Money&Lawyer 3

When a lawyer becomes involved your problem becomes an issue. Also remember I am a paralegal not a lawyer.

Okay, picking up from the last lawyer post. As I said your lawyer is tremendously in debt when s/he starts their career. Now begins the task of paying that debt.  Unlike the movie ‘The Firm’, I doubt very much that your lawyer will have found law firms that will help your lawyer pay off that debt.

More likely if a new lawyer manages to connect up with a law firm s/he is looking at 80 plus hours per week, for the next 2 to 3 years. More often than not your lawyer will have to pull an extra 6 or 7 hours on Saturdays. Then they’ll spend Sundays reading and or writing legal briefs, or legal memos. This is often referred to as Lawyer’s boot camp.

Side-note: A lot of very happy marriages came to an end during those boot camp years.

Now unless your lawyer has graduated from a high and I do mean high-ranking law school.  Plus s/he was in the top 5% of that graduating class. Your lawyer’s salary for the next 2-3 years is going to be $30,000 per year. Just so you know in most law firms for your lawyer to get a sick day during boot camp, s/he or their spouse, or her/his child had better be in intensive care with the mortuary staff standing just outside the room.

Side-note: Being a salaried employee means no matter how many hours you put in you do not get any more money. There is no overtime, no time and a half, no holiday pay, no sick pay, and forget about paid vacations. Your lawyer’s agreed salary is all s/he is going to get until boot camp is over.

The next worry, these new lawyers have are uniforms.   These are specific types of cloths s/he will have to have once the start work at a law firm. I am talking about very nice cloths. You see for lawyers in law firms packaging is everything. Even independent’s worry about packaging but they can break a few more dress codes rules then an attorney working for a law firm.

Side-note: Packaging is how a lawyer presents themselves to the world Let’s be honest the average person is more likely to trust and higher a well dressed, successful appearing lawyer and their paralegal than ones that look like they have been on the street for the last 3 months.

Most of the smaller firms will let their lawyers get away with a style that is called business casual. However, going to court still takes a formal suit and those cost.

Next week I will continue with more start up costs your lawyer faces.

Veteran’s

Forgive me as I go off topic this week. After last week’s post on Captain Ed, I have seen a few political shows commenting briefly, very briefly, on the number of veterans that have wound up in jail.

Side-Note: Check out the Rachel Maddox show she seems willing to take on subjects one else wants to touch. Like American debtors prisons in 2013.

These veterans were charged with everything from simple robbery, sex crimes to out and out, rage murders. No one can seem to understand how or why these men and women are now in jail.

I don’t understand the confusion. After all we’re are talking about men and women who spent the last 10 years in a world where the time to think and evaluate a possible threat simply doesn’t exist. Combat is a world where ‘threats eliminate threats or somebody dies’ is 1st rule of survival.  Combat is a world where every Stranger either a new friend or somebody who wants to kill you, no shades of gray. The shades gray that’s a part of the mundane world is exceptionally rare in combat.  Imagine standing in line to buy groceries and the person ahead of gets mad at the cashier. Three or four things are gonna happen, anything from a few angry words, to a cop arresting the unhappy customer.  Now in combat world you’re at a local shop were you just brought something than somebody walks in and starts screaming. A bomb goes off.

In the movie ‘My Cousin Vinnie’ staring Joe Pesci. There is a sub-plot to the story, Joe Pesci’s search for a good night’s sleep. It took a full-blown prison riot for him sleep peacefully. Funny huh?   Not if this is your normal world.

Now you come home after 10 years of living in combat world.  You get a day maybe two out processing and then you are back in the mundane world where every skill you’ve learned, every instinct you’ve developed staying alive is now bad.  Plus you are told those benefits, especially the medical benefits, we promised you for your service, don’t worry you’ll get them when we get around to it. No worries.  In the mean time you are on your own.

Oh yeah, thank you for your service to our country, you are a hero.

How would you feel? Think about it, you’ve just spent the last 10 years risking your life, watching friends and co-workers killed. Your home-coming is a pat on the head and being told now go be normal. Just like a 9-year-old being told to go out and play.

Is it any wonder these veteran’s have a hard time adjusting to the mundane normal world. We learned nothing from Vietnam War, except to sound nicer to our veterans.

Well that is my vent.  As a veteran, this is something that really matters to me.

Next week, I’ll continue with money& lawyers I’m will be getting into the costs of practicing law.

Least They be forgotten.

A family member made me aware of this true story. As a veteran myself I felt the need to share this with you.

You’re a 19, critically wounded, dying in the jungle somewhere far, so very far, from home.

It’s November 11,1967; Vietnam. Your LZ (landing zone) is X-ray in the Ia Drang Valley.

Your unit is pined, outnumbered 8-1. Somewhere in the bush maybe 100 or so yards away the enemy lies hidden. The enemy fire is so intense, your CO (commanding officer) has ordered the MedEvac helicopters to stop coming in the gunfire is much to deadly.

You’re lying there, listening to the machine guns, knowing you’re not getting out.

Everyone you have known or loved half a world away. Over 12,000 miles away. You’ll never will see or touch them again. You can almost hear your mother crying.

The world starts to fade in and out, this is your last day.
Then – almost despite the deafening gun fire – a faint noise, as if it’s coming from some other world, the sound of a helicopter. Looking up you see a dark Huey thundering in. But, It doesn’t seem real, it can’t be real because there are no MedEvac markings are on it.

Captain Ed Freeman is coming in for you in his unarmed Huey.

He’s not a MedEvac pilot so saving your life it’s not his job, not his problem, He heard the radio call warning him and the others pilots away and he came anyway. Flying his Huey down into the devastating gun fire anyway.

Even after the MedEvacs were ordered to safety he came. After being told the enemy fire made the extraction impossible, He still came.

He lands and waits despite the  gun fire, as they load 3 of you into his Huey.

Then he fly’s you up and out through heavy gunfire to  waiting doctors and nurses. To safety.

Then he goes back!! 13 more times he knowingly risks all!!
Not until all the wounded were safe. Only when the wounded were safely extracted did  Captain Ed let it be known he had been struck 4 times. He was shot in both legs and his left arm.
You and 29 of your buddies survived because of him. Many made it home because of Captain Ed Freeman and his Huey.

Medal of Honor Recipient, Captain Ed Freeman , United States Air Force, died
last Wednesday at the age of 70, in Boise , Idaho
May God Bless and Rest His Soul.

I bet you didn’t hear about this hero’s passing, but we’ve sure seen a whole bunch about Lindsay Lohan, Tiger Woods and the bickering of congress over Health Reform.

A true Hero

A true Hero

Money & Lawyers 2

Once again, I am a paralegal not a lawyer, also when a lawyer gets involved your problem of concern becomes an issue.
Okay let’s pick up where I left off with the all important L.S.A.T. or national law school admission test. Like I said last week the better you lawyers score the better the school s/he can apply for. So a lot lawyer wanna bee’s spend any were from $300 to $2000 on study material just to get ready for L.S.A.T. Some have spent up to another $2000 on an out and out practice test. The people who set up these tests locate and rent the hall where the L.S.A.T. will be given. In addition they set things up, even going so far as hiring mock test takers trying to make their test virtually identical to the real L.S.A.T. All this is just getting ready for that test because like I said before, the better your lawyers score the better quality school your lawyer can apply too.
You see there are 5 levels of law schools. Level 1 is of course Harvard or Yale, level 5 is often the online law school no one has ever heard about.
Side-Note: Your life time G.P.A will also come into play as to which schools will look at your application. The online schools will get your lawyer qualified to take the Bar Exam barely, but h/his practice will be limited to one state. Usually the home state of the online school s/he attended. Moving to or opening a practice in another state may prove difficult.
The cost of attending a good law school could run anywhere from $30,000 to $300,000 by itself. This depends on level of school which accepted your lawyer. Your lawyer may have sidestepped some of that debt with grants and scholarships. That’s if s/he doesn’t eat too much during their time in law school.
Your lawyer has now graduated with anywhere from between $90,000 to $150,000 in student loan debt. Depending on which level of law school accepted h/him. So after law school your lawyer now has $1500 a month in student loan payments for the next 10 years. Please GOD! believe me student loan companies do not play when it come to collecting on that debt.
Now the Bar Exam. The Bar Exam is so blindingly important that many law school graduates go up another $10,000 into debt getting ready for it. To make it simple your lawyer doesn’t pass the Bar s/he doesn’t work period end of story. 18 states have limited how many times someone could take the Exam. The actual Exam itself can cost up to $600 depending on what state your lawyer took the Bar Exam. Like the L.S.A.T. the Bar Exam is only given a few times a year. Finely there is a $50 fee, (depending on the state) just to get a copy of the certificate to hang on the wall!
Now your lawyer is $170,000 in debt and s/he hasn’t even found a job or hung out a shingle yet.
To be continued

Money & Lawyers

As usual when a Lawyer becomes involved your problem or concern becomes an issue. Please remember I am not a lawyer at least not yet, I am a paralegal.
Side-note: Just so you know a presidential directive is a type of executive order, except a presidential directive is limited to national security issues. Everything from the deployment of our forces overseas, to the handling of our nuclear arms is included in the presidential directives. There are presidential directives that focus on the United States administration of occupied countries. Also how we send supplies and equipment to our allies in other countries. As I said before a presidential directive is subject to the same restrictions as a full presidential executive order.
Okay to work than. Why are lawyers so concerned about money, because it is bloody hinderingly expensive to get a license to practice law. Not to mention the expenses your lawyer has just to practice law. Getting things filed with the courts will cost you, in a civil issue getting a jury will cost you, serving a summons will cost you, a court reporter will cost you, Whooooaa Deeep Breath. Damn, I hate getting wound up.
Let’s start at the beginning shall we. You have just gotten a B.A or Baccarat Degree. Congratulations well done. However, if you went to a public college you just spent $7000; if you went to a private college you’ve spent $30,000. That is if you didn’t buy any books, supplies or eat, wore the exact same cloths for the 4 years and slept in a ditch during the 4 years.
Side-Note; just so you know where I got my A.A.S (associate of applied science) degree in paralegal studies there were 3 colleges sharing the same campus. The campus consisted of a private 4 year college, a public 4 year college and a 2 year community college. While I was there, I was talked into spending some time working in a homeless shelter kitchen; I met 20 fellow students who lived there. They were forced into living there because every single dime they could beg, borrow or steal had to go for tuition and books.
Now like I said, you’ve got you Baccalaureate yeah! Good for you! Well done! Next, the all important L.S.A.T. or The law school admission test. A test that is only given 4 times a year. Just to take the L.S.A.T is going to cost you roughly $200. How will you do on that test determines which schools will at least look at your application? Doesn’t mean the school you applied to will let you in only that they will look at your application. There is no getting around it, the better your L.S.A.T. score the higher level law school you can apply too.
There are 5 levels of law school or classes of law school. Level 1 would be Harvard or Yale.

To be continued