Stress, Anxiety, and Substance Abuse as a Cause of Impairment in Lawyers

“One of every four lawyers suffers from stress, and out of 105 occupations, lawyers rank first in depression. In addition, a disproportionate number of lawyers commit suicide. These are some of the troubling conclusions that can be found in various studies of addiction and depression.” Reports Robert Stein, ABA Executive Director, in the June 2005 issue of the ABA Journal.

The costs of stress, alcoholism, and drug abuse is very high for the legal profession. The American Bar Association and all state bar associations have provided “lawyer assistance programs” that can help to treat “impaired” lawyers. Most of these programs also address the issues of clinical depression and disorders related to gambling, sex, and eating.

If you do not realize the significance of this troubling situation, consider being represented in your important legal matters by an impaired attorney. It could cost you thousands of dollars or even your freedom if you or your interests are not protected by competent legal professionals. In the state of California, there is a requirement for Continuing Legal Education (CLE’s) which includes a minimum of 1 hour every 3 years on stress management or substance abuse for all licensed, practicing lawyers to maintain their license to practice law.

The practice of law is inherently stressful. Much of the time lawyers find themselves battling with other legal professionals for their clients best interests. Trail lawyers must think quickly and communicate with precision and skill in the courtroom. Corporate lawyers must be concerned with legal details that require focused attention and great care. The competition to be successful as an attorney can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.

People preparing to become attorneys often struggle with stress in law school and in the multi-day testing that is required to “pass the bar.” The stressful issues that can begin in law school can set up future practicing attorneys for bad habits in coping with the stress and anxiety of the profession. Some law schools offer coursework for life skill management to better prepare their students to be able to perform at the highest level for their clients and for their quality of life.

Because lawyers are trained to be precise and use their cerebral abilities for day to day work, they are often in denial regarding the needs for stress and anxiety management until bad habits are established or symptoms cause significant challenges. Even managing general partners in major law firms have great professional and personal concerns regarding “impairment” within their organizations. An accidental mistake or oversight can open a law firm to their own costly law suits for malpractice. Many concerned managing partners are requiring that their attorneys practice preventive measures to control stress, anxiety, and depression. This can be found in group trainings, EAP’s or individual coaching. Coaching can also offer enhancements to time management, improved communication skills, and long term career planning. An interesting and unexpected benefit to this training and coaching is that this preventive work can actually save lawyers time and energy by helping to minimize the impact of distractions due to stress. This improves performance and can help to increase profitability. Key personnel are important assests and professional coaching or mentoring programs have huge cost benefits.

Everyone, even lawyers, require professional assistance to get through the difficult periods. Lawyers just seem to require more attention as they work to survive, at the highest functioning levels, in the “meat grinder” of their professional life. Most people who know practicing attorneys know that their attorney family members or friends can benefit from a sense of humor and better stress management. In increasing frequency, law firms are using retreats to help de-compress and then get down to business planning.

More information can be found in the article by Robert Stein at
http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/colap/ABAJournal200506_Help.html

Understanding the Lawyers on Retainer Concept

In this life, people cannot do without the services of a good lawyer. Crime happens everyday around us. Sometimes we find ourselves in rare situations that make us suffer unfairly. Other personal circumstances such as bankruptcy, real estates and mortgage force us to hire lawyers. In one word, good lawyers are very imperative. Dealing with lawyers is not a simple thing. Many issues concerning hiring lawyers are crucial and they come first. For example, you many find yourself hiring lawyers on retainer. These lawyers are not any different from those you know.

The lawyers only ask for a retainer fee so that they can give you their services. What is a retainer fee? This type of a fee is on hourly basis. It is different from the normal charges you pay a lawyer because of defending your position in court. They include the following:

• Consultation fees – Before you can start working with a given lawyer, you have to set a few appointments with him or her.

• Research work – After listening to your side of story, your lawyer spends some time doing research to help you. You will have to pay for his or her time.

• Interviews – as the lawyer studies your case, you and him or her will look for possible witnesses. Then, your lawyer has to conduct an interview with each witness. Most lawyers want to receive a pay for their time.

Lawyers on retainer want only to ascertain your seriousness in the entire procedure. That is why they will ask for a specific deposit first. When looking for this kind of a lawyer, examine your budget first. Most people desire to save up money in legal matters as much as possible. You should look for a cheaper hourly rate lawyer. Some people do not take it kindly. However, if you think about it, you put aside huge amounts of money as down payment for the assets you love.

If you plan to hire a lawyer about a case related to the same assets, you should not feel bad if ask to pay a retainer fee. A retainer fee is just a small deposit compared to other types you have paid before. The more you refuse to pay the fee, the more you delay your justice. Even so, take your time to select a good lawyer. There is a big chance that you will sort out good lawyers from bad lawyers if you take your time. When you find a good lawyer, make sure that all retainer agreements are in writing.

Then you and your lawyer should sign the document. This is a good way of building a relationship with the attorney. The document should demonstrate how the lawyer allocates the money through out the legal procedure. You should not work with any lawyers on retainer if they cannot follow the document stipulating your agreements. The best place to look for these lawyers is the Internet. Many lawyers who could proof their expertise exist.

Business Laws Unveiled

Each and every person in this world must have at least once thought about opening some sort of business to increase his or her income. No matter if you are thinking about opening a small family business or a larger company, you cannot do anything but obey the business laws! If you don’t, you and your business can get into serious trouble!

In case you are under the impression that you need to be a graduate of a business law college or have a business law major in order to understand and use some of the basic ideas of small business law and corporate business law, you are making a very big mistake. Perhaps you have heard form the news and the headlines that employment law for business is one of the most dangerous fields, as a person can easily break the business laws and regulations.

The least any business man should know is that he or she must meet the general international business laws. You must also consider the export laws, import laws and but, by all means, one must obey to the specific laws of the country in which your business is situated.

Should you own a company that operates in your home country, then you must get to understand the business laws there. If you cannot manage to get a business permit or license, you can find yourself in a great amount of trouble, as your business can get shut down. Not to speak about the inconveniences due to business and hefty fines and penalties!

If you thought that Internet and online businesses do not need to take these rules seriously, then you can have the unpleasant surprise of getting serious problems. Of course these types of business need to obey the business laws, but they are called Internet compliance laws. Therefore, should you be operating a website of any kind and do not care about all these rules and regulations, criminal prosecution and hefty fines are waiting for you right across the corner.

Well, if all these bad things have made you fear doing business of any kind, you must know that no one expects you to be able to navigate the complexities of any type of business law by yourself! The best option for you is asking for help from a qualified professional of a business law firm. This way you will never get into trouble of any kind!

Why Are Divorce Lawyers Required?

What is divorce? It is the legal act performed by married couples to end their marriage. Divorce is the ultimate step that couples take in marriages that have problems. It is not very favorable, but, in situations where it cannot be avoided; it should be handled with utmost care. Divorces are sensitive issues and leave lifelong scars. The main purpose of a divorce is end the marriage altogether. It can become a messy and long drawn process if it is not handled properly.

In the U.S., each state has its own set of laws regarding divorce. Therefore, Oregon too has its own set of laws.

So how does one go about a divorce? It is not a cheap process and requires a strong mind. If children are involved, the situation gets more complicated. The first thing to be done, when filing for divorce, is to get a good lawyer. It is most important that the client is honest with the lawyer, as the more the lawyer knows about the case the better his appeal will be.

Good divorce lawyers are ones that can handle the case in such a manner that the damage to the people involved is minimal.

Some points are to be kept in mind while appointing a divorce lawyer:

1. It is recommended that a person should consult at least three lawyers before finally choosing one.

2. A good and experienced divorce lawyer should be able to answer any query the client may have regarding divorce proceedings.

3. He should have a good idea of the local laws of divorce.

4. He should be up to date with the recent changes in the law.

5. The fees of the lawyer are another important factor to be kept in mind. Generally the more complicated the case, the higher the fee is.

6. He should not forget that the way in which he handles the case affects the emotions of the people involved.

The other areas that have to be taken care of while filing for a divorce are the custody of the children and the terms of child support. This is one of the most difficult parts, trying to decide what is best for the child. A good lawyer will be able to suggest a path that is beneficial to both parties.

Lawn Care Business Flyer Design and Distribution Tips

There are many ways to go about promoting a new or existing lawn care business. One of the traditional low cost methods that has been popular in the industry is advertising via flyers.

When researching advertising methods for your lawn business you may find that many people are saying that flyers are no longer an effective advertising method in the 21st century. While this method may not be effective in certain areas, countless lawn care business owners across the country are still having success with this method so it is definitely worth a try before you right it off.

In this article we offer some advice on how to go about putting together effective flyers for your lawn company and how to go about getting them out there for prospects to read.

Free Lawn Care Business Flyer Templates

You may consider having your flyers professionally designed but for those starting up or running on a strict budget there are numerous free flyer templates available online that you can customize to the needs of your own business. Using this method along with free distribution methods means that you can virtually undertake a campaign for free and only have to consider printing or photocopying expenses. You can also design your own using a word processing program like ‘Microsoft Word’.

Elements of Good Lawn Business Flyer Design

1) Don’t underestimate the importance of a great headline as without one the entire flyer is likely to be discarded without being read. Don’t make the mistake of using the name of your lawn mowing business in the headline but rather use a headline that is interesting, arouses the customers curiosity, gives them an attractive offer or let’s them know what you can do for them and how well you can do it.

2) Be sure that your flyer copy includes a strong call to action. If customers read it once it is unlikely that they will read it again so try to inspire them to pick up the phone right away by offering them a ‘limited time’ offer.

3) Unless it would result in complications with your printing method you may as well use both sides of your flyers. While one side can be promotional the other side could be more informational and feature more precise details about your lawn maintenance services.

4) Keep your flyers clean, neat and uncluttered. Make sure that all the information and contact details are correct before you go and print thousands of copies with mistakes in them.

5) If you are planning on running flyer campaigns to advertise your lawn care business over many years then it will pay to do some testing. Try out different headings, offers, styles and layouts and track results so that you can find out what works best.

6) Consider stapling one of your business cards to your flyer. While people are likely to throw a flyer away they are much more likely to file a business card away for future reference and a business card will add a professional element to your ad. Some lawn care owners now prefer smaller promotional pieces on cardboard that are more like the size of a postcard and find that people respond better to these than they do with traditional full sized flyers.

Distribution

1) While going door to door distributing flyers can still work well you must check first with your local post office about what is acceptable as some areas have ordinances regulating unsolicited mail. Handing flyers directly to prospects in person will usually be more effective anyway so look for people who are out in their gardens, strike up a conversation with them and hand them a flyer if things go well.

2) Give each of your existing clients a few flyers and ask them to pass them on to friends and family if they have been satisfied with your service. Let them know that you are trying to expand your business and would really appreciate it if they wouldn’t mind mentioning you to people that they know with lawns. If you know the client quite well and you are not too pushy with the way you do it then this approach can work wonders.

3) There are places that will let you post your lawn care business flyers for free. By putting flyers on community notice boards outside libraries, schools, churches and any other organizations that you may belong to you help to add to your exposure.

4) Consider placing some of your flyers under the windscreen wipers of cars that are parked on the street or in parking lots in your area. Proceed cautiously here though as this practice is frowned upon in some areas and you may be held liable if your flyers end up scattered all over the street.

5) Join forces with other local service businesses and promote multiple businesses on the same flyer. If each business that is involved puts in the same effort into distributing them then your exposure will be much greater (even if it is diluted down a little be sharing the space with other companies).

6) It takes good a number of views before an advertisement usually sinks into a consumer’s mind. For this reason it is foolish to run campaigns just once but rather you should be trying to hit people again and again with the same message.

Whatever you do, try to make your flyer the one that will stand out above all the others and avoid having it immediately deposited into the trash by the reader. Get your lawn care business off to the best possible start by testing flyers out as a means of promoting your business.