want to work for government lawyers at a private law firm. Most legal researchers work in private offices-about seven in ten. This work can be more stressful and more demanding, but it also tends to pay significantly better. If you choose government employment, you can either work for the Justice Department (most public legal researchers work for the Justice Department) or work for a district attorney. You might even think about becoming a freelancer. It was once highly unusual for a legal researcher to work for himself or herself, but with the Internet it’s becoming much less rare. This kind of work would involve firms all over the country assigning you research projects and legal documents to prepare over the Internet, and you would work one project at a time. The beauty of legal freelancing is that you can set your own hours and be your own boss. The downside, of course, is that income is not steady and there might be times when you are between assignments and not receiving a paycheck. Still, if you are tenacious and self-motivated it’s likely you’ll find plenty of employment.