Seven Steps To Becoming A Legal US Citizen

The process of becoming a United States citizen can be a long and tedious one. It can take over six months for your application to get processed. The reason that it takes a long time to process applications is because there has been a drastic increase in the number of applications. There are a number of things that you will have to do in order to become a United States citizen. Below are some tips for becoming a United States citizen:
Determine If You Are Eligible

Before you send in an application, you will have to determine whether you are eligible to become a United States citizen. You must have had your Green Card for at least five years and be over the age of 18. A green card is a card that authorizes you to live and work inside of the United States permanently.

You are also eligible if you have been married to a United States citizen for at least three years and have not left the United States for more than six months. If you are engaged your fiancé will have to receive a green card as well before the marriage. You will also be required to pass a test given by the US Citizen and Immigration Services and an interview.

Complete The Application

After determining whether you are eligible; you will need to complete the naturalization application form. You will also need to send in several documents along with your applications. The documents required can vary, depending on your individual situation. You can bring copies of the documents, but you may need to bring the original copies during your interview.

Take Your Photographs

You will need to have two color, passport-style photographs along with your application.

Send In Your Application

You will have to send a fee along with your application. The naturalization application fee is currently $595. Contact the U.S. Citizen And Immigration Services if you want to know more about the fees.

Get Fingerprinted

The U.S. Citizen And Immigration Services will send you a letter letting you know where and when you will need to get your fingers printed.

Go To Your Interview

You will also receive a letter in the mail stating where and when you should go for your interview. It is very important for you to constantly be on the lookout for this letter because you will not be given a second notice. You will need to bring your green card and passport to your interview. Even if your passport has expired, you will still need to bring it to your interview.

During the interview, you will answer questions about your background and education. You will also need to take the civic and English tests.

Wait For A Decision

After your interview, you will need to wait for a decision. If your application is approved, then you will need to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and attend a ceremony. The U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services will let you know when the ceremony will take place.

There are several steps that you will need to take in order to become a legal United States citizen. You will have to first determine whether you are eligible, fill out application, get photographed, send in an application, attend an interview and wait for a decision.


Construction Businesses: Legal Implications Associated with Contractor Insurance

When running a construction business or working as an independent contractor in the field, a person will want to buy a decent contractor insurance policy covering him or her in case of serious errors or injuries. While true, when choosing contractor insurance, one must think of the long-term implications. With this in mind, here are the legal implications associated with contractor insurance.

Who needs it: When working as a contractor, people will often skip this expensive bill as a way to save money. The thought behind this is simple as plenty of contractors think their work doesn’t merit insurance. However, whether you work as a general contractor, a painter, an electrician or in any other construction field, you will need insurance. Otherwise, one false move can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

May need more: First and foremost, when you want to find a job, the site may require high levels of insurance. This is true when you work on a government building or complete tasks for a corporation. To understand how much you need to carry, ask the owner of the property what they require. While this is a pain, it will save you money in the long run if you buy the right levels of insurance. However, if you want to avoid this altogether, you need to purchase enough insurance to complete any job. Then, you can confidently bid for any work and not worry about needing to increase your insurance coverage.

You may not have the best coverage: While plenty of professionals will rush out and buy a policy, they won’t always buy the right one. Sadly, when this happens, you are vulnerable if errors occur. Think about it, if you only buy general liability insurance, you will not protect your commercial vehicle or your employees. No, instead, to understand what you need, it’s best to chat with an insurance agent who can help you determine your best course of action. Remember, when buying insurance, it’s not enough to sign up for a random service and write a check; you need to choose the policies covering your unique situation.

Workers’ compensation: As mentioned, if you hire contractors or employees, you will need worker’s compensation insurance. While rules vary from state-to-state, you cannot justify ignoring this fact. If you do, not only will you struggle to land jobs where people require workers’ comp insurance, but you will lose out on government contracts where people will verify that you carry enough insurance to protect workers on the site. If not, you will hurt your reputation and end up missing out on future jobs.

Don’t miss one payment: Finally, if you buy the right policy and carry proof of insurance, you can land a new job. While true, you will hurt your cause if you miss a payment, as providers will suspend your coverage. To avoid this, you can either pay your bills automatically or in full from the beginning. Otherwise, with one missed payment, you will hurt your reputation and lose your insurance coverage. If a person discovers this, he or she may kick you off the job site.

With these five legal implications to understand, you can find the best coverage for your construction firm. If not, you will struggle to stay ahead if you commit an error.


Breaking Down Bankruptcy: 7 Vs 13

When people start to think about the possibility of filing for bankruptcy, they often get confused about the types of bankruptcy. The reason for this is that there are two forms of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Which one applies to your situation will depend upon your personal finances and whether you qualify to file for one or both forms of bankruptcy. The following is an overview of both types of bankruptcies as well as alternatives to bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
When people think of bankruptcy, this is the type they usually have in mind. When a person files for Chapter 7, it is possible to have all of their debts washed away, and they are given a fresh financial start. Filing for this type of bankruptcy can be appealing. The idea of all of your debts disappearing overnight is like a dream come true. What you need to be kept in mind is that an individual must qualify for this type of bankruptcy. Qualifications that must be met include annual income and assets. Income will need to be below the median income for the state a person resides, and any assets not exempt from bankruptcy will need to be liquidated to pay creditors. Equally important to understand is that not all debts can be discharged by a bankruptcy. Student loans and back child support are debts that will still exist after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Many court judgments and taxes owed cannot be bankrupted as well.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
When filing for Chapter 13, an individual’s debts are reorganized and often reduced. Interest is usually suspended, and a lump sum is paid once a month to a trustee who then distributes the money to creditors per a formula approved by a judge. There are several advantages to this type of bankruptcy. The first is that a single payment is made each month instead of several to a variety of lenders. This gives a borrower a chance to breathe and take control of their finances. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy will eliminate monthly interest from adding more to the debt. A fixed amount of money is owed and paid for in monthly installments for the period of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This can be several years. After this time has elapsed, the bankruptcy is discharged, and you will owe no debts other than the ones not covered in a bankruptcy.

Which Bankruptcy Is Best?
The standards for qualifying for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are much stricter than those for a Chapter 13, so usually if an individual qualifies for both, it is a Chapter 7 filing that is a better choice. This is because more debt will be discharged in a shorter frame of time than under a Chapter 13. However, both bankruptcies will affect your credit negatively for 10 years. Which type of bankruptcy a person decides to file is not nearly as important as whether to file in the first place. There are long term consequences to an individual’s personal finances that should be avoided as much as possible.

Alternatives to Bankruptcy
One of the most popular ways to avoid bankruptcy is a consolidated loan or using consolidated debt services. There are companies that specialize in negotiating with lenders to reduce and consolidate debt for a consumer and give them a chance to avoid a bankruptcy.

Regardless of what path is chosen to get out of debt, bankruptcy should not be taken lightly. It can be a life changing decision, and not everyone is better off after going through a bankruptcy. Debt counseling and debt consolidation services need to be used first.


Do Startups Need Lawyers? What are the Risks of Noting Having One?

Do Startups Need Lawyers? What are the Risks of Noting Having One?

lawWhen running a startup, it’s easy to forget about important things like hiring a lawyer. However, this is a mistake as it’s not easy to run a company without help from a legal professional. Think about it, with one small mistake, one can watch as their corporation suffers serious damage. With this in mind, here are five risks of not having a lawyer.

Starting out a company: First and foremost, when starting a corporation, it’s easy to make serious errors. Think about it, when incorporating, plenty of people commit errors, minor or major. For example, when starting a company, it’s not easy to remember what type of corporation a person wants. For example, some individuals will want a limited liability corporation. On the other hand, others will want to use another option. Either way, when starting out in the business world, one needs to choose the perfect option for their needs. Otherwise, when one doesn’t do so, they will suffer in the long run.

Dealing with a minor lawsuit: In reality, when running a company, large or small, one will deal with a lawsuit. Think about it, over time, it’s not easy to run a company without dealing with angry or bitter ex-employees or clients. When his happens, a corporation will deal with plenty of lawsuits and other problems. While true, with a serious lawyer on your side, you can avoid most issues. Otherwise, without an attorney, one will suffer during the proceedings as the other people will certainly have a lawyer.

Expanding: When expanding a company, you will need to take the advice from a smart and hardworking lawyer. Remember, not only is it difficult to start a company without the help of a lawyer, but you will struggle without learning the basics. Not only will an entrepreneur need to learn the basics of expanding, but he or she will struggle when trying to find ways to find more clients from around the world.

Lowering tax rate: All-too-often, a small business owner will end up paying a high tax rate. While this is not easy to avoid, one can pay lower taxes if they hire a qualified and hardworking tax attorney. Think about it, when dealing with state and local governments, it’s not easy to avoid taxes. However, with a hardworking and qualified tax attorney on your side, you can lower your tax burden, immediately.

Dealing with an employee: Sadly, when trying to offer employment opportunities to people, it’s easy to end up in court as some people seemingly want to raise trouble. This is common whether working with union employees in California or people in Texas. However, with a hardworking and dedicated lawyer on your side, you can squash these fears and take action. Remember, as entrepreneur, you can take control and hire a lawyer who will take action immediately. Otherwise, if you don’t take action, you will watch as your workers try to form a union and exercise their rights. Remember, without a lawyer, you will face an uphill battle against overzealous employees.

When hiring a lawyer, a corporation or person can protect his or her rights. Otherwise, without this, one will face an uphill battle in the court of law. Luckily, with a lawyer on your side, you will not struggle to assert your rights.


5 Of The Most Epic Lawyer Movies Of All Time

We all love a good court room film– suspense, drama, and even some laughs. If you are in the mood for an epic lawyer movie, consider some of these suggestions, which are sure to get those law suit juices flowing. These movies are the best of the best when it comes to court room, plots, and include both mega successful dramas and comedies.

Primal Fear

Primal Fear earns its distinction as a classic lawyer movie for its ahead of the times ending– before films like The Sixth Sense broadened the suspense genre, Primal Fear was one of the first movies to present the trick ending. Starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney as two lawyers in a case against a young accused murderer, played by Edward Norton, and the film will keep you guessing until the very end. It is lawyer drama at its best.


Everyone loves a comedy, and few men do comedy as well as Jim Carrey, who stars in the hilarious lawyer movie, Liar/Liar. Carrey plays a successful, cut throat lawyer who lies in all aspects of life, both in court and out, to get his way. His young son makes a wish that results in Carrey being able to only tell the truth, no matter what, and hilarity ensues. It is a great laugh, and a film parents can even watch with their kids (this was before Jim Carrey got too raunchy).

A Time to Kill

Courtroom dramas are one of the best film dramas, and A Time to Kill is one of the most edge of your seat dramas you are likely to see. The movie was based on the hit book of the same name, and stars Matthew McConaughey as a lawyer representing Samuel L. Jackson, who is on trial for killing the young men who raped and left his minor daughter for dead. Racial themes are a big part of the movie, as it is set in the deep south, and the plot turns will have you interested the entire time.

Legally Blonde

To lighten things up a bit, Legally Blonde makes the list, as it is a mega hit movie with some big law chops. Reese Witherspoon plays a sorority girl who follows her ex to Harvard Law School, becoming her own independent woman in the process. There are some great themes in the film, paired with plenty of laughs. It is perfect for those looking for a good rom com, and it all caps off with a big court room ending.

Runaway Jury

Finally, Runaway Jury is another book to film conversion with some gripping court room drama. John Cusack and Rachel Weisz team up to manipulate a jury in a prominent case, while Gene Hackman plays a high powered analyst who defense teams pay to get the verdict they want. With these two sides against each other, the plot unfolds with suspense, mystery and drama, with a big reveal at the end that makes it all worth it.

These movies are all great examples of law films, and it is hard to pick just one favorite to watch. Instead, get yourself comfortable on the couch with a number of these court room films, and you will have hours of entertainment ahead of you, filled with some suspense and good laughs.


What Happens When Lawyers Need Lawyers: 5 Different Scenarios

The justice system is rife with complexity, and attorneys often need lawyers of their own to address intricate legal issues. There are several instances that mandate the need for external representation, and being one’s own lawyer often amounts to hours of unpaid labor. Below are five of the most common kinds of cases that necessitate the need for lawyers to employ other lawyers.
1. Disabled Rights

Just like in any other career, daily work can be severely interrupted by illness or injury. During instances of unexpected disabilities, attorneys need to have a proxy to ensure their duties are fulfilled. Unfortunately, a lot of bureaucratic effort is involved in the simple process of transferring cases, so incapacitated lawyers must have a reliable agent on hand. These parties can handle all basic filings, and they will stand in during most hearings. Whenever possible, they are also tasked with acquiring monetary compensation for the lawyer that is out of work.
2. Confidentiality Preservation

The best lawyers never shy away from controversy, so their need for privacy can be higher than most other occupations. Certain gag orders can limit the participation of attorneys that have been previously in a case’s progression, which means secondary representation is required. Groundbreaking lawyers may also seek counsel when their trailblazing methods land them in hot water. It is much easier to plead Fifth Amendment rights when another lawyer is doing all of the talking.
3. Remote Representation

Occupational demands often dictate that lawyers operate within multiple precincts and jurisdictions. Most of the time, these areas are closely located; however, some attorneys have offices in several parts of the country. If scheduled courtroom appearances are destined to overlap, another attorney may be sent to handle processions in the absence of a summoned party. If physical presence is not needed for a hearing, then a lawyer can skip it entirely. The whole affair can be left to an underling or intern.
4. Malpractice Protection

Because there are endless challenges associated with legalese mazes, errors are bound to happen on occasion during even the most professional attorney’s careers. To stave off damaging malpractice litigation, it is wise to have a specialized defense lawyer on retainer at all times. A sterling reputation can be maintained by employing a hawkish ally to oversee risky courtroom strategies.
5. Post-Disbarment Trials

Banishment from law practice closes the door on working in the courtroom, but it opens the door for a ton of new legal problems. Reinstatement is a nearly impossible journey, and the rules depend on regional codes and specific infractions. Usually, a lengthy time period must also pass before reentry will even be considered. This range typically encompasses five years. This is a huge window for potential run-ins with the law, and the best bet for withstanding any court procedure is through outside help. Judges are characteristically harsh when it comes to disgraced lawyers, so top-notch representation is the safest route.

The examples detailed above refer to very specific instances of lawyers serving lawyers, but there are general causes for the layered practice too. For example, prosecutors have a tendency to make lousy defenders, so these workers have to reach across the aisle to receive aid from their inherently opposite counterparts. Ultimately, every case is unique!


Why Intellectual Property Rights Are The Next Big Frontier in the Legal World

The virtual world has arrived and it is clearly here to stay. And with the digital age, there will be an entirely new dynamic in the legal community as court cases and legislation move forward involving copyright and patent infringement. Intellectual property claims traditionally had been limited to patents, trademarks, and compositions. Those traditional compositions included both musical and literary works. Negotiations are now underway internationally that supposedly will protect copyright holders from international infringements, but much of the discussions have been classified in the United States as top secret due to national security concerns. This may be the primary reason.

The leaked information on these discussions contained in the controversial TPP treaty suggests that the internet service providers will assist the governments in stopping online piracy and infringement by merely blocking the offender from internet access. While this may begin with copyrighted materials, the capacity for a chilling effect on the First Amendment is ominous. This suggests that there is a real paradigm shift just around the corner for the legal industry concerning intellectual property claims if common computer users are targeted by the private/public sector information policing octopus when the TPP is finally approved and signed in secret, as is being advanced by the Obama Administration.

Regardless of international agreements, there will also be plenty of opportunity for legal claims in sovereign bordered jurisdictions. The United States is a prime example. The Department of Homeland Security has already seized many websites that were promoting copyrighted material, resulting in criminal charges on some operators. That list of shutdowns and prosecutions include individuals who were only supplying links to other pirated broadcasts on a particular website, as well as posting advertisements for suspected piracy website operators.

The “fair use doctrine” legal defense was completely denied in many of these prosecutions and seizures cases, although all seized website operators were not charged. This means that the trend in infringement cases is no longer merely for civil infringement cases. The government realizes an opportunity to send a message with fines and incarcerations as part of the mix. The governments, at least the U.S. and British governments, are still actively looking for anyone who can be banned from the web for promoting any goods in any manner if they do not own the patent or copyright.

Initially, the focus had been on knock-off products carrying the official logo of a similar product. Many of the individuals were selling pirated trademarked goods that were advertised on the fair use link websites. However, the DHS expanded the group to include those merely posting URL addresses for the actual streams by using the crime complicity argument. With the behemoth digital information extraction that is being implemented by the National Security Agency, conducting a piracy criminal investigation can now be completed in stealth by sending an email and following with a few directed clicks of a computer mouse. This will result in a criminal charges and will result in the need to hire a criminal defense attorney.

When this situation is compounded by the fact that computer programs are also protected by copyright ownership by the coder, the capacity for legal action is multiplied significantly. Although inventions and programs are susceptible to copyright ownership by others who have improved an existing protected digital product, the legal arguments will still continue and the legal industry will still be smiling. Intellectual property law is easily the field of law that is most prominently positioned for growth in the future, and there appears to be no end in sight.


5 Unique Genres of Computers and Their Uses

As computers have evolved over the decades, they’ve gone from room-sized mainframes to personal computers and handheld mobile devices. Today’s smartphones and tablets are thousands of times more powerful – and millions of times less expensive – than the supercomputers of the 1950s. The genres of computers and uses in the modern world of computing comprise a wide range of applications, from basic PCs and servers to multi-million-dollar clusters used by research giants such as IBM and Google.
Desktop Computers

Desktop computers typically include a separate monitor, keyboard, mouse and computer tower. They tend to be the most powerful personal computers because their internal components have plenty of room to be cooled down by fans and water-cooling systems. Modern processors can reach many billions of cycles per second, and available main memory can be as much as 8 to 12 gigabytes.
Laptop Computers

Laptops are also known as notebook computers because they open and close like a traditional paper notebook. They’re typically a little less powerful than desktop computers because their compact internal components have less room for air or liquid cooling. However, some of the most expensive gaming laptops can be significantly more powerful than the average desktop used for general or business purposes.
Netbook Computers

Netbooks derive their name from their intended use as a miniature laptop for browsing the Internet. Because of their small size, netbooks are often used by tech enthusiasts and programmers to get work done while away from the office. In appearance, they resemble a standard laptop on a smaller scale. While they open and close like a laptop, they generally lack the mechanical latch that holds the screen closed, so opening them can be faster. Netbooks tend to be the least powerful personal computers capable of running a full desktop environment. They’re generally not powerful enough to run graphic design or video-editing software, although an external monitor can be connected to a VGA port.
Data Storing Center Computer Systems

In today’s modern world of high-tech data storage, entire rooms are needed to store data on the millions of users accessing the Internet every day. Data storage centers use advanced security techniques to encrypt telecommunications data, backup storage and industrial-scale applications. They’re so large that they often require as much electricity as an entire town, requiring a huge staff of employees to operate the sophisticated equipment.
Rugged Computers

The United States military and defense contractors use rugged computers when on the field and in combat zones. These computers typically include a sturdy metal case that prevents blasts, dust and debris from damaging sensitive components. Like a laptop or netbook, rugged computers can be used in any location because they include a monitor attached to the computer body by a hinge. Types of rugged computers place the emphasis on durability over processing power, although many of them can be powerful enough to perform highly demanding tasks.

The various genres of computers and uses have developed into some of the most important aspects of modern life. In the early days, users focused on arithmetic and simple number crunching, but today’s computer categories cover the entire spectrum of creative and professional users. As the computer scientist Ray Kurzweil predicted, computers are only going to become more powerful in the coming years.


The 10 Best Things About Being in Your Thirties in The Workplace

When working in a professional environment, your 30s are a very important time in your career. While it can be a challenging time in your career, there are ten great things that come with working in your thirties.

Feeling Comfortable
The first good thing about working in your thirties is that you will begin to feel more comfortable. Many people in their 20s and early in their careers will feel uncomfortable during their first few years in the workforce. Once you have turned thirty, you will begin to feel more comfortable.

More Responsibility
Once you are in your thirties, you will also begin to receive more responsibility, which can make the job more enjoyable. This will also make the job seem more rewarding and it will seem as if you are making a bigger difference on a daily basis.

Not too Much Responsibility
While having some responsibility in your thirties is good, an advantage of this decade of your life is that you may not be taking on too much responsibility. You will likely not have to deal with the stressors that come with running a large business, managing a lot of people, and dealing with key executives.

Better Pay
People that are in their thirties will also like the fact that they will be paid better. Most people that are in their thirties will end up making more than twice than what they did when they first started their careers. This can greatly enhance their overall quality of life.

Not too Highly Paid
While they will be paid better, it is also beneficial because they will not be paid too much. Those that are in their thirties will get paid far less than those that are twenty years older, which will be beneficial if salary cuts need to take place.

Time to Change
Those that are in their 30s will still have time to change their careers. Those that are much older may find that they are stuck in their professions, which can make changing jobs a challenge. Those that are in their 30s are still young enough to switch jobs.

Developed Network
People that are in their thirties will also like the fact they have a better developed network. By this time in your career, you likely will have met hundreds of people that you have gotten to know. This network could help you feel more involved in the industry.

Those that are in their thirties will have more experience than they did in their past. This will help them be more effective in their daily jobs and will make them better overall employees.

Motivated for Potential
Those that are in their 30s will also likely feel more motivated for their potential. Once you have experience and can see a path for your future, you will feel more motivated going forward.

Less Hours
Many people in their 30s will also work less hours than they once did. Those that are in their 20s will likely feel pressure to stay late at work, even if they aren’t busy. Eventually, these long hours will no longer be a necessity and you will be able to start working less hours.

In conclusion, your thirties are a very big time during your career. While it can be a challenging time during your career, there are ten great things that come with working in your thirties.


4 Of The Coolest Tech Jobs Today

As computers and the Internet become more important in everyday life, the tech industry is providing some of the coolest jobs in the market. Today’s generation grew up using computers and accessing the Internet, and a lot of people have some basic experience writing HTML and CSS code for eBay auctions and Tumblr pages. Turning those skills into a tech job can lead to a position as a software developer, computer systems analyst, information security specialist or a number of other exciting careers in technology.

While many tech jobs require strong math skills, a lot of other positions favor business skills or creative instincts. Working in management information systems, Web design or mobile software development requires motivation, creativity and work ethic. As technology continues to develop, there are endless possibilities for cool jobs in the tech industry.
Web Developers

Web developers work with Web administrators, business managers and graphic designers to write the software code that tells browsers how to load Web pages. As the Internet becomes more sophisticated and ISPs offer higher bandwidths, websites continue to add interesting new visual features and interactive menus. Web developers are needed to come up with Python, JavaScript and PHP code to implement dynamic Web pages that load quickly and provide useful functions for visitors. They’re also in charge of writing the HTML5 and CSS3 pages that determine a website’s fonts, layout, transitions and simple animations.
Management Information Systems

MIS professionals work with businesses to implement internal information systems using servers and computer networks. They usually have computer science degrees with a specialization in business, marketing or management. MIS careers are one of the coolest jobs in the tech industry because they pay well above average and are expected to increase more than average over the next ten years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While many tech jobs require advanced math and science skills, MIS professionals usually need to know more about databases, software, computer hardware, servers and Internet security.
Software Engineers

Software engineers work for companies to design software as efficiently as possible. They usually don’t spend a lot of time writing actual code but instead use their understanding of programming theory and software design principles to create an application outline. They pass this outline to developers who type up the code and run it through tests to make sure it works. These tech jobs typically pay $90,000 to $110,000 per year on average, and they’re expected to grow much more quickly than jobs in other industries.
Social Media Managers

Social media managers are among the coolest professionals in the tech industry. They combine their technical know-how with social media savvy to help businesses publicize their services. They often work with marketing agents and business executives to decide on a social media campaign for desktop and mobile websites. Before social media took over the advertising landscape, businesses advertised on television, radio and, eventually, websites and Google searches. While these channels are still relevant, they don’t reach nearly as many customers as social media and mobile marketing.

New developments in technology and the Web create new jobs year after year. As technology and culture continue to merge, cool tech jobs will become the careers of choice for generations to come.