As before when a lawyer becomes involved your problem becomes an ISSUE. Also, I am a paralegal not a lawyer.
Side-note: A Casual Business dress style for men is usually a very nice, starched pair of blue jeans, (I am not talking about the $12 Wal-Mart specials) a sport coat and good shirt. (No t-shirts) For women it is a lot more complicated. We are talking about really good dresses, slacks, blouses make up, shoes and so on. Let’s face it is more expensive to be a woman then a man.
Let’s not forget everyday expenses like rent, food, non-work clothes, and even medical expenses. You know, unimportant silly things like that.
Oh yeah, let us not forget about those no big deal student loan payments. After all finance companies are certainly not going to wait until your lawyer finishes his/her boot camp years before student loan companies start collecting. Like I said before these people don’t play. After all the 8% interest your lawyer has to pay on thousands they owe means a lot more money, than the 0.5% interest on the government loans to corporations have yet to pay on the millions they owe.
So after 5 years of busting ass your lawyer maybe making from between $65,000 to $130.000 per year. This depends on the size and location of the firm your lawyer is working for. The larger the firm means a larger salary for the associates.
Side-Note: Associates are the employee lawyers of a law firm, there are firms that have no Associates. These firms only have 2 or 3 lawyers.
Now depending on the size of the firm there is support personal. In a super small firm with 2 lawyers there is at least one receptionist/paralegal. In other firms there will be file clerks keeping hard copies of all the written documents, paralegals, litigation assistants, data entry clerks, evidence clerks (They record and keep track of all evidence, discovery brought to the law firm and what case it relates to.) All these employees need to be paid. Not to mention the contract employees like investigators. With the advent of the web something new has been added, the Virtual Law firms.
Side-Note: Discovery is almost exactly what it sounds like. It is the forms, documents and evidence opposing law firm submitted to the court or your lawyer. Sometimes your lawyer has to take your opponent to court and force them to grant access to records or material that could prove your case.
Side-note: Intake is the interview performed by a lawyer or more often a paralegal. The interview is an effort to define and gather information about your issue.
Virtual law firms are basically websites. A lot of intake is now done on the website by filling out a form online which is then downloaded to a firm paralegal to be evaluated, then transferred to the firm lawyer best equipped to handle your issue.
Next week I will get into more of the support staff. Plus I will get into the costs independents face.