SSDI and Your Future Employees

SSDI and Your Future Employees

Having a happy and healthy team of employees is a major achievement for business owners; once you’ve reached that goal, it can be difficult keep it going due to circumstances beyond your control.

The health condition of an employee can change overnight, without warning. Once an employee is unable to work, due to a mental or physical impairment, it can change the whole structure of your company. With luck, your employee may be able to receive Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI) to assist them through their difficult time. Unfortunately for you, as a business owner, you may lose one of your most valuable employees.

How Can You Help Your Employees?

Do you have an employee that is sick often or visibly struggles with some mental health issues? This employee may be one of your hardest working team members, but maybe you are worried for his or her well being and ultimately, work might suffer. Your employee might be suffering from an illness that may make him or her eligible for SSDI benefits. “Many people have medical conditions that they may not realize are qualifying conditions for Social Security Disability benefits,” says Marks & Harrison, Attorneys at Law.

As an employer, if you notice that an employee might be suffering, you can be an advocate and assist him or her with a SSDI application. While it might mean losing an employee for an indeterminate amount of time, your action speaks volume as an employer.

My Employee Receives SSDI benefits, Now What?

If your employee’s SSDI application was accepted and is eligible to receive benefits, he or she will either be required to quit working or limit his or her hours. Even if he or she wants to continue to work, the disability must be so severe to interfere with working and in order to continue receiving benefits he or she cannot make a profitable gain.

Once you have found out that your employee has a disability, you cannot legally fire or lay him or her off strictly due to the disability. If his or her work performance is terrible (and not related to the disability in anyway) you have a viable reason for termination or layoff. This applies to hiring employees as well. Individuals, with disabilities, are protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

If your employee is able to return to work at a later date, hopefully you can alter a task or modify their previous job position to make their job better suited for their abilities, if required.

I want to be an Advocate and Employer for People of All Abilities

Maybe assisting your employee with a SSDI application really opened your eyes to the struggle and frustration that can occur with a new disability. Maybe you want your employees to have the opportunity to work with people who have a variety of abilities. Perhaps you just want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to fair employment. By becoming part of the Employment Network (EN), you are giving employees with disabilities a fair chance.

Fun & Profitable Small Business Ideas

Fun & Profitable Small Business Ideas

Everyone has thought about starting up and running their own business at some point. Think of it. You can be your own boss, you can do what you love, you can have fun and make money. Starting up a business is a lot of work, but if you do it right and well, there’s a lot of reward. Don’t dismiss that business dream you had that one summer, decades ago, your ideas might more profitable than you think.

Need some ideas for starting your own profitable (and even fun) business? Consider a few of these.

Toy Business

Toys? Yes, toys. When you were a kid, you probably came up with some pretty cool ideas about how you could make your existing toys better. Sure, the children’s toy market is competitive, but if you’ve got a fresh idea and a test group of kids, you might have a pretty good chance. Remember, kids are the best (and most honest critics), they will let you know if you’ve got a winner. If you add an educational element, you’ll have bonus points with parents.

As you would with any business, it’s important to remember that all toys, games, and other products targeted to children is safe. Children are a vulnerable demographic, make sure your product is safe. Never try to sell or make a defective toy. Many successful toy makers started out small, just don’t forget the “kid in you” and always stand behind your product.

Event Planner

If you are an organized person with an eye for style and can stretch a dollar, you might make the perfect event planner. Today, with people’s busy schedules and lack of desire to plan their own events, event planners are in high demand. While it can be a competitive field, there’s no lack of need for event planning from small cocktail parties to corporate holiday gatherings to high brow galas.

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor & Statistics reports event planning as a fast growing occupation (about 33% faster than average) and with no sign of slowing down anytime in the near future. The pay can be great, but you will work hard to earn every cent. One big plus with event planning is seeing the finished product: A magical evening.

Errand Services

Errand services could very well be grown up code for “chores”, but such a service is in high demand. Decades ago, people who wanted to run their own errand services had to rely on word of mouth, flyers, or the classifieds, but now the internet (as well as smartphone apps) has made errand services a thriving business idea.

If you don’t mind people calling you up and asking you to pick up their dry cleaning, go grocery shopping, organize the pantry, or even scoop the litter box, you’ll be successful. Some major pluses of starting an errand service is the ability to being your own boss, setting your own rules (like what you will or won’t do), and making good money. You can even vamp up your services my adding pet sitting, dog walking, and general cleaning (all things that are always in requested).

Be your own boss. Have fun, be safe, and make a profit.

How a Business Can Increase Product Safety and Minimize Recalls

How a Business Can Increase Product Safety and Minimize Recalls

The subject of corporate accountability associated with product recalls affects businesses from small, family-owned operations to the most well-known and recognized corporate entities. A manufacturing error, a failure to warn consumers of a potential danger in the use of a product, a tainted food product, or a faulty design can lead to a product recall and many product liability claims. A safety recall is not only expensive for a business, it can significantly damage the business’s reputation. What can business owners do to increase productivity and minimize the chance of recalls?

Every business enterprise is unique in the products or services it sells consumers, but there are certain basics that all business owners should focus upon at every stage of conducting business, both to protect the consumer and the bottom line of the enterprise. The last thing you want your business to be known for is causing illness, injury or loss of life.

The Basics of Product Safety

Have a Recall Readiness Strategy in Place

Any business can unexpectedly face a product recall. If one of your products has been recalled, or your business recalls it voluntarily, a skilled management of the process will have much to do with the final impact on the bottom line, as well as your business reputation. Many businesses fail to put a recall strategy in place, such as planning the reverse logistics involved in getting the product off the market. Get a recall readiness strategy in place, with the management team named and trained up for the processes involved.

Maintain Strict Quality Control Standards

Rigorous and ongoing quality control of your product is essential to avoiding a recall. Faulty products that are manufactured overseas can slip through and your business will be forced pay the price if a consumer is injured. Don’t assume that the product is safe, but inspect, inspect, inspect. Manufacturers can change processes, product components, ingredients and other alterations without informing you. Your business is responsible for the safety of your product. Test all current and newly developed and released products on a regular basis.

Inspect Your Factories or Farms

Don’t assume that the factory or farm that is producing your product is maintaining the standards set for your product, or consumer safety standards set by federal or state agencies. Engage the services of industry professionals and safety experts to do on-site inspections on a regular basis, and make changes if there are safety issues that could affect consumers and potentially lead to a recall. A first inspection of a factory or farm is not enough – these inspections must be ongoing.

Make Consumer Safety a Priority in Product Development

If new products in development have consumer safety as a focus during all stages you can avoid future problems. It is easier and less expensive to develop a product that is safe for consumers than being forced to fix a design flaw once the product has been released onto the market.

Develop Manuals for Product Safety and Product Recall Processes

Your business should develop manuals to maintain product safety, as well as manuals that address every detail of the recall process. One of the most dangerous corporate errors is to deny that a product is dangerous, or to remain silent. Businesses that take accountability seriously will quickly manage any danger to consumers, admit fault, and have processes in place that allow them to immediately inform all stakeholders – from governmental agencies down to the end-user – of the safety issue and what is being done about it. Honesty and transparency is far more effective. Rather than damaging your business reputation, there can be a positive response by consumers and stockholders when a recall is managed professionally.

Can a Business Owner Be Held Liable When a Customer’s Mess Causes an Injury?

Can a Business Owner Be Held Liable When a Customer’s Mess Causes an Injury?

Business owners have a legal responsibility when it comes to maintaining a safe environment for its customers, visitors and invited guests. When a business owner fails in that responsibility, and a person is injured on the property, the owner or property manager can be held financially liable. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident at another person’s business or on their property, you must be able to prove negligence on the part of the owner before you will be able to file any type of premises liability claim. What about when a customer’s mess is what causes the injury?

Liability in a Personal Injury Accident on a Business Site

Fault in a slip and fall or injury accident at a store, restaurant, office building, theatre or other place of business does not automatically fall with the business owner. In some instances, an accident can simply be just that, an accident. If one customer leaves a mess which causes another customer to be injured, who is liable? Is it the business owner? Is it the other customer?

While the customer’s mess in this scenario may have been responsible for causing another customer injury, liability has still must be investigated. If the business owner had no knowledge of the potential hazard, or no reasonable expectation that he or she should have been aware of the danger, then the injured party has no grounds to file a lawsuit or claim against the business. If the customer who left the mess had no ill-intent behind doing so, it is unlikely that party could be held liable.

Elements Which Must Be Proven in a Premises Liability Claim

To file a premises liability claim against a negligent business owner, you must have proof of each of the following:

  • The business owner owed a duty of care to you, the injured customer
  • A breach of that duty occurred, and
  • Your injury was directly caused by the breach.

Even if you are able to prove the business owner owed a duty of care to you, and that he or she failed to fulfill that duty, you are unlikely to win your case if it is necessary to prove that the injuries were a direct result of this breach. In the case of another customer’s mess causing your injury, it would be necessary to prove that the property owner was aware of the hazard and failed to remedy it.

What to Do If You Sustained Injury at a Place of Business

The first thing to do after sustaining injury at a place of business is report the accident to the business owner or manager. Do not lay blame or admit fault, simply report the facts. If you did not receive emergency medical care at the scene of your accident, go see your doctor right away for a medical evaluation and to be treated for your injuries.

You should also hire a skilled premises liability lawyer who can answer any questions you may have, advise you of your legal rights, determine whether you have a valid premises liability claim and if so, help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.

Things One Should Look Out For When They’re Starting Up A Business

Things One Should Look Out For When They’re Starting Up A Business

Entrepreneurs are endlessly creative, and a driving force in the U.S. economy. If you are considering starting up a business, there are several things to look out for prior to investing your time and/or money. A new idea, product or service has the potential for success, but a review of certain facts can help you come to the right decision before you commit.

One: Is There a Market for your Product?

If you are looking for an investor, realize that investors generally prefer to put their money into projects in a growing industry, rather than something new and untried. Niche businesses are less likely to attract investors, but also have the potential of exploding under the right conditions. You may need to put your own money into the project to get it off the ground, and show significant sales before you can attract an investor. If you are committed to proceeding with your idea, your first step is to evaluate the market, and take a long, hard look at the competition. The advantage of a startup in a competitive field is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel with regard to marketing the product, and can learn from what other companies are doing. The downside is that you are dealing with competition, and any newcomer must have a brilliant marketing strategy to gain a market segment.

Two: Your Organization Chart

The business model can prove to be a make/break for a startup. If your product is still in development, the cost of development should be realistically evaluated before you jump in. If the product exists, and only needs to be released onto the market, your most critical issue is sales. Don’t form a “top-heavy” new business. The owner of a business ideally has the ability to sell the product, as the knowledge of the product and how to interest buyers is pivotal in the success of the enterprise. Hiring the right sales people to get your product sold the most crucial issue at this point in the game. On the back end, on-time delivery of the product or service is equally important for building a customer base. You essentially have just three sections in a new organization: sales, delivery and finances. Focus your attention on developing a sales plan and collateral marketing materials that meet the needs of the market you are entering. As your sales increase, you will need to hire on others, including sales managers (who should be top salespeople themselves, as well as having the right “people skills” to handle sales personnel, as well as motivate and inspire). Focus on what is important in making your organization flourish when you craft your organizing chart. Initially, man up only the most critical jobs, and add more personnel later. Payroll is often the biggest expense, and your organization should be lean and mean.

Three: Publicity

Getting your product reviewed and creating a buzz may appear to be difficult. Start at a local level. Your local media outlets are always searching for content, and if you present a compelling story, they will present it. Get as much media attention as you can, including online reviews, reviews by influential bloggers in your industry, and maintain a flourishing online presence with a website that is kept current, industry blogs that present your company as an industry leader. You can move ahead much faster if you put your “beans” into online marketing campaigns as a priority, and many of these actions are far cheaper than traditional marketing campaigns. As sales increase, you will be able to pay for more expensive forms of advertising. Get your team to participate in local activities, charities and other similar events, raising your profile in the community.

Four: The Right Team

Build a team that can work together. Avoid people who are egotists, arrogant, critical or difficult to deal with. You could end up spending your time resolving intercompany conflicts, and losing the best employees if you choose the wrong people. Your choices when hiring must extend beyond a resume or former achievements. Evaluate the person in front of you as a potential team member – as a human being – as part of your decision. A less experienced person with better people skills may be the best choice. Watch out for any person who comes to you with critical remarks about an earlier employer, or has an unstable work history, moving from job to job, as this usually spells trouble for you in the future. Looking for a partner? Many new businesses fail because the partners get into conflicts. You can avoid this problem by being extremely careful when you choose any business partner – or investment partner. The right team will mean success. Just one “toxic personality” can destroy the entire operation. Get the right team from the start. It is worth taking time to find exactly the right personnel for your team if you want to grow.

Setting Up Your Startup for Success

Setting Up Your Startup for Success

Starting a new enterprise? It is an exciting time, and nothing makes the entrepreneurial blood pump faster than a new product. You can increase your chances of success if you employ a strategic approach – from the beginning.

Do Your Market Research First

Market research does not have to be a grueling or complex task, but is crucial for understanding the industry in which you plan to get involved. Online research can reveal facts that can guide a successful strategy. Research your competition thoroughly with regard to sales, industry presence, the years in business, number of employees, and other information prior to investing your time and money into a new enterprise.

A Business Plan is a Must

You will never get an investor in your project without a quality business plan. You either need an investor or a strategic partner to help you launch your product or service. Without a business plan, you will be dead in the water. A professionally written plan can be pricey, but there are examples you can find if you are capable of producing the plan yourself. Use a standard format, and ensure that you have all of the elements included in you plan. If you have the funds, invest in a professionally written business plan that includes realistic projections, and information about the competition.

Marketing Your Product

An analysis of your competition is important. You may not have to reinvent the wheel to get sales moving. Large, established firms pay ad agencies top dollar for advertising concepts and strategies, and you can take advantage of their work by analyzing what they are doing. Online marketing is generally less costly than traditional marketing, and is a good starting point for any new enterprise. Your salespeople will need some type of sales collateral that must be available in both soft and hard copies.

Choose Your Target Market

You have an ideal customer or client. Avoid any feeling of desperation, or an inclination to make losing deals just to get a sale. Your product or service is valuable, and if you make shaky deals it can become more and more difficult to deliver. You need the income flowing in the door, but set your price and stick to it rather than giving price cuts.

Don’t Assume You All

You may think you know what your potential customers want, but only surveying them will reveal the actual answers. Take the time to survey your target market and find out what they like/don’t like. This data opens the door to clever marketing strategies that actually work. The results of a survey often come as a shock, and your assumptions may have been completely off the mark. You won’t know until you ask. Don’t assume you know.

Keep Your Overhead Down

Investing in an office space, equipment and hiring personnel will eat up your investment funds faster than you can imagine. Keep the number of employees at the lowest possible minimum as long as possible. Stay lean and mean through the early stages and beyond. Any area where you can cut costs – do it. Any new enterprise generally costs much more than predicted to get off the ground, and if you manage your costs correctly, you can make it through the birth process without having to fold – which many startups do when investment funds run out.

Safety First

You need to protect your employees from harm, as any legal threat puts the whole enterprise in jeopardy. Study up on the safety requirements for your industry. One premises liability claim can put you out of business before you get your enterprise off the ground. If your business involves driving, delivery trucks or other types of transportation, make sure any company vehicles are in good repair and all systems are maintained and repaired if needed. Train all new personnel on issues such as sexual harassment and discriminatory behavior – these can be expensive legal cases.

Sketch it Out

Put your workflow process in writing. Many new enterprises fail when they get through the initial launch and are then unable to deliver the product. The manufacture of any product can be complex, particularly when working with overseas companies. Map it out, and don’t sell more than you can produce. Your service and delivery are the most critical point in whether you will have a repeat customer. Take the time to sketch out your workflow process with every potential glitch, bug or slowdown area identified in advance and processes put in place to resolve issues such as late delivery of components or customers that cancel orders. Expect the unexpected and you’ll deal with these events better.

The Best Government Jobs to Get Into Early

The Best Government Jobs to Get Into Early

GettyImages_499556971Just as in the private sector, different branches of the U.S. federal government base their job salaries on factors, such as location and experience. However, the federal government is known for being generous with benefit packages, regardless of experience or location. But, which jobs within the government offer the best combined salary and benefits for those wanting to get in early and build toward retirement? Based on an assessment of hiring trends, projected growth rates, and salaries, here are five of the top positions.

Civil Engineer

The highest paying job on this list, averaging $52 an hour, is that of a civil engineer. The responsibilities of a civil engineer can include staff management, testing soil and other materials, computing load requirements, planning and designing structures, and providing technical advice. Qualified candidates typically have to hold a Bachelor’s degree (or higher) in Engineering, and show a comprehensive knowledge of math, engineering, design and all relevant technologies.

Accountant

Earning an average salary of $27 an hour, accountants who work for the federal government are responsible for such tasks as developing, implementing and maintaining accounting systems and budgets, and analyzing operational costs and trends. Accountants are typically required to hold a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, or a related field, and demonstrate proficiency in math and economics.

Computer Systems Analyst

A career as a computer systems analyst will earn you an average of $35 an hour with the federal government. The majority of positions require a minimum of a four-year degree in a computer science field. You must also demonstrate knowledge of processors, myriad electronic equipment, and computer hardware and design. Job duties might include testing and maintaining computers and computer systems, using programming language, and resolving staff computer issues.

 

Police Officer and Sheriff

The federal government pays an average of $24 an hour to its police officers and sheriffs. Typical duties include identifying, pursuing and arresting suspects, and investigating, recording and reporting crimes. Though not every entry level position will require a degree, a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as Criminal Justice, is preferable. For those wanting to join the FBI, a four-year degree is a requirement.

Administrative Assistant and Executive Secretary

Just as with police officers, these positions may not always require a four-year degree, as prior office experience and on-the-job training can make up for one. However, a minimum two-year Associate Degree is desirable, and could rank you ahead of those with less formal education. Preparing and reviewing various reports, coordinating services, ordering and distributing supplies, and analyzing and modifying internal procedures are just some of the responsibilities held by administrative assistants and executive secretaries. So, knowledge of general clerical procedures and business principles is necessary. The average wage? $21 an hour.

Federal Government Career Benefits

While the jobs listed above vary in description and duties, each position comes with myriad benefits that make working for the federal government a goal for countless people. Additionally, in the event that a federal employee is injured on the job, or becomes disabled and is otherwise unable to perform his regular duties, federal agencies have a reputation for working hard to try to accommodate the disability. Sometimes that isn’t enough though, and the employee must, unfortunately, stop working. When that happens, federal employees may qualify for a federal disability retirement, which allows them to receive anywhere between 40% and 80% of their highest salary, regardless of position or location. So, working for the federal government can pay well, and offers countless benefits, sometimes even to those who are no longer able to work.

Technology That Will Make Running a Small Business and/or Startup Easier

Technology That Will Make Running a Small Business and/or Startup Easier

537489489Running a small business or startup enterprise takes initiative, creativity, and drive. For intrepid individuals courageous enough to undertake it, time and resources are often scarce. That’s why it makes good sense to take full advantage of new available technology to enhance and streamline your business.

The Small Business section of the New York Times offers articles of interest about technology to small business owners, including topics such as:

  • Using Twitter to market small businesses: Micro blogging is the sole method of advertising for many businesses with no marketing budget.
  • Text message marketing: This article claims that text messaging can increase sales and establish customer relationships for a reasonable cost.
  • Managing your online reputation: This includes interacting with customers and monitoring web conversations.

A February 13, 2015 article on Tech Cocktail entitled New Business Technology for the New Year has several technology suggestions for small business owners. The author claims that by working smarter instead of harder with new affordable technology options, small businesses can streamline operations and maximize returns. According to the article, business owners may consider any or all of the following:

  • Social Media: Although social media is a valuable marketing tool, managing it can be time-consuming. For that reason, it is recommended that you choose one or two social platforms that suit your business audience instead of branching out to multiple platforms. The author recommends Twitter for promoting deals or specials, Instagram for visuals, and Facebook for dialogs with customers.
  • Cloud Document Storage: This makes shared documents accessible from home or mobile devices, but controls are still available as to who can edit or access them. The article recommends affordable cloud storage friendly to small business, such as Box, Google Drive, Drop Box, or One Drive.
  • Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Phone and Fax: This technology has features that can enable small businesses to present a polished image at very low cost. Switching to VoIP phone and fax could help you improve service and image while reducing costs.
  • Mobile Apps: Apps can replace certain traditional business services and can be particularly useful for hands-on business owners and employees who are seldom if ever in an office. Accounting, travel management, point-of-sale, and a number of other useful business apps are available.

In a December 2013 article on Entrepreneur, author Michael Garrity claims that technology is a vital tool that is leveling the playing field for small businesses. In terms of small business technology, the article recommends the following:

  • Move your business to the cloud.
  • Replace expensive POS solutions with an app on your tablet or smart phone.
  • Offer loyalty and rewards programs to your customers using FiveStars, Belly, or Perka at affordable prices.
  • Take advantage of inexpensive tools such as cloud apps for accounting, HR, and other backend productivity.
  • Use marketing and sales plug-in apps to track customers, active leads, sales pipelines, and more.

As covered in this article, with a tablet and a few essential apps, a small business owner can run a customer’s credit card, promote the daily specials on Twitter, manage payroll, and much more.

Sources:

Types of Disabilities that Typically Receive SSD Benefits

Types of Disabilities that Typically Receive SSD Benefits

GettyImages_178135895When someone is injured at work, or is otherwise rendered unable to earn a living, the situation can seem dire. No income and an injury or illness to contend with can easily lead to feelings of helplessness. Fortunately, the United States government, through the Social Security Administration (SSA), provides a safety net for people who find themselves in that unfortunate circumstance. At the end of 2013, over 10 million people were receiving monthly social security disability (SSD) payments in the United States. The number may seem high, but not all disabilities qualify.

The Social Security Administration provides an online Listing of Impairments that they use to help determine whether or not an applicant qualifies for SSD, but each section is long, complex and cumbersome to read. So, here’s a brief look at some of the most common categories of injuries and illnesses that the SSA has historically approved for disability payments.

Cardiovascular System

Heart and artery diseases fall under this category, as does the full range of disorders that negatively affect the circulatory system. The condition can be acquired, but it can also have a congenital origin.

Digestive System

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), liver dysfunction, malnutrition, and gastrointestinal hemorrhage are some of the conditions covered under this category.

Skin Disorders

Whether congenital, acquired or hereditary, skin disorders such as certain chronic infections, genetic photosensitivity disorders, burns, and bullous diseases are considered to be valid conditions that can qualify someone for Social Security disability payments.

Musculoskeletal System

The SSA approves some people with certain musculoskeletal conditions for SSD. Such conditions can be acquired, congenital or hereditary, and can range from soft tissue damage to spine injuries, bone fractures, and limb amputations.

Respiratory System

Illnesses, such as asthma, and diseases including cystic fibrosis, are covered under this category. The SSA has even approved some people who have severe sleep-related breathing disorders.

Special Senses and Speech

Vision, hearing and speech are the cornerstones of communication. So, when one or more of your senses becomes diminished to the point that it interferes with your ability to work, you may qualify for Social Security disability payments. If balance is an issue, or you suffer from vertigo, you may qualify as well.

Common Specific Conditions and Diseases

The broad categories listed should help you assess whether or not you have a qualifying condition. However, there are some specific illnesses and diseases that are approved more often than others. The list includes certain cancers, carpal tunnel syndrome, blindness, diabetes, liver disease, traumatic brain injuries, and back injuries, among others. However, even if your condition isn’t commonly approved, it’s still worth applying for SSD if it falls under one of the Social Security Administration’s general categories.

Does SSD Impact Other Benefits?

Don’t be concerned about SSD payments impacting other benefits you may already be receiving, such as pension or workers compensation. It is possible to collect benefits simultaneously. After all, you’ve been paying into Social Security for your entire working life so the benefits could be there for you when you needed them. Even if there ends up being an adjustment in benefits, it is still in your best interest financially to apply for SSD.

 

If you’ve been diagnosed with a condition or disease that will prevent you from working, you owe it to yourself to explore the option of SSD payments. Applying for SSD can be cumbersome, but the long term impact can be positive because, upon approval, you will have a consistent and reliable income stream for the duration of your disability.

Benefits of Joining Professional Networking and Advocacy Associations

Benefits of Joining Professional Networking and Advocacy Associations

178915467As is true in most professional industries, many benefits are available to attorneys who opt to join professional networking or advocacy associations. Having your own practice, or even practicing at another attorney’s law firm, is hard work. While you alone may be able to accomplish a great deal, joining a professional networking association or legal advocacy association allows an attorney to tap into a legal resource pool and coalition of alliances he or she may have never dreamed possible. This can be beneficial to your clients, as well as go a long way towards protecting clients’ rights.

Attorney Makes a Difference as President of the NC Advocates for Justice

Elizabeth City, N.C., attorney Danny Glover Jr. has been recognized as one of his state’s top car accident attorneys, having received a 10.0 Superb Rating on Avvo. In addition to all of the legal publications and Continuing Legal Education (CLE) manuscripts in which his writings can be found, Glover’s work has been highly praised by his clients and colleagues.

As he has learned first-hand the benefits of joining professional networking and advocacy associations, Glover values his membership with the N.C. Advocates for Justice (NCAJ), National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers and AVVO. Having been a proud member of the NCAJ for close to two decades, Glover was recently elected president of the organization.

In his experience, he finds that what he (along with the 3,500 members of the NCAJ) has been able to accomplish in recent years far exceeds anything he could have done on his own. In fact, Glover not only believes membership in the NCAJ has been extremely helpful to his clients, but he also credits the NCAJ with organizing meetings and events, where attorneys from all different fields of law can openly converse and gain valuable insight into their own fields of law.

The Value of Developing a Network of Colleagues to Offer Input and Support

While every state has different types of professional peer-based organizations individuals can join to help them develop a network of colleagues capable of providing valuable input and support, not all attorneys avail themselves of these groups. This is unfortunate, particularly due to the fact that neglecting to build a network like this can actually hinder your rate of success as an attorney. It can also deny you many other benefits including:

  • Access to expert witnesses
  • Assistance with gaining an understanding of certain laws and legal jargon
  • Important business connections
  • Advocates for legislative changes
  • Peer community you can turn to for guidance
  • Like-minded associates
  • A stronger voice in state legislative issues
  • Continuing legal education
  • Ability to remain informed about the latest legal developments
  • Promotion of your services, through the organization’s directory

If you are a practicing attorney, who has not yet developed a network of colleagues who can offer you input and support when you need it, we recommend you take the time to do so. Research organizations in your area and find those which have similar goals and objectives to yours. The rewards available to you by being part of a professional network and advocacy association are many.