Lawyers - Presentation

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There are more than 1 million lawyers (attorneys) in the U.S.. 65% are in private practice. 15% are government lawyers. Federal, State, or local agencies. 15% work for corporations, unions, or trade associations.

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There are more than 1 million lawyers (attorneys) in the U.S.

65% are in private practice

15% are government lawyers

Federal, State, or local agencies

15% work for corporations, unions, or trade associations

4% work for public interest or legal aid organizations

1% are law professors, judges, or elected officialsSlide3

Do all lawyers go to court?

Not all lawyers go to court

Litigators – trial attorneys

Most lawyers give advice, draft legal opinions, negotiate settlements, and provide other out-of-court legal adviceSlide4

When do I need a lawyer?

Buying or selling a home/real estate

Organizing a business (Legal Zoom)

Changing your family status (divorce/adoption)

Making a will or planning an estate

Signing a large, important contract

Handling accidents involving personal injury or property damage

Defending a criminal charge or bringing a civil suitSlide5

In your notes, briefly describe why you may or may not need a lawyer in the following situations:

You hit another car in the parking lot. Your insurance company indicates that the company will pay for bodily injury & property damage

You borrow a friend’s car without his knowledge. He reports the car as stolen.

You buy a new phone for $400. One month later the speaker stops working. You return to the store, and the sales person tells you that the phone only has a 2-week guarantee.

You do not want your family to inherit the $10,000 you have saved. Told you will die within a year, you want the money donated to cancer research.

You and your spouse find you can no longer get along. You want to divorce.

You decide to trade your old car and buy a new one

Two friends are caught robbing the cashier at a local store, and they name you as someone who helped them plan the robbery.

The principal suspends you from school for two days because of an article you wrote for the student paper criticizing the school’s dress code

You are turned down when you apply for a job. You think you were rejected because you are female.

You earn $5,000 working in a restaurant during the year. You want to file your federal income tax return.Slide6

How do I find a lawyer?

Word of mouth

Generally, the best way to find the right lawyer for you and your situation is to have one recommended by someone who has been in a similar situation and had their problem solved to their satisfaction

Phone book







association Slide7

Lawyers have not always been able to advertise.

In 1977, the U.S. Supreme court ruled that advertising by lawyers was protected by the First Amendment

A TV advertisement shows a lawyer in a bathing suit coming out of a lake. He says “If your in over your head because of bad debts, let us bail you out. We’re the best firm in the state.” Should there be any restriction on an ad like this? Should there be other restrictions on ads? If so, what should they be?Slide8

A lawyer hears that many people have been injured as a result of accidents in a particular car. He runs a newspaper ad showing a car crash. The ad reads “If this happens to you, I may be able to help you recover your losses


Should the lawyer be able to do this?

Many people in the area have lost their jobs and are about to lose their homes because they cannot make their monthly mortgage payments. Jane, a lawyer, writes to all of these people saying she is willing to represent them to prevent the loss of their homes. Should she be allowed to do this?Slide9

What to ask your lawyer

What is the lawyer’s fee?

Will there be a written fee agreement?

Has the lawyer ever handled cases like this?

Will the lawyer provide you with copies of all correspondence and documents prepared on your behalf?

Will the lawyer keep you informed of any new developments in your case and talk to you in “plain English”?Slide10

What questions should Marie ask her attorney?

What questions should the attorney ask Marie?

Should Marie retain an attorney?



why not?Slide11

Legal Jargon

Retainer – a down payment on the total fee your attorney will charge for their services

Contingency Fee – a percentage of whatever amount the client wins or settles for.

Sometimes used instead of an hourly fee or a lump sum.

Attorney-Client Privilege- whatever you tell your attorney about the case is private and confidential

Why is attorney – client privilege important?Slide12