Archive for January 27, 2012
Continuing legal education, more commonly referred to as CLE, involves the professional education of a lawyer that happens after their admission to the bar. While this may not be the case in every state, many U.S. states require CLE participation in order for them to maintain the status of their license to practice law. What you should know, however, is that CLE accreditation is awarded on a state by state basis. Therefore, you cannot simply work towards a nationwide accreditation, as the state supreme courts run CLE programs. Lawyers in the state of California should know that California CLE courses are mandatory. There are a few things that you should know prior to taking California CLE courses. First of all, you should know that CLE credit typically has a preset number of hours that are required over a period a time. Every state differs in this requirement, so you should research the requirements for the state in which you practice. You should also know that these hours may correspond to special topics, such as ethics or diversity training. For example, California cle courses require a total of 25 credit hours, of which six hours of specialty topics are required: ethics, substance abuse or mental illness that may impair professional competence, and elimination of bias. In addition, California CLE courses require that these credit hours are completed in a period of three years. Once the compliance period has come to a close, the State Bar will send compliance cards to the lawyers who must comply in that given year. After receiving your compliance card, you will have the option of reporting your attendance online or on paper. By fulfilling the requirements and completing the required California CLE courses, you will be maintaining your license to practice law in the state of California.
Q: Are social security attorneys and social security representatives the same thing? A: No, social security attorneys and social security representatives are not necessarily interchangeable. Social security attorneys hold law degrees. They have not only the educational and institutional knowledge to successfully represent claims, but they have the experience to know how to navigate the process and trouble shoot any issues or delays that may arise. Many social security representatives have a great deal of experience with the claim review process. In fact, many were disability examiners at some point. But there is no requirement that representatives hold law degrees and it can sometimes be difficult to know the level of expertise of representatives. Those who hire social security attorneys should ask if an attorney or representative will actually represent them in court. Some firms have representatives accompany clients to a hearing. Q: Is it better to appeal or apply again if a claimant is denied after initially applying? A: Assuming the application and supporting materials were submitted accurately and thoroughly, it is almost always better to appeal instead of filing a new application after initially applying. The claim is likely to be denied again if a new application is submitted, which will add more time to what can be an already lengthy process. Submitting a new application is starting at step one again when appealing will allow the claim to progress to the next level in the process. A claimant should appeal for reconsideration instead of submit a brand new application again. That appeal must be submitted within 60 days of notification of initial denial. Claimants who wish to appeal but have missed that deadline should seek assistance from social security attorneys.