Category Archives: Law

Why Do People Choose to Immigrate?

An Approved VisaThousands of people decide to immigrate to the United States every year. Even with strict immigration policies, many continue to pursue the chance to move to the US. In Utah, immigration attorneys help hundreds of clients in complying with their immigration requirements. But why do so many people choose to immigrate anyway?

Employment and Business Opportunities

In 2015, immigrants comprised 17% of the labor force. This is equivalent to around 26.7 million men and women. Many people migrate to the United States seeking better opportunities than what is available to them in their own countries. Others, on the other hand, move to the US to start new businesses. These foreign entrepreneurs then create more jobs not only for locals but immigrants too. Indeed, employment is a major reason behind immigration.

Education

The search for higher education is another common reason for immigrants to enter the country. From 1995 to 2014, the number of immigrant students in the United States grew by 51%. Ivy League Universities are not the only schools that attract international students. As a nation leading the world in education, innovation and research, the US holds much promise for students who not only want a good college degree but also better opportunities for advancement beyond graduation.

Political Conflict and Violence

In some countries, violence is ever-present. Even today, many countries struggle to achieve peace and prosperity. To escape the political conflict and violence in their countries, many choose to flee to the US, where they hope to live in peace. Meanwhile, many others seek asylum to escape possible persecution due to various reasons.

Family and Friends

Another reason people migrate is to become closer to family or friends. Some have family that migrated before them while others have found extensions of their family in residents of the country.

There are many reasons people choose to migrate to the United States, though the process may be a burden to those unfamiliar with immigration laws. To better facilitate the immigration process, enlist the help of an immigration lawyer you can trust.

3 Reasons to Become a Nurse Legal Consultant

Stethoscope with a Gavel

Simply put, nurse legal consultants provide medical expertise in legal cases. They are part of a legal team who help lawyers, and other legal professionals read, interpret, and explain medical records in health care-related cases and topics. They also explain the medical terminologies involved in the legal cases. Here are three things you should know about this type of profession.

How Do You Become a Nurse Legal Consultant?

The first thing you need to do is to get your Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). After which, you should pass your National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). To become a nurse legal consultant, you need to spend five years working as a Registered Nurse (RN). Then, you should work at least two years in the field of legal nursing. After that, you can get your Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC) by the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board (ALNCCB).

Where Do Nurse Legal Consultants Work?

Certified legal nurse consultants work in various healthcare settings such as hospitals and insurance companies. They also work in several law firms. The majority of them work on a contract-basis, which is very favorable due to flexible work environment and schedules.

How Much Do Legal Nurse Consultants Earn?

When it comes to average salary, a certified legal nurse consultant can make between $49,000 and $64,000. The salary is often highly dependent on the terms of employment. But it’s good to know that many can build and enjoy high-paying careers. In fact, some of the legal nurse consultants in practice today earn higher than their RN counterparts.

Are You Ready to Become a Legal Nurse Consultant?

If you’re already a registered nurse, consider looking into the field of legal nurse consulting and see for yourself if this is something that you’d rather do. There are many perks to the job, including a more flexible work schedule and the environment. Consider these facts if you’re currently deciding to shift gears.

Legal Careers That Don’t Need a Law Degree

Gavel on Top of a Laptop

Gavel on Top of a Laptop

Let’s admit it, studying law is expensive. Apart from the tuition, the course involves tons of miscellaneous fees, including books, boarding, internship, and exams. According to CBS News, it costs around $43,000 a year to study in a top law school. That’s a huge amount of money that not every aspiring lawyer can afford.

Fortunately, there are still many opportunities for students who wish to take the legal route. Yes, you can work in a firm or a courtroom without spending too much on education. See our list of careers below.

Paralegal

Also known as legal assistants, paralegals work in the same vein as lawyers and attorneys. They typically work in law offices and even head to courtrooms when necessary. Paralegals carry out actions suggested by a lawyer: interview witnesses, study claims, and file legal documents, among many others. The demand for paralegals is getting higher every year, which is why many students choose to take paralegal degrees online.

Court Reporter

Are you well-organized and have a keen eye for detail? If yes, then you might as well be a court reporter. Also known as stenographers, court reporters record speeches, court testimonies, and other legal proceedings. The demand for the position is extremely high, considering the low number of people entering the profession. An associate’s degree program, license, and certification are required to become a court reporter.

Mediator

Mediators, as the title imposes, mediate. By providing direction, resolution, and encouragement, this kind of legal profession aims to settle disputes between arguing parties. Mediators work outside the courtroom as they do not represent or advocate a lawsuit. One must have training in mediation as well as a certification to become a mediator.

The road to the law is hard and expensive. However, one should not lose hope and confidence because there are other ways to obtain a legal profession. Consider the abovementioned careers, and you’re off to a great start.

Probate Lawyers: How They Can Help with Your Case

Probate LawyerIf you have been named an executor to a loved one’s estate, you know it’s a lot of work. People usually know that they need a lawyer’s knowledge and their assistance to clear up matters, whether it’s a divorce, buying a home, or investing in a business. Working with a probate lawyer will likely be a better experience — working well together will require cooperation from both parties.

What to expect as part of the working relationship

Miller & Steiert, P.C. and other legal professionals explain that there are two things you can do if you are named an executor — you can let a probate lawyer in Denver handle the entire case or handle it yourself and consult them on issues.

More often, people choose to let a lawyer handle their case. Of course, you still need to be involved in gathering, monitoring, and safeguarding assets, paying bills related to the estate, and even manage the asset inventory. Where the lawyer can help is in handling all the court-related paperwork.

Doing some of the tasks, you will save you a lot of money as opposed to handing over the entire job to a lawyer. Some of the tasks involve going through all the papers and making calls to all kinds of agencies and also dealing with banks. For instance, it is good to know who will:

  • Order and get death certificates certified
  • Ensure that the original will is lodged in the right probate court
  • Inventory the estate and all property
  • Get property appraised
  • Prepare and also file the final tax returns of the deceased with the IRS

Consulting with a Probate Lawyer

If you, as the executor are willing to take on the job of handling the probate, there are probate lawyers who can help you. They can help with “unbundled services” and answer your questions and offer guidance through the process.

Most often than not, the majority of cases involve a lot of paperwork. If all the named beneficiaries in the will are happy with their share, the probate is easy to handle. As part of the process, it will be your job to keep them informed about the process and the timeframe. A lawyer can look over your letters or emails before they are sent out to ensure that they are in the right format.

Regardless of how you handle the probate and estate, make sure to share all documents with the lawyer so that the case proceeds smoothly. If you have doubts, don’t be afraid to ask questions so that you have what you need. When you are paying by the hour for their advice, keep the questions crisp. Stay in touch to find out how the case is progressing so that the beneficiaries have an idea and don’t get impatient.

Understanding the Impact of Divorce on Children

Divorce AttorneyIn a perfect world, all marriages would last forever. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Divorce do exist, and it occurs in many relationships around the world. A divorce can be frustrating for couples and their kids.

One of the most common misconceptions about divorce is that the parents might ruin their children’s lives.

If you’re worried that your divorce will have a negative impact on your kids, here’s what you need to know:

  • Studies show that small children and teenagers, with ample support and help from their divorced parents, could be very resilient and do well in life later on. Getting a divorce does not have to haunt your children for life.
  • It could be tough to determine how your divorce would affect your children and how you can deal with the situation. The good thing is your children could do well if you manage to get back to proper parenting after the divorce.
  • Any child would be distressed and confused when going through the divorce of his or her parents. But your relationship with your child and your continuing parental involvement would certainly contribute to your child’s ability to deal with all the changes going on.
  • The strength of your relationship with your ex-spouse, even if it’s purely for co-parenting purposes only, would also help your children during this emotionally taxing time. According to studies, children function best when their parents collaborate. Lewis & Matthews, P.C. suggests that you think of the best child custody arrangements during the divorce and keep your children’s best interests in mind.
  • You could also consider getting help from a child specialist so that your children have someone to talk to in case they’re being aloof or indifferent, or acting out.

For most divorcing parents, the top concern is easing the pain and consequences that the process brings. Ending a marriage is a tough decision and you must consider the welfare of your children when planning everything.

Unauthorized Practice of Law: What’s a Paralegal-To-Be Got To Do With It?

Books on Law

Your journey toward becoming a paralegal is not without hearing the term “UPL” every now and then. UPL (unauthorized practice of law) may be part of your Introduction to Paralegal Studies classes, law management course, and paralegal ethics course — practically all the courses you take.

Its appearance on all of your paralegal courses online and offline means one thing: understanding of the subject matter is important.

Understanding the UPL

Unauthorized practice of law occurs when an individual does not have the legal license to practice law or even offer legal advice. The policy applies to paralegals, too.

In most states, UPL is a felony case; for others, it is mere disciplinary matter. To get a better grasp of your state’s take on the matter, you can ask the local paralegal association or check the state’s statutes.

As a new or aspiring paralegal, doing research is not the only task you need to perform. You also need to learn about recent changes to the law or have knowledge of local paralegal associations.

How States Define the Practice of Law

While each state has its own definition of authorized law practices, it’s not always clear. In most cases, state law does not explain UPL in detail; what counts as unauthorized or not remains a blur to some practicing paralegals.

Fortunately, the NALA’s Model Standards and Guidelines for the Utilization of Paralegals gives a brief but informative summary of activities paralegals should never do, including:

  • Set your personal legal fees
  • Establish the attorney-client relationship
  • Offer legal advice or opinion
  • Represent clients in court, except administrative courts

Legal Advice: Your Role

Paralegal experience from school and on-the-job provides you with a good grasp of the legal world. Naturally, family, friends, and acquaintances may want your opinion.

To answer them is tempting; after all, you’re just helping out.  But it’s one thing to be the armchair lawyer during light discussions or matters outside the school or firm. It’s another thing, however, to have your advice affect other individual’s legal rights. You’re not only potentially harming that individual, but also putting your career as a paralegal at risk.

As a future paralegal, you will have an important role that affects the lives of others. Avoiding UPL now keeps you from making mistakes that will impact your career, the lawyers you support, and their clients.

The Use of Solitary Confinement in North Carolina Prisons is Declining

Man in jail hoping to be releasedThe terms “prison” and “jail” are tricky. In fact, people often use them interchangeably. Although quite similar, there is still a marked difference between them. “Jail” is where a person stays while awaiting trial, while a prison is where felons serve their sentence.

While you have the choice to avoid jail time by posting bail or seeking assistance from a bail bondsman in Raleigh, NC, you can’t simply leave prison by paying a fee. You commit a crime; you do the time, or so the saying goes. What happens though when an inmate needs disciplinary action? Well, prisons can subject the incarcerated to solitary confinement.

Solitary Confinement in North Carolina

Prisons subject inmates to solitary confinement for various reasons. This includes separating an aggressive inmate, protecting another, or disciplining an unruly one. Offenses that range from fighting to spitting on someone can land an inmate a 60-day solitary confinement, in fact.

North Carolina prisons used to be notorious for their use of the disciplinary tactic, but they are slowly cutting down on the practice because they’re finding it ineffective. Out of the state’s 38,000 prisoners, 5,330 were in solitary confinement at any given day in 2015. Through the effort of authorities, they were able to reduce the number to 2,540 in 2016.

Increases Assault on Staff

State prison Commissioner David Guice said that cases of assault on staff members increase in the locked-down units. Upon observing a decline in these kinds of attacks in states that are moving away from the practice, Guice made it his goal to end North Carolina’s heavy use of the method.

Triggers and Worsens Mental Illness

Inmates with a history of mental illness who spend time in solitary confinement suffered from worsening symptoms. Psychiatrists also state that the prolonged isolation could trigger depression, anxiety, cognitive disturbances, psychosis, and paranoia in inmates who had no prior symptoms.

Government support for this move has come from the highest position. Former President Barack Obama has already banned the practice of subjecting youth offenders (17 years old and below) to solitary confinement in federal prisons, stating that the prolonged absence of human contact is counterproductive and could result in lasting psychological effects, especially in younger, impressionable individuals.

Inmates spend 23 to 24 hours a day in their cells, which have limited access to sunlight and fresh air. Taking away even the most basic of human contact on top of this has proven to result in negative changes in an inmate’s behavior. Actions to abolish the practice are a step towards rehabilitating, not punishing, people who have committed a crime.

When Marriage Breaks: Protecting Your Assets during a Divorce

Marriage BreakupAsset splits and lawyer fees during a divorce can be financially crushing to couples. Wisdom dictates, however, that people can prepare for worst-case scenarios such as these through proper planning. A spouse who wants to keep his or her assets protected in case their marriage isn’t working out may take note of the following.

Put Your Assets in a Company

The law recognises a company as a separate legal entity, which can act as a vessel to acquire and hold assets. Doing this, however, requires you to undertake precautionary measures. Thus, it is best to consult with a lawyer from a reputable law office, such as Connolly Suthers, before proceeding with this option.

Create a Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement, otherwise referred to as the financial agreement under the Family Law Act 1975, can go a long way in preserving your assets if you want to seek a divorce. The agreement contains an arrangement on how partners will manage financial resources and property before, during, and after the marriage. Spouses can even specify which property is subject to the agreement. Both sides must sign the agreement for it to be effective.

Sort Out Your Superannuation

A good way to lock your investments until retirement is through superannuation. Your assets remain locked until you reach retirement age. It lets you acquire property through a self-managed superannuation fund. Discuss this option with your financial adviser or lawyer if you plan on doing this.

Form a Family Trust

A family trust deed establishes a separate entity that can hold an asset separate from the matrimonial assets. The deed will include the rights pertaining to the asset as well as beneficiaries of the asset. Ensure that the deed is well-drafted so you can save up money through asset protection.

Having a plan to safeguard your assets can help secure your financial future in the event of a marriage breakdown. Divorce, however, should always be a last resort as this process could be lengthy, complex and expensive.

Breaking Boundaries: Digital Learning Expands Possibilities for Students

Online Courses

Educators, students, and even employers have recognized the value of online courses. There have even been plans among institutions to include online undergraduate courses in school curriculums. In fact, a 2014 report from the Association of Colleges reveals that the integration of technological solutions in an inevitable part of future education.

Those seeking a legal career have the option of taking an online paralegal course to supplement their education in the classroom. Aside from the legal industry, however, digital learning is gaining traction in universities due to the various educational benefits it offers.

Expanding Reach to a Broader Student Audience

Online courses offer a different approach to education compared to traditional campus-based teaching. In fact, Stanford University has fully embraced digital learning with its massive online open courses (MOOCs), free courses that students around the world can take advantage of. In the initial release of Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence MOOC, there were 160,000 enrollees of students from 190 different countries.

An Economic Alternative to Campus-Based Study

The prevalence of online degrees gives students the opportunity to improve their qualifications if they have little time or money to enroll in a full semester in college. In fact, there are about 5.8 million students in the US alone who have taken at least one online course. Furthermore, industry giants have endorsed online programs to students. Starbucks offers four years of tuition reimbursement to workers who want to earn an online undergraduate degree from Arizona State University.

An Increase in Student Interest for Online Courses

In the digital age, the interest in online education among students and institutions continues to grow. Online classes are flexible and give students the freedom to use smartphones and apps to keep up with schoolwork. As a result, the prospect of studying an online course is more appealing to students and opens the door to more hybrid models of learning.

Online courses democratize education by making a variety of subjects available to a wider student audience. While there has been a rapid rise in students who want to pursue education online, universities should also show the same enthusiasm in offering established courses online for the benefit of students.

Understanding the Complexities of Disinheritance

Disinheritance Estate planning’s importance can never be understated. Surely, anyone in their right mind would like their assets to go to new owners who can make the most of them. And in light of things getting difficult to settle, the likes of Quraishi Law Firm can make things easier. But what if arrangements take a more difficult turn? Take, for example, a parent’s decision to disinherit a child.

Why Disinherit A Child?

It is said that out of all the ways of expressing disapproval towards offspring, disinheritance probably stings the most. This may be due to the fact that parents have full control of their decision regarding whoever receives their wealth in their passing. Known as “testamentary freedom,” such an option leaves offspring with little to no chance of turning the tables into their favor.

Parents may harbor different reasons to disinherit their offspring. At times, it’s an extremely private decision. But mostly it’s due to familial problems, both long-standing and recent. Children may become estranged from families at an early age, parents may keep a specific grudge, or even take their reasons to the grave.

On Familial Ties

Among the common complexities involve disinheriting adult children. Some parents may think that an independent offspring is already well-off, and thus would not need an inheritance. But the real problem is that nobody is safe from sudden financial setbacks, even those well-off. This is why several experts caution parents on disinheriting adult children. Any bit of inheritance would be a welcome aid, given these circumstances.

As for adopted children, things don’t get much different. Adopted children are considered similar to biological children, especially for inheritance purposes. Basically any child, born or adopted, can be deliberately left out of a will as long as the parent makes the intent clear, either by leaving names out or overtly mentioning them. But if things don’t go as planned, an adopted child can qualify as a pretermitted heir, meaning he/she has been likely overlooked due to various reasons. In this case, said child might be able to inherit a portion of the parent’s assets.