Finding the Best Cheap/Free Legal Advice For Your Business

If you’re a small business owner and you have one simple legal question, going to a lawyer and paying for a consultation might seem a bit like overkill. For those in such a situation, there are many online resources that provide very cheap (or sometimes completely free!) legal advice, so that you can forego a price and unnecessary appointment with a lawyer. Next, let’s explore some of the best resources available on the web! You can get a free trial or pay for a real account on Rocket Lawyer. They make any type of law need very easy because they have a variety of experts on staff to help you with your needs. You can look up anything from NDAs to contracts and corporate agreements and so much more. com has a section specifically for small business owners looking for legal advice. You can learn about starting a business, partnerships, franchises, trade regulations, and nearly anything else you’d want to know! Nolo dates back to 1971 when it began as the Nolo Press, selling DIY legal books. On their website, you’ll find a great deal of free legal advice—especially advice related to business! You can use Avvo as a Q&A forum to get some solid legal advice. If that doesn’t get you what you need, you can pay a flat fee of $39 to talk to a real lawyer through Avvo. This is a cheap and easy alternative to scheduling a meeting with a lawyer! LegalZoom has a business legal plan that you can sign up for starting at $24/month. At that price, you can ask legal questions, get advice on specific scenarios and situations, have an attorney reviewed your business documents and contracts, and much more! If you need regular legal advice, you should consider trying LegalZoom first as a long-term option. Click here to learn about more resources where you can receive cheap or free legal advice for your business! Related posts: Misleading Small Business Legal Advice to Avoid How Free Legal Advice Helps Startups, State, Everyone How Marketers Can Avoid Legal Trouble 5 Legal Podcasts Worth Tuning In...

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How Free Legal Advice Helps Startups, State, Everyone

UW Madison Law School established the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic in 2009 with the idea of offering free legal advice to entrepreneurs throughout Wisconsin. A recent peek into their results has revealed that many of the clients that were advised by the clinic have moved on to big things. One of the beautiful things about this clinic is that it is run by college students, which provides law students an opportunity to gain experience and flex their legal muscles in the real world while still honing their craft in university. The clinic therefore allows both students and local startups to benefit—everyone wins! The clinic has three goals, says Anne Smith, the clinic’s director and an assistant clinical professor of law. “We provide a challenging academic experience for students, a quality work product for the client, and an economic benefit for the state.” This is just one more example of the many benefits of providing free legal advice for those who need it. Not only can it be beneficial for startups, but also the poor and underrepresented, and even states and local governments! According to a recent article in the New York Times, funding for legal aid in civil cases does indeed save funds in the long run. In fact, they found that not only does it just pay for itself, but also it often produces genuine cost savings, plus savings in the human costs associated with evictions and foreclosures. This mirrors a Massachusetts bar study showing that for every dollar spent representing families and individuals in housing court, the state would save $2.69 in costs associated with providing other services. Are you curious about where you can find free legal aid and legal help online? Click on the following link from lawhelp.org to learn more! Related posts: Misleading Small Business Legal Advice to Avoid How Marketers Can Avoid Legal Trouble 5 Legal Podcasts Worth Tuning In...

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Misleading Small Business Legal Advice to Avoid

Small business owners receive a lot of advice—solicited and otherwise—on many aspects of their business. However, not all of that advice is good advice. It is important to take the good advice and leave the bad, especially when it comes to legal issues. The following pieces of “advice” sound good in theory, but in practice they will almost certainly cause disaster. Tread carefully and consider legal advice before you go about following it. When starting your business: “Just do it and worry about the technicalities later” This advice is hard to believe. The thought process follows that it is prudent to delay filing paperwork and incorporation filings that have fees associated with them until you have sufficient income, softening the blow of these fees. While it might sound appealing to avoid these fees, the problem is that failing to incorporate will leave you personally liable for injuries and damages. Any type of lawsuit that may come from an accident related to your business could seriously cripple your personal finances and even force you into bankruptcy. Forget attorneys: get your legal advice online We understand the irony here, but the Internet isn’t the most reliable place to get your legal information. While there are certainly reliable sources online where you can find legal advice, reaching out to a trained legal professional is still the best option. The advantage of hiring a lawyer is the opportunity to work with a real person with legal experience. While some Internet sites can act as a proxy for this type of advice, a real lawyer looking over your paperwork and understanding the context of your business’s situation will let your attorney alert you to issues you weren’t even aware of. You can create a proxy for experience. Mark your employees as independent contractors to save money This is another situation where saving money can easily cloud one’s judgment. Classifying your employees as independent contractors when they are in fact employees of your business is a form of misclassification that can lead to several legal headaches—taxes, workers’ comp, and unemployment insurance are a few of the many situations in which this “advice” could come back and bite you in the butt. Click here for further reading on from the NFIB! Related posts: How Free Legal Advice Helps Startups, State, Everyone How Marketers Can Avoid Legal Trouble How Business Credit Actually Works Red Flags When Purchasing a...

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How Marketers Can Avoid Legal Trouble

When Internet marketers begin working on an ad campaign, there are a lot of things that they must consider: what will sell their product, how will they attract customers, and how will they actually pull an entire campaign together. In this maelstrom of planning, the thought of intellectual property laws can easily slip through the cracks. Marketers can run into legal trouble in a number of different ways, most of which are in the realm of intellectual property violations. First of all, they can get into trouble by using a piece of media (video, music, image, etc.) in an advertisement without express permissions from the creator of the work. This can lead to lawsuits and huge money lost—plus you’ll probably lose your job! The surefire way to make sure this doesn’t happen to you is to ensure that you use public domain or Creative Commons content. Content in the public domain is generally content that is old enough that it has no copyright license on it, and is therefore usable by anyone. There are also some creators that declare that their work will be in the public domain immediately after release. Creative Commons content works largely the same way. You can visit the following sources to see a lot of places to find images, sounds, video, etc. that are completely free to use. Pixabay for high-quality creative commons images—but we sure to check the license just to be sure! Freesound is a good resource for soundbites and other audio clips. You can visit the Creative Commons website for access to free video content. You can also join stock photo sites to have a reliable source of images that you can use, according to their rules. Shutterstock is the most popular option for these images. Another legal issue that content marketers should be aware of is the requirement of getting release forms signed when shooting video content for a marketing campaign. There are privacy laws that you must notify people of in advance if you want to use their personal information for marketing purposes, as well as using their likeness in video content. If you are sweating, don’t worry! As long as you are smart and careful about your marketing campaigns, you won’t have anything to worry about. Click here to learn more about how intellectual property laws can impact Internet marketers and how you can avoid breaking any laws. Related posts: Misleading Small Business Legal Advice to Avoid How Free Legal Advice Helps Startups, State, Everyone How Cyber Civil Rights Complicate the Legal...

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Expert Career Advice for New Lawyers

It’s a tough world out there for recent law school graduates, many of whom are struggling to find jobs and make ends meet. Here’s some tried and true career advice from experts in the field that will hopefully make the transition a bit easier.   Cultivate a network.   Law school is a great place to begin building a network. “Be really nice to all your fellow law students,” says Miami lawyer Kendall Coffey. “Referrals, even employment may come from former classmates. Someday some will be judges, others will be elected officials, and most will be successful at something that really matters….So share your notes and other help if asked—you are already sharing an unforgettable present and a fascinating future.”   A recent study found that 64% of people find their jobs through networking, so it’s definitely important to build up your contact list. Start simple with people you know, asking for advice, information, or referrals. In time this could lead you to new professional opportunities. “No one is going to hand you a job,” says Kathleen Brady, who runs a career planning firm in New York City and Philadelphia. “But if they can offer you ideas and introduce you to people in their network, you can take it from there.”   Always be adding to your knowledge base.   Even if you’re not currently employed, there are a variety of ways you can bulk up your resume and offerings for potential employers. Internships and volunteer work might not pay, but they can put you in the way of professional contacts and experiences that will help you get the next job. Try volunteering with a judge or court, a legal clinic, or a local or federal government office.   “To land a job, you have to convince the other lawyers that you will do a better job of making their lives easier than anyone else they are interviewing,” says Grover Cleveland, a Seattle attorney and author of Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks. “Your words and actions have to demonstrate extreme attention to detail and unfailing dependability.” One way to do that is to find ways to learn new things and keep up with the latest in your profession as you continue to apply for positions.   Broaden the net.   If the job search isn’t going well, it may be time to consider broadening your approach. Are there nontraditional positions in the legal profession that appeal to you? A part time job you could take while searching for something more permanent? Something that will help you develop research, writing, or analytical skills? Many different organizations and business areas need legal advice—contract administration, policy work, nonprofits. If that perfect position in that perfect law firm isn’t available now, there may be a way to get something going in the interim that can help you continue to develop your skills and move toward your dream job.   Alternatively, there may be other skills you can focus on developing that will make the job search that much easier: developing your LinkedIn profile, networking at events, and getting in touch with your university’s alumni association, for example. Related posts: FAWL Launches ‘Board Certification Boot Camp’ for Women...

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Top Law Schools 2015

The decision to apply to law school is not an easy one. The application process is rigorous, the cost of attending law school is exorbitant, and in today’s economic climate, many law school graduates are faced with the additional challenge of finding work to help repay their academic debts. As Miami-based attorney Kendall Coffey points out, “Ironically, while thousands of new law graduates fret about the chronic joblessness that awaits them, tens of millions of Americans need attorneys but cannot afford them,” of the complicated state of the legal field awaiting new law school grads today.   Despite these challenges, law school is a vital part of an aspiring lawyer’s journey, and there are many organizations, such as the American Bar Association, that are advocating for financial reform to make law school more accessible to students. If you’re thinking about applying to law school, there are an impressive list of schools to choose from. Here are some of the top law schools, according to ranking reports from top legal and educational organizations:   Yale University – Making the top spot on multiple lists for the best law schools of 2015/2016, Yale University’s Law School offers excellent financial aid advising for both current students and alumni, career counseling, and competitive clinical training. Yale Law School allows first-year students to represent clients in legal clinics, and is renowned for its academic staff. Yale ranked #1 in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Schools for 2016.   Stanford University – Stanford University’s Law School offers joint degree programs that provide an attractive alternative to more traditional law programs. Ranked #2 in both the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Schools for 2016 and in the 2015 Above the Law Top 50 Law School Rankings, it’s clear that Stanford stands out as one of the best law schools in the country. Another notable thing about Stanford is that it has the smallest student body of any of the T14.   University of Chicago – The Law School at the University of Chicago ranked incredibly well for 2015/2016, coming in at #3 in the Above the Law roundup, and ranked #4 by the U.S. News and World Report. According to Above the Law, the University of Chicago Law School remains at the forefront of applying social science to the law, as well as offers ongoing financial aid and career support to its alumni.   Additional resources: Best Law School Rankings – U.S. News and World Report Top 50 Law Schools of 2015 – Above the Law “ABA task force on law school financing calls for reforms” – Article by Mark Hansen Related posts: Georgetown Invites Law Students to Participate in Crisis Simulation Kendall Coffey: What to Expect From the New Bar...

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