3 Tips for Using Your Legal Background to Pursue Your Passion

Whether you’re a law student or seasoned lawyer, there may come a time in your legal career when pursuing your passion feels better than following the money. And fortunately, there are so many different ways to use your legal background for good — and it all starts with discovering your passion and using your law school experience to lead a more fulfilling life. These three tips from Wise Laws Trademark Lawyers will help you to get started!

1. Discover Your Passion

After you’ve put so much time, money, and energy into working toward your law degree, the mere thought of pursuing your passion may seem absurd. However, pursuing your passion doesn’t necessarily mean leaving the law to pursue a completely different career path. This is where an online degree may come in; pursuing a different field allows you to pick up new knowledge and beef up your skill set. Taking courses online provides additional benefits, providing convenience (you can study wherever and whenever you choose) and cost savings.

Sometimes it’s as simple as choosing the right type of work within the legal field. This is a great starting point for law students, prospective students, and attorneys who are ready and eager to pursue their passions, as the assessment can be used to discover the following:

  • Personal values and motivators
  • Preferred work environments
  • Legal practice areas and career matches
  • Alternative career paths for non-practicing lawyers

In addition to completing this assessment, the American Bar Association (ABA) shares a few tips for following your heart when choosing a litigation practice area. And depending on your skills, experiences, and abilities, the right practice area for you may include family law, patent law, or immigration law. Alternative professions are also worth exploring if you’re ready to make a complete career change

2. Start a Nonprofit Organization

If pursuing your passion means using your legal background for good, starting a nonprofit organization may be the right option for you. You could launch a nonprofit that helps families and their children, current and former military members, individuals with disabilities, victims of domestic abuse, and households facing foreclosures, natural disasters, and other housing crises. Plus, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) offers grants to legal professionals serving underserved groups such as these. 

3. Launch Your Own Law Practice

For law students and legal professionals who are passionate about entrepreneurship, launching a law practice could allow them to turn their legal background into a rewarding career as a small business owner. And while launching a law firm takes a lot of hard work and determination, Kiplinger discusses some of the things lawyers shouldn’t do when starting out, like failing to choose a mentor, select a specialty area, and build an online presence. 

When starting any type of company, you’ll also need to consider a business structure. You may have studied business law and know best as to next steps, but if you’re unsure, consider forming a limited liability company. You’ll have less risk, a chance at more financial support and lower taxation. 

It’s also important to think about how you’ll manage your future employees, especially if you’re new to business ownership. You can use either automated systems or easy timesheet tracking in Excel to track employee hours. A well-made spreadsheet timesheet with functional formulas can also be easily integrated into a more robust payroll platform down the line. Other helpful tools for new business owners include project management, video conferencing, and marketing software tools. 

Now that you’ve decided to use your legal background to pursue your passion, it’s time to start thinking about where you’ll go from here. Will you use your legal skills and expertise to launch your own law practice or nonprofit organization, or will you explore alternative careers in finance, government relations, academia, management consulting, or another chosen field? Whatever you decide, it’s important to not only follow your heart but also your mind. Focus on your skills, strengths, and personal and professional goals, and have a backup plan in mind in case all else fails. 

You can count on Wise Laws Trademark Lawyers to provide great quality legal service, you would imagine only from a large law firm company, but we provide that same type of lawyer service but our local and family like run lawyers and attorneys, all while enjoying the security of doing business with a well respected law firm. Our philosophy is to provide you with excellent legal service that will exceed your expectations for our affordable prices. Call 800-270-8184.

Unleashing the Power of Sustainability to Grow Your Business

Climate change negatively affects our health and environment, and more and more people are seeking sustainable, green alternatives to their everyday activities and purchases. As a small business owner, what can you do to help your customers in their quest for eco-friendly products while having a positive impact on your bottom line? Trademark Lawyers presents the following article that can help you find some answers.

What Is Sustainability?

You’ll find a slew of definitions online, but National Geographic may have put it the most succinctly of all: Sustainability is the practice of using natural resources responsibly, so they can support both present and future generations. An eco-friendly business will use sustainable materials to manufacture its products, looking for ways to reduce waste when it comes to packaging, finding reusable or recyclable alternatives, and offering goods that have a minimal impact on the environment and on the planet. 

Why Should I Incorporate My Green Business?

If you have an idea for a great product that fills an existing need and doesn’t harm the environment, think about starting your own green business. And if you plan on eventually scaling your business by hiring employees and looking for outside investors as you expand, consider incorporating your company instead of forming an LLC: forming a corporation will allow you to keep your personal and company finances separate, you’ll be protected from liability, and you’ll also be able to issue shares to your investors. An online formation service will help you set up your corporation without having to spend a fortune on lawyer fees. 

Where Do I Look for Sustainability Opportunities?

Start by looking around your office and see if there are ways you can make it more eco-friendly. Replace your old light bulbs with energy-saving CFL or LED light bulbs, and make sure the space is well insulated to cut down on heating and cooling costs. You can even invest in smart thermostats that detect the presence or absence of people in a room and adjust the temperature accordingly. Try cutting down on your paper consumption by going paperless wherever you can, and dispose of used paper goods and products in a separate recycling bin. Also, turn off any equipment that isn’t in use, and power off your computer at the end of each day.

What Is the Cost of Going Green?

Coming up with sustainable alternatives for the products you offer your customers may be costly at first. You may have to change suppliers as you switch to green materials and invest in new equipment to accommodate the change. But you may end up saving money in the long run (by purchasing energy-saving office equipment, for example, or forming new connections with like-minded, eco-friendly suppliers) and even increase your earnings as you gain environmentally-conscious customers looking for green products to purchase.

How Do I Market My Eco-Friendly Business?

Promote an eco-friendly culture within your company and be transparent about what you do for sustainability: list all the ingredients on your products’ labels, use recyclable packaging, and donate a portion of your profits to an environmental cause you’re passionate about. Get involved in your community by sponsoring and participating in events promoting green living.

Whenever you can, use the power of social media to share your efforts online. This is a fantastic way to digitally promote your products or services without using any paper products. For example, you could design a Facebook ad that you can easily share with your customers or promote using the platform’s advertising system. Many online tools allow you to create ads using pre-made, customizable templates designed to catch people’s attention.

However, it’s very important to avoid greenwashing, or spending more time and money advertising your eco-friendliness than actually implementing strategies to become a more carbon-neutral, climate-positive business.

If you want to help in the fight against climate change, take the plunge and start your own eco-friendly business. Help your customers become more environmentally aware by offering them sustainable products, and reach a larger audience by participating in worthy efforts designed to save our planet.

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6 Steps to Starting an Environmental Consulting Firm

Today, many people recognize the importance of ensuring that businesses comply with environmental law. Regulation is crucial for protecting our planet. If you’re entering the legal field, or you’re simply curious about career opportunities in the “ECOpreneurship” niche, you might be wondering how you could run your own environmental consulting firm one day. 

With a legal background, you can be an asset to businesses as an environmental consultant. Courtesy of Steroid Lawyers, here’s how to decide on your area of specialization, hire the right employees, and connect with clients who want to run eco-friendly operations. 

Determine Your Specialization

Many environmental consultants specialize in one particular niche within their field. My Law Questions states that most environmental legislation falls into two categories: laws are either specifically aimed at preventing or decreasing pollution, or determining the use of land and crucial natural resources. You could specialize in an area like wastewater treatment, stormwater management, carbon emissions, or land preservation. Consider your passions as you decide! You should also think about the potential revenue stream and demand across different specialties – after all, you do need to make sure that your business is profitable

Potential Business Model

The term “consulting” can refer to a wide range of services. Before you start creating a business plan, it’s important to consider which specific services you plan to offer. For instance, you might assist companies in developing waste management policies, identifying contaminant sources, conducting environmental impact assessments, and more. If you’re approaching this career path with a legal background, you will likely be helping businesses ensure that they are complying with local regulations and environmental legislation.

Necessary Qualifications

You don’t necessarily need to graduate from law school in order to run an environmental consulting firm, but if you’ve earned your Juris Doctor degree and passed the bar in your state, your legal qualifications will allow you to offer a greater variety of services than other consultants. With your rigorous academic and professional background, businesses can trust that you have a thorough understanding of environmental law. 

Business Formation

You’re almost ready to start hiring for your business, but first, you need to complete a few important legal obligations. For example, you can file the paperwork to establish your company with the appropriate business structure. In addition, you may need to choose a “doing business as” name, also known as a DBA name. If you already provide other business services under your own legal name, you’re a good candidate for selecting a DBA name for your environmental consulting firm. This will allow you to sell different services as a separate entity under the appropriate business name. More on this here.

Hiring Staff

When you’re hiring employees for an environmental consulting firm, you want to make sure that they bring relevant experience and a passion for this cause to the table. Constellation recommends using recruiting software and applicant tracking systems to streamline the hiring and onboarding processes. When it comes to writing job descriptions, make sure to clarify the primary responsibilities for this role and include the key skills that applicants should possess. You’ll also want to highlight your salary and benefits package – this is essential if you want to attract top talent!

Marketing Your Consultancy

Your clients can include private companies or public organizations that need to operate within the boundaries of important environmental legislation. Therefore, you’ll want to emphasize your core mission in your marketing materials and branding. You could share educational blog posts about environmental law on your company blog, share news articles about important new environmental legislation, and even post about business initiatives on social media. Localizing your content can help you demonstrate your impact on your own community. And as you develop your branding scheme, it never hurts to incorporate colors like green into your digital and print marketing materials! 

If you plan to go into environmental law, running your own business is definitely a viable career option. You can be of service to the planet as a consultant! With these tips, you’ll be eager to take the next steps towards opening your consulting firm. 

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How to acquire and establish a rental property

Purchasing a second home to rent out can be a great passive investment idea: You buy a house, your renters pay off your second mortgage and you’ll have supplemental income from your tenants’ rent payments. An investment property is real estate that you buy with the intention of earning investment returns through rental income, flipping the home and/or through resale in the future.

Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2017 shows that 47 percent of rentals were owned by individual investors, and rental properties can generate 31 percent of the average landlord’s annual income.

Purchasing a second house deserves some serious thought. After all, owning a rental property is more complex than plumbing in the occasional sink faucet or fixing the air conditioning when it collapses on the hottest day of the year. Here are a few considerations you might want to weigh before you take the plunge.

Initial considerations when purchasing a second property

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you get serious about buying a second property.

Location matters

Remember, it’s easier to look in on a property across town rather than one that’s two or more hours away. True, you can always use a local manager to keep the home in tip-top shape but that’ll eat away at your monthly rental income.

Consider the full financial impact

How much money do you have on hand to make a down payment or even pay for the home in full? Don’t forget to calculate your approximate return on investment (ROI) before you purchase a property. Estimate how much income you’ll get from the property and what your expenses will be. Subtract your expenses from your income to find your net operating income.

There are also other fees to consider, including:

  • Insurance
  • Homeowners association fees
  • Utilities
  • Advertising
  • Travel expenses to and from the property
  • Cleaning, maintenance and repairs
  • Depreciation
  • Professional fees (legal and management fees)
  • Mortgage interest
  • Taxes

Know the laws

Do you know the laws when your tenants won’t pay up? For example, certain states require a grace period when your tenant is behind on rent. In other words, you can’t evict a tenant until the grace period is over but you can still charge late fees.

Know the laws in your state before you rent out your space and check out a few other things before you decide to rent out your home, according to NOLO:

  • Don’t use outdated rental lease forms or lease forms that don’t comply with the laws in your state.
  • Know about discrimination laws so you don’t inadvertently deny a family the rental home and possibly get slapped with a discrimination suit.
  • Act on what you promise your tenants, otherwise, they could sue you or withhold rent for not delivering on what you said you’d do.
  • Don’t violate tenants’ right to privacy.
  • Know the security deposit laws, particularly when you are allowed to keep the security deposit.
  • Resolve any dangerous situations in and around your rental property, such as a crumbling foundation or faulty steps.

Determine what you’ll do if you can’t rent it out

You’re not always going to be able to rent out your home. You might have trouble finding renters, you might have to rip up carpet and patch drywall. A family member might need a rent-free place to stay for three months, etc. In other words, there could be any number of reasons why income from your home may dry up. How will that impact your financial situation? Carefully consider what the implications will be if you really rely on that constant money flow.



Debt Management: How to Do It to Buy a House in Less Than a Year?

Buying a home can feel rather complicated, especially when you have to manage your debt. As you start thinking about a home loan and the fact that you want to find a property in the next six to 12 months, you’ll probably have a few questions about your financial situation, including “How can I manage my debts to be able to get the house?” Below, Trademark Lawyers shares the details of debt management and discusses the steps you need to take to be able to purchase a house in less than a year.

Pay Off Debt First

Getting rid of as much debt as possible before applying for a home loan is ideal because it helps you improve your credit score, which mortgage lenders use to determine the interest rate you will receive. Becoming completely debt-free from credit cards might be unrealistic, but still, you should aim to pay off as much debt as you possibly can.

Consolidate Debt to Reduce Monthly Payments 

​Debt consolidation usually means using a single loan, service, or credit card to reduce multiple loans, including revolving debt like installment debt (personal loans) or credit cards. Rather than making several payments to different creditors every month, you’ll make one payment to a certain entity. Debt consolidation can also lower your interest rate and decrease your monthly payment, which, in turn, would lower your DTI ratio.

​One of the most common methods of debt consolidation involves taking out a loan. This kind of installment loan enables you to consolidate several debts, such as medical bills, credit cards, and other types of loans. Once you’re approved for the loan, the lender will either pay off your existing debts or disburse money to you to pay off creditors yourself. After accomplishing this, you’ll make one loan payment at a new rate to a single entity.

Pay Your Bills on Time

Late payments make it more difficult to get rid of your debt because you’ll have to pay a late fee for each missed payment. In case you miss two payments in a row, your finance charges and interest rate will grow. It’s a good idea to enter your payments on a calendaring system on your phone or computer and set a reminder a few days before your payment is due. If it happens to miss a payment, do not wait until the next due date to send it; by then, it would be reported to the credit institution. Pay as soon as you remember that you missed it.

Make the Minimum Payment Toward the House

If you cannot afford to pay anything more toward what you owe, try to make the minimum payment, at least. The sum won’t help you make any real progress in paying off your debt, but it keeps your account in good shape, which helps you avoid late fees. 

If there’s no way you can get the 20 percent down payment for the house, there are a few options you can give a try and several programs that can help you. The programs include FHA, USDA and VA loans, which makes it easier to buy the property if you don’t have the funds. When house hunting, it’s also a good idea to work with a realtor who is familiar with the area where you’re looking.

On the flip side, if you have the cash available, you could pay for points at closing. This involves paying a fee to your lender which can in turn reduce your interest rate. Whether this is a profitable financial strategy depends on how long you plan to live in your home. You can use a mortgage points calculator to help determine your break-even point. 

Have an Emergency Fund

When things are going well for you, it’s imperative to establish an emergency fund as part of your savings plan. It would be best if you try to save sufficient money to cover at least three to six months of living expenses and unexpected events. That way, in case of an unforeseen occurrence, you’ll have some reserve cash to help you navigate the challenge.

Budget for the Move

As you pay down your debt, reorganize your finances and create an emergency fund, it’s also important to budget for your upcoming move. Start by determining which expenses you will likely incur, starting with whether you’re renting a moving truck and doing it yourself or hiring movers to handle everything for you. Obviously, a DIY move will be easier on your bank account, but this comes with a fair amount of stress, and will likely require you to involve friends and family for help. Alternatively, local moving companies will be expensive, but carefully vetted pros can make short work of your move, and get everything transferred safely and securely. Other expenses include any activation fees for services like internet, paying for packing supplies and the cost to rent any moving accessories like dollies or pads. 

Debt Management Before Buying a House

The answer to “How can I manage my debts to be able to get the house?”​ depends on your financial situation but implementing even one or a couple of these tips can help you handle your debts so you can buy the property you want to live on.

How to Launch a Business During the COVID-19 Recovery

Perhaps you realized that you were unsatisfied in your professional life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Or maybe you even lost your job in a round of lay-offs, and now, you’re wondering what your next career move should be. If you’ve ever considered becoming an entrepreneur rather than looking for another 9-to-5 position, it’s time to take the plunge! And with the help of Trademark Lawyers, you’ll be able to navigate your legal responsibilities as a business owner. Here are a few steps you can take to achieve your entrepreneurial dreams.

Define Your Business Idea

If you haven’t quite settled on a business idea, it’s time to clearly define your products and services. Consider which problems your target customer is facing and how your business could help address these issues with your offerings. When you thoroughly understand your customers’ problems, you can tailor your offerings to ensure that you will meet your needs.

Legal Concerns

As a business owner, you will have to fulfill certain legal responsibilities. NerdWallet states that you will need to choose a business entity, obtain proper licenses and permits, and protect your intellectual property with trademarks and patents. In order to ensure that you’re not overlooking any requirements, you may want to work with a lawyer who specializes in helping business owners. Getting a patent can take up to five years, so don’t wait to start the filing process.

Secure Funding

Some business owners cover their initial startup costs purely with their personal savings. But many entrepreneurs need funding for their startup phase. If you plan to seek outside funding, make sure to put together a business plan first. Nationwide recommends using crowdfunding websites to raise money, applying for a bank loan, or presenting your business plan to angel investors.

Build Your Team

You do not have to run your business solo. When you’re financially ready, you can begin hiring part-time or full-time employees. You can also start working with contractors as needed, like investing in the services of a bookkeeper during tax season.

How can you find the right candidates for your open positions? You can start by networking. Not only can you connect with potential new hires and get referrals through networking, but you can also learn about reputable suppliers and get in touch with new clients. Don’t hesitate to reach out to people in your industry, even if it’s been a while since you talked. You can also use online platforms to look up their contact information.

Additionally, Gusto recommends using online job platforms, advertising the position on social media, and even working with a recruiter. During the interview stage, make sure to ask candidates for examples of their previous work. For example, if you’re hiring a web designer, check out websites they’ve already designed. If you need a content manager, request their previous writing samples.

Market Your Business

Marketing your business effectively requires creativity! In your early days of business ownership, you will likely want to rely on marketing strategies that won’t stretch your budget. Look for low-cost marketing methods that will help you reach new customers and provide a good return on your investment. For example, you can create social media profiles for your business on different platforms and promote your offerings, host a giveaway to draw in new customers and reward people for supporting your business, and start a referral program to encourage your customers to refer new people to your company.

Becoming an entrepreneur after working for an employer for years is a big pivot. But if the pandemic prompted you to rethink your professional trajectory, there has never been a better time to make this decision. These suggestions will help you get your business up and running with ease!

Need legal guidance while starting a business? Turn to Trademark Lawyers for your legal needs! Call today at 800-270-8184 to learn more about our services.
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