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Legal Education and Diversity in Law Recruitment

December 10th, 2016 Comments off

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Legal education takes a special place in the education system of the world. This is due to the fact that legal profession is aimed at solving many issues connected with functioning of the state and provision of full protection of civil rights and freedoms. Lawyers make decisions that define the authority and respect of the state and decisions that are extremely important for the fate of every man. Poorly educated lawyers are a risk for both government and society.

Legal education needs further development and constant improvements to be implemented to provide the state with well qualified lawyers. It is needed to hold a series of practical steps towards the internationalization of legal education. The internationalization process is based on three main elements: presence of international component in the content of curricula and programs, international mobility of students and professors, existence of programs of cooperation and mutual assistance.

Prestige Is Not Enough

Institute of Higher Education of China, Jiao Tong University conducted a global ranking of universities and among the top ten universities providing legal education there are six US universities and four universities of the UK. Indicators that were taken  into consideration during the study are: opinion of students, research and scientific performance, admission to the university criteria, ratio of students and teachers, financial cost on providing library and computer equipment to students, costs spent on students, not related to educational process factors (sport, health facilities attendance), quality of graduates (percentage of graduates who received a diploma with honors), employment prospects of graduates, percentage of students who passed the full course. The components of education quality are different, but the most important ones were: students opinion, effectiveness of admission procedure to institutions, human and material resources in universities, overall reputation of institutions that provide legal education.

Good Job Position

Good legal job position can be received if you have good knowledge in legal sphere and know the how to implement your knowledge. There are also other factors that promote being selected for a good position in legal sphere. The employee must have all the necessary personal qualities and a set amount of professional knowledge and skills. These personal qualities are: intelligence, developed sense of duty and responsibility to perform their duties, integrity and independence of the decision, dedication, wish to counteract injustice, high morality, professional ethics, personal integrity, sociability. But apart from theoretical knowledge, the person must also have good practical skills. The person must be good at public speaking, know how to hold the meetings, conversations and other forms of communication with the public.

Law Recruitment Ways

There are many ways via which law recruitment is made. First, recruiting candidates for the vacant position on recommendations of friends and relatives who work or used to work in the searching company. Second, “independent” candidates who are looking for work independently without reference to the agency and employment service by straightly calling the organization. Third, the media, the most common recruitment technique is advertisements of the available vacancies.

There is a recruitment diversity in legal education, but the main aim is to hire a highly skilled person who will be a real asset in the company.

To Be Brief in Legal Writing The Final Warnings for Lawyers Who Can’t Get to the Point

October 10th, 2016 Comments off

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The ability to properly, accurately convey your thoughts by means of language is the highest culture of speech. But the ability to properly convey your thoughts and at the same time to be brief, to the point and clear in legal writing is a perfect mastery. Legal writing requires specific knowledge not just in linguistic sphere, but in judicial as well.

Only well-qualified lawyers who have sufficient knowledge not only in the field of law, but in other spheres of public life as well, can be real experts in legal writing. The primary reason of legal writing is to give information, persuade in the given and make the influence on the reader and the audience of their interests, mood, feelings and behavior. Legal writing must have scientific content and comply with the norms of legal writing.

There are different factors that can help lawyers to be brief, to the point and clear in this craft so here we present to you a few legal writing tips that will help.

Clarity of Thought

First, clarity of thought and accurately presented information. The main goal of each message, either written or an oral one, is to get the word out.  The most important quality of a successful legal writing is considered to be accuracy. It must be remembered that inaccurately selected word in an oral speech can be corrected, but in the written one it can’t be done.

Logic

Second, logic and semantic accuracy (uniqueness) of presented information. Legal writing requires the most exact, logical, unequivocal expression of thought and form of thinking. All the facts and the information must be placed in a strict logical order.  Clarity is achieved by a clear composition, logical exposition, persuasive arguments. Clarity involves the use of complex syntax and semantics to express the thoughts, especially in the reasoning and the operative part of the documents.

Brevity

Third, conciseness, lack of verbosity and avoidance of unnecessary, irrelevant thoughts. Laconism is a key to success in every legal writing. But being brief doesn’t mean forgetting about grammar rules.  The shorter the sentences the more chances are that the reader will catch the main idea and bullet points in the text. It’s important to get rid of legalese jargon, too ink-horn terms.

Vocabulary

Fourth, proper vocabulary and use of language. Legal writing requires the knowledge of technical terminology, specialized phrases and words used in legal sphere. Formality is another outstanding feature that has to be taken into consideration. It’s also very important to remember about the intended audience depending on the type of the document you are compiling.  Writing must be properly organized and guide the reader by means of introduction paragraphs, linking words, headings and subheadings that are a road map to the reader.

To sum up, the main tool of every top-tier lawyer is the language.  By means of the language we can compile legal writings, stand up for the rights of the clients, appear before a court and simply communicate with each other.  Whatever writings you made before, it has nothing to do with compiling the legal ones which are absolutely different and difficult to make.

Law School Applications of 2016 Drop The Current and Future State of Legal Education

October 10th, 2016 Comments off

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Selection of job and future profession in the law sphere is a challenging thing for graduates and their parents. But a more challenging task is to choose the law school to enter. There are a lot of law institutions these days where you can get a good education to become a top-tier lawyer. But more and more people stop applying for legal schools and those who applied may never even work in this sphere throughout their lives.

There is a huge decrease of attendees and applicants to law schools nowadays. As a result, a lot of institutions have to come up with a more flexible schedule, cut the classes, reduce tuition and what is more, some of them are obliged to shut their doors once and forever due to the shortage of applicants. If such tendency continues to exist, we may encounter law job stagnation.

In the year 2014 there was a drop of attendees and applicants by 30% from four previous years. In 2016, the number of law students applying for the schools had slightly dropped by 2,3% which is not much compared with the year 2014. It was in 1973 when the enrolments were this low. There are small sized classes as a result and in some schools there is also a lack of students. Even the best law schools are attracting less students. Now it’s getting more and more easy to get into law school due to the less competition. The major reason for this is Great Recession and market crash.

There are a lot of factors that led to this law school applications drop.

Lower Interest of Applicants in Legal Sphere and Education in Particular

Some attendees want to get a legal education just for the sake of appearance. Some applicants are not even sure whether they want to work in this sphere in future, they stick to the statement that lawyers are always in demand and it would be useful and prestigious to have such education.

Job Challenges That Lawyers Encounter Seem to Be Too Intimidating for the Applicants

Legal education is a hard nut to crack and you need to spend a lot of sleepless nights to gain decent knowledge in this sphere. Apart from theory, practice is needed and the more practice you have the better prospects of becoming a qualified lawyer are ahead of you.

Low Test Scores, Underperformance and Poor Level of Knowledge

Applicants get very bad and low scores and don’t meet the admission test requirements while applying for the school. Lots of people find Law School Admission test very difficult and fail at it.

High Price to Pay for Education

Price does matter in terms of paying for the education, especially for the legal one where the image and rating of the university you are applying for is of the utmost importance.

To sum up, drastic changes will happen to the legal education and law schools graduates due to this law school applications decrease. New educational approaches, new reforms, new types of schools, new types of students will be different from what they are today.

How to Write a Federal Court Complaint

August 18th, 2016 Comments off

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Every person had encountered a situation where he or she faced an issue by receiving poor service or bad treatment from other people. In order to prevent such cases in future people file letters of complaint to appropriate authorities that later deal with this issue. Some people find it difficult to compile such types of letters and may include a lot of negative emotions in it rather than facts. Below you can find the tips that may help you to make a federal court complaint.

Outline the Case Correctly

In a federal law complaint describe the situation clearly and in an understandable way, also make sure that the issue described in letter is a legitimate one. If you have any problems with compiling a letter, you can ask the help of professionals. Help of paper writing service is legal and may help you to provide concise, yet all the necessary information. It is important to include valid and profound evidence and a timeline of events.

Include Necessary Information

It’s important to indicate all the necessary information in the paper, such as: address, full name, discriminated party’s name, telephone numbers and the quickest way to reach both parties. Address and name of the organization, person or business that made the discrimination is to be included as well. Extra information that can support the complaint is to be indicated as well. It has to be signed to be presented for the hearing. Some federal district courts prefer the document to be filed via electronic way.

Mind Structural Elements

While compiling a federal court complaint it is recommended to structure it properly. Federal complaint consists of various structural elements. The first element is heading or caption, it has a brief description of the complaint, parties involved and a court where the case is to be originated. Filing attorney’s name, address and telephone number are indicated in this section as well.

The second element is venue or jurisdiction, where selected court for the case hearing is indicated along with the explanations as for why exactly this court was chosen.  The third element is parties involved, where defendants and plaintiffs are mentioned.  In the fourth section definitions, terms and notions used in the document are defined and explained.  Statement of facts is the fifth element where the evidence that brought the case to the court is described.

The sixth element “cause of action” or “counts” has a list with the legal allegations with detailed information about the application of the governing law to every court. Existing Law and previous decisions are indicated in this section as well. The seventh element “injury” provides the information on how seriously plaintiff’s rights were harmed by the defendant. Last element is called “demand for relief” which describes the plaintiff’s relief in seeking as a result of the lawsuit. Required compensation and damages are listed here as well.

To sum up, federal complaint is a hard nut to crack and needs studious preparation and knowledge to compile it in the right way. Due to the fact that it’s a legal document, it requires the help of an attorney or writing service, time and legal knowledge.

Business Education vs Law Education

August 18th, 2016 Comments off

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Famous proverb says: “Live and learn” and the more you learn, the better future you will have and the bigger career perspectives are ahead of you. Education plays an important role in everyone’s life and due to today’s sophisticated technologies and advancements in educational sphere there are a lot of interesting courses to take and various careers to choose from. Every person has the possibility to get an education even without leaving the house, the only thing needed is a wish and the Internet connection. You can become a successful lawyer or get an MBA, it’s only the matter of time and money.

There is a constant dilemma: what sphere to choose and what courses to take. To do business, or to do law – that is the question and the question is a challenging one. Person’s skills, desired income and goals in life can help to define whether law or business education is more suitable for this person. For many people it’s not an easy choice to make.

When comparing business education vs law, there are many people who consider business education to be more interesting and useful one rather than the law education.

High Career Prospects

First, business education gives higher career prospects for businessmen and businesswomen and for some of them it can happen very quickly. In the law sphere it’s not that easy to get high career prospects at once and it takes much time to become a well know lawyer and get a top position in this sphere.

Good Income

Second, business education has a stable, fixed income with the ability to earn extra money at the same time. Being a businessman gives a possibility to one day get rich due to a lucrative project, good value or simply luck. Being a lawyer, even a top one, means having your income determined by hours billed and hours spent working. As a result, the more hours you work, the more money you make.

No Further Exams to Take

Third, business education needs no further exams and knowledge tests to pass. Getting an MBA doesn’t require repeat tests or exams unlike for lawyers. Lawyers need to pass Bar Exam or Continuing Legal Education exam that need studious preparation, profound knowledge and a lot of practice. There is a constant need for qualifications if you have a wish to be a lawyer or a barrister and you need to pay for such education every time.  Having got an MBA gives you a green light to practice business and continue your education even in a different sphere.

Unlimited Possibilities

Fourth, business education implies unlimited possibilities and diversity. Business sphere is very wide in terms of careers to choose and spheres to work at. You may have a couple of different business enterprises that are in different countries and it gives you an ability to develop in different ways. Of course, the law is also constantly changing and you need to keep up to date, but as a rule, the work lawyers do is almost repetitive, such as paperwork filling, dealing with the same or similar cases.

There are people who think that you need to be born a businessman and have an inborn talent and liking for this. And whatever business courses you take or whatever business schools and universities you attend, it has to be bred in your bone. Business is not learnt, it has to be in your blood.

To sum up, it’s never too late to study and learn something new and interesting, whatever you find more gainful in battle of business education vs law. The only important thing is to clearly understand what sphere is not only to your liking, but what sphere you are more skilled at.

Legal Contract Writing Guide

June 29th, 2016 Comments off

Writing Guide

Entering business sphere requires constant negotiations and contract writing knowledge. It is the best and safest way to protect your personal interests that ensures safety. Legal contract writing helps legal entities, institutions and business people to avoid disagreements and disputes of different types as well. It is advised to provide the written summary after each session of negotiations to close a deal by the means of a signed legal document which we are going to discuss in our guide on how to write a contract.

Legal contract is a binding agreement between two or more entities with specific terms, responsible parties, conditions and requirements indicated in it. Grammatically correct contract with clearly clarified obligations and conditions of each party guarantees transparency and total comprehension for future cooperation. Apart from knowing the terms and conditions of a legal contract it’s very important to be able to compile the contract in a right way using appropriate language, notions and keeping up to the corresponding norms. Taking into account the tips mentioned below will help you to more clearly understand this process and compose decent legal writing.

Use Appropriate Language

Good legal writing consists of the formal language use, specific terminology, grammatically correct phrases and no contractions. Using plain and legalese language at the same time is far from possible, but at least is worth trying.

Make a Draft

Making a draft is not a sign of inability or disconfidence, it’s a sign of good preparation and studious work. The more drafts were made and modified the better chances of excellent final version writing you may have.

Organize the Text

Logical organization of information and good writing structure are very important. Introduction, main body and termination will help to better navigate through the contract points. Number and label each paragraph to emphasize the topic of the paragraph and bullet points.

Provide All the Needed Details

Provide as much needed details as required. You need to arrange the information which is relevant and to be taken into account by signing parties. It is necessary to set requirements, rights and obligations. The key to success is presenting clarifying conditions, contract termination, payment terms and future provisions.

Outline the Boundaries

Breach terms are also very important in case of failure to comply with the agreement. If any party breaks the contract or refuses to perform the required points, further actions and what to do next must be indicated.

Signify the Responsibilities

Legal contract countersigning is the final stage and the proof that both sides clearly understand and accept all the requirements in the stated provisions. Well understood requirements can guarantee a successful mutual cooperation.

All in all, almost all commerce bargains, business transactions and relationships are coordinated by legal contracts, whether it’s buying a cell phone or a bag of beans. It doesn’t necessarily mean that all contracts go in a written form, some of them can be in a verbal form, but it’s always better to have everything that was agreed – written. To conclude with the most important advice on how to write a contract is that every legal document has to be clear, precise, concise and comply with the legal writing norms.

10 Criminology Topics for Your Essay on Law

April 19th, 2016 Comments off

10 criminology topics for your essay on lawCriminology handles nature, causes, control and consequences of criminal behavior. Today the necessity of this science is extremely important, while the level of crime is rising immensely all over the world. For many scientists the explanation of human behavior has become a top priority.

A wealthy socio-historical experience of the mankind in the past affords a good opportunity for appropriate comprehension of modern criminology and the issues solved by this branch of knowledge. This science had different factors that made an impact on its development providing enough information for a better comprehension of criminology and its opportunities.

Before starting to write a criminology essay, a writer should ensure first that he or she understands the question of the assignment. A good criminology essay addresses its question throughout. At the same time it demonstrates a structured answer. Key phrases enable a writer to understand how he or she should develop the answer’s construction. For example, if the concept of penal welfare should be described, an account of the concept should be provided. If the concept of penal welfare should be criticized, strengths and weaknesses of the concept should be assessed, and a value judgement should be performed.

When a student has to write a research paper on criminology, he or she needs to find a topic that is relevant. Here are ideas about appropriate criminology essay topics to discuss.

  1. Cyberterrorism in the US. Cyberterrorism includes a range of malevolent computer-based activity. Some experts claim, a set of standards for securing databases and networks must be set up. Such standards must be accepted by organizations, individuals and government.
  1. Female Domestic Violence Offenders. Female domestic violence offenders are usually disregarded in theory and research. In fact females fall victim to the high incidence of domestic violence crime.
  1. The Ponzi Scheme: New Successors. Charles Ponzi created his infamous scheme a hundred years ago. However, this method of using incoming investments to pay the old investors is still alive. Today money lost from Ponzi schemes in the US is as high as from shoplifting.
  1. Human Trafficking in the USA. Human trafficking may seem like a distant problem to US citizens, while few can hear about it on TV. But recent cases of human trafficking in Maryland and northern Virginia provide an alarm signal.
  1. The Global Weapons Epidemic. The number of skirmishes in the United States is increasing every year. Should the government put more restrictions on gun use and ownership?
  1. The Issue of Underground Child Labor in Cuba. In spite of the fact that child labor is prohibited in most countries, lots of kids work hard in difficult conditions.
  1. The Phenomenon of Torture. In the modern world torture is a prevailing human rights crime. It is practiced in one hundred countries, including the US.
  1. Abuse and Fraud in Nonprofit Organizations. The most famous fraud schemes performed against nonprofit organizations and how such schemes could be detected and prevented.
  1. The Music Industry’s War on Piracy. Is music property? Is downloading music a crime? What penalties for unauthorized borrowing are used by the musicians?
  1. Benefits and Costs of Preventing Crime. What are the cost savings from preventing a robbery, burglary, or assault? Who benefits from such savings?

Above are just a few of many criminology essay topics. Remember that it’s better to choose a topic that is relevant and interesting. Make sure you can collect enough information on the topic to do a solid research. You are going to show a thesis statement to the reader and prove why you believe your statement.

How to Write an Opening Statement for a Court

January 22nd, 2016 Comments off

opening statement and present a caseWriting an opening statement is an integral part of trial since it provides an attorney with a chance to interact with the jury regarding the client’s case. Make sure that you know how to write an opening statement for a court before you actually do. Typically it comprises an introductive part, a body that tells about the weaknesses and disputes of the case, as well as a conclusive part.

Make sure to plan and understand the basic purposes of your statement. This is your chance to help jurors comprehend your particular case, concentrate on the most important evidence, as well as understand the context. Before you start writing, you have to know what your opening statement should include. First of all, it should provide the jury with a clear picture of the case. Besides, it helps you to get the jury inspecting your story. The point is that in case the jury is getting bored with your case, they will most likely become inattentive during your presentation of evidence.

Know your audience and choose the right tone for them. When the question is about delivering your opening statement on trial, you will be faced with the jury. In order to generate the best quality opening statement, make sure to have enough information about your jurors. Understand the cultural and educational background of your jurors in order to decide what tone will match the audience and make your message easily accessible to each of them.

Work on the introductory remarks. This is the part, where you can get a little aggressive. This will help you to give the jurors a positive impression of your particular case. Start with minor remarks that sum up the case, shed some light on your topic and make sure to get the jurors interested in your message.

Introduce your locations, actors and other important witnesses. When doing so, you will have to make your client seem likeable and real. You must also tell your jury about the most important locations and time frames that are crucial in the trial. Make sure to present all those things as tangible and real as you can since what you need is the jury to believe in your story.

When you’re done with the pivotal points of the case, ensure to tell the jury what is claimed in the complaints. The body of the opening statement reveals what happened from the client’s viewpoint. Make the segment as simple as possible, informing the jury on who did what to whom, why and what are the consequences.

Ensure to draw solid conclusions for the opening statement. Sum up the topic of the case and make sure to correctly approach the jurors for a particular verdict. Feel free to suggest that the evidence adds up to the most desirable outcome. Now that you know how to write an opening statement for court, go ahead and win that case!

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Harm of Clichés in Legal Writing

January 22nd, 2016 Comments off

computer desk photography“It was a dark and rainy evening…” Clichés like this one can be seen everywhere, when it comes to writing a story. Harm of clichés is evident in legal writing too. It happens to be overloaded with the lifeless phrases that have completely lost their oomph. While in some cases clichés may look tidy, mostly they show your readers how lazy you are.

When dealing with legal writing, rather than counting on stock phrases, ponder over what you’d like to say and then say it in a fresh way. Read and re-read your draft. You will most likely be faced with legal clichés. But when it’s time for editing, make sure to get rid of the following worn-out phrases. Instead, replace them with your own unique expression.

An Apple a Day

Take a look at the following example: “The court prosecuted the manager on one more charge since it required the other bite at the apple.” Stop confusing your readers with imaginary apples. As an alternative, consider explaining the reason why you think the opponent shouldn’t be provided with what he or she requires: “The court announced the new charge only for the reason the first bail request was rejected before.”

Your Eminence

Typical example will sound as: “Mr. Jacob’s resume proves that he’s eminently efficient in dealing with the damages of this kind.” Well, then comes a pretty logical question – have you ever heard about a qualified individual, who is educated and skilled but not eminently? Probably not. The same rule works when the matter concerns the expressions like eminently clear or eminently reasonable. Make sure to focus on the facts only: “John Kidman is qualified to testify since he is a PhD in economics and has already testified in more than 30 other cases.”

Bald Faith

Typical example that can be seen here and there: “Bald assertions of the Plaintiff won’t withstand scrutiny.” Probably that’s the phrase that causes strokes among the lawyers. Are there NOT bald assertion? Definitely not. Make sure to better concentrate on what exactly makes any sort of assertions that bald: “Even though Smith is claiming promissory estoppel, she actually cites no solid evidence to suggest that she counted upon the alleged promise of Smith.”

Why is harm of clichés in legal writing so important? A good old Latin maxim comes up immediately – “Ignorantia juris non excusat”. When it comes to its meaning, it sounds as “ignorance of law is not an excuse to a criminal charge”. In other words, if you are not aware of the legal writing clichés and use them chaotically in your own projects, it won’t keep you away from trouble and your writing will most likely be rejected or poorly graded. In order not to open the Pandora’s box with legal writing clichés, make sure to regularly check what word combinations are out of date or undesired when it comes to the writing tasks on legal topics.

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OSCOLA: the Citation Formatting of Law Papers

November 4th, 2015 Comments off

letter writingIf the word OSCOLA frightens you, you’re not alone. But it’s not as black as it’s painted in reality. Make sure to get aware of the short introduction to the OSCOLA referencing method provided below, as well as some useful help that will enable you to get started with the project.

Let’s start with a clear statement of what the OSCOLA referencing is. OSCOLA or the Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities is one of the most preferred and popular referencing methods that are used by the representatives of the Bristol Institute of Legal Practice and Bristol Law School.

If you are not law school students and you are in need of using the legal materials, you may have to make use of the UWE Harvard referencing standard. However, before you do so, approach your tutor to get the related recommendations.

Now let us take a quick look at how OSCOLA works. According to the method, you as the author must reference all your sources of information used within the project in bibliography section and footnotes. Now, one step at a time. The footnotes. First of all, when citing the other work on the pages of your project, make certain to insert a little superscript number in order to denote the footnote.  At the same page bottom, directly in the footnote, do not forget to insert the reference. When dealing with the footnote reference, it is required to refer to the specific page this is what they call ‘pinpointing’). It’s good to know that MS Word provides the users with an opportunity to automatically insert those footnotes. Now, proceeding to the bibliography section, include all the references at the end of the project in a full bibliography. But make sure to do that right before the appendices. When working on the bibliography section, remember that it is a list that includes all information sources that you have used in the paper. Exactly in this part of the paper you have to reference the information source not as a specific page, but as a whole.  In general, there should be three parts included into the bibliography section: tables of cases, table of legislation and bibliography (meaning, the bunch of all the other secondary sources, journals, books and newspaper articles and so on). Mind that your instructor may require you to provide the tables of cases and legislation right at the paper beginning and separately.

As for the references, in case with the OSCOLA style references in the bibliography and footnotes should be properly formatted in the OSCOLA style. In other words, the punctuation, italics and brackets must be used correctly, while the required bibliographic material should be correctly presented and ordered. If you’ve got some questions related to the OSCOLA style refer to the free guidelines on how to format your project in this style.

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