Our headlines seem filled with stories about crimes throughout the country. If the number of criminal lawyers is any indication it might seem like the overall incidence of crime was on the rise. However, a careful look at the data shows that the overall rate of crime has remained constant in this generation and it is the rate and total population of incarcerated individuals that has increased – mainly due to stricter sentencing guidelines.
If the goal is to scale back incarceration several important areas of the justice system need to be addressed. Here are some examples:
Some state legislatures have examined their probation systems and begun offering probation to third time non-violent offenders. They have also offered the same in the case of first-time, low-level violent offenses such as a simple battery. Other areas have reformed their laws to expand probation eligibility, reclassifying low-level felonies as misdemeanors, streamlining the parole review mechanism, and limiting admissions for technical violations.
Fixing The Race Issue
It is no surprise that there is a wide disparity in the racial representation among prison populations. In some areas legislatures have adopted new procedures called “racial impact statements”. These are studies that show how particular sentencing guidelines may have a disproportionate impact on one race over another, or one segment of society more than another. Some proposed laws require the legislature to show good cause why they enacted any law that disproportionately affects one race more than another. In another case, an oversight board monitors and implements practices to rectify structural race issues in the justice system.
Raising the Age
In many locales, children as young as 16 are prosecuted as adults. Many jurisdictions are now re-thinking these rules, with some passing legislation raising the juvenile jurisdiction age limit to 18 for non-violent crimes.
In the last few years a huge number of celebrity divorces have uncovered some new and emerging trends for couples who’ve chosen to “consciously uncouple”. Some are obviously too far are out there to merit serious attention, but other are available using family lawyers and worth your consideration. Here are a few ideas you might try out if you’re headed for the big “D”.
This might sound strange in the area of divorce but what the term refers to is the situation where children of divorce continue to live in the family home and the parents rotate in and out as they have visitation. Typically, the parent not currently living in the home will stay at a nearby apartment with a relative or a roommate. As their turn arrives they take over in the family home and the other parent switches to the apartment.
This approach offers a variety of benefits. First, it allows for a gradual transition into a two household life with parents living separately. It provides less interruption for the children since they are not shuttling between different locations. As mom and dad start to pursue their own independent lives again bird-nesting provides a ‘softer landing’ and more gradual transition for the entire family.
What is a Doula? The traditional definition of doula is a woman who provides support and assistance during childbirth. A “Divorce Doula” might be accurately described as a “divorce coach”. These professionals offer a wide variety of much needed services for individual who are divorcing, from personal emotional support to help finding an appropriate lawyer, seeking financial advice, or just being a shoulder to cry on.
If you are a law firm who isn’t using online marketing, you will be missing out on a huge number of clients. It doesn’t matter how many lawyers you employ or how large your firm is, you need to be using at least some sort of online marketing!
However, it can be difficult to get started if you have never used online marketing streams before. There are a whole range of different marketing streams that you can use, and it can be hard to know where to start. Consider the following:
Start By Building A Social Media Presence
If you don’t already have profiles on at least a couple of different social media platforms, you need to get them. Social media marketing is one of the most effective forms of online marketing for law firms – both in terms of visitor numbers, exposure, and cost – and you need to build a strong social media presence.
Start with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Make sure that your social media profiles all lead back to your website. Start sharing engaging, interesting content which encourages a reaction from people. Invite people to follow you or to like your page, and make sure that you are always looking to optimise your firm’s exposure.