Compliments of Mark Anderson of Andertoons
Bid-for-Placement: what does it mean? Why do we need it?
A bid is a sum of money that a lawyer offers for the opportunity of talking to a client, to receive his contact information and discuss his case (the minimum amount you can bid on is 6 law dollars).
It’s important to remember that a lawyer’s bid on a case determines where in the list of competing, “bidding” lawyers their profile will be displayed to the clients, who posted the case. The profile with the highest bid will be displayed first and the lowest, respectively, the last.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
An “Elevator Pitch”, also known as an elevator speech or statement, is a short summary used to quickly define a person, product, profession or organization and its Value Proposition. The name “elevator pitch” conveys that the person who is delivering the message has about the same time that it takes the typical elevator to go from the ground floor the top floor to convince their audience about their proposal. A well designed elevator pitch should be between 30 and 60 seconds.
How to Write a Good Elevator Pitch
The “Elevator Pitch” on Legal Bistro is five lines (500 words maximum) of text that are displayed to potential clients in what we call the “Short Profile Preview”. This is the very first thing that a potential client will see about you and your law firm so you should give a lot of thought to what you would like to say.
Do you need a lawyer but are intimidated by the legal process? Are you concerned that professional legal services may be financially out of reach? Perhaps English is not your native language and you are having trouble finding a qualified attorney with whom you can effectively communicate. Don’t worry, if you answered yes to any of these questions you are not alone.
We built Legal Bistro because we were inspired by the contribution that Lending Tree made to the process for finding a mortgage lender. Lending Tree used the power of the Internet to bring online competition in the mortgage application process. Equally important is that Lending Tree’s website has helped consumers to better understand the process of applying for a home loan. We hope that Legal Bistro can achieve similar results in the legal services market.
When Lawyers Compete, You Win!
The single biggest reason why consumers love our service is because Legal Bistro facilitates lawyers competing online to serve the client. Our Company motto is that When Lawyers Compete, the Client Wins! Frankly, we believe that both lawyers and consumers win when the competitive playing field has been leveled.
Are you happy with the current Return on Investment (“ROI”) for your online legal services marketing dollars? Are you spending too much of your time qualifying leads? Do you know anything about the visitors to your law firm’s website besides their IP Address and the date and time of their visit? More specifically, are you being provided with case specific facts that will help you evaluate their legal needs?
If you have answered yes to some or all of these questions then perhaps you will appreciate why lawyers love Legal Bistro.
YOU ARE IN CONTROL
You decide what cases you see based on the Practice Groups, Case Types and Tag or Key Words used when defining your Areas of Practice.
In a recent Reuters article written by Edith Honan entitled: Rhode Island lawmakers pass gay marriage bill; governor signs it, is reported that on Thursday the smallest in area of the 50 U.S. states Rhode Island became the 10th U.S. state to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples and the last of the six New England states to do so.
Governor Lincoln Chafee, an independent, signed the bill yesterday shortly after its approval. The first wedding ceremonies will be possible on August 1, when the law will take effect.
“We would not be where we are today without the Rhode Islanders who for decades have fought for tolerance and freedom over discrimination and division,” said Chafee. “I am proud to say that now, at long last, you are free to marry the person you love.”
Later the governor together with the state’s main gay rights organization, Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, celebrated their victory in the state capital Providence.
Obese individuals discrimination. Isn’t that illegal? Do we have laws protecting against weight discrimination?
A recent Wall Street Journal article, entitled: Weigh More, Pay More on Samoa Air, reports that a tiny South Pacific airline is pioneering a radical pricing model that no other airline has dared to try: charging passengers based on their weight.
Samoa Air customers flying on short international distances are set to pay US $ 0.92 per kilogram for each flight.
According to the World Health Organization, about 55.5% of the country’s population over the age of 20 is considered obese, what explains why passenger weight is the matter of great importance for Samoa Air, which operates with smaller planes that seat between three and 10 passengers each. That means a grossly fat passenger could essentially reduce a plane’s capacity, which in its turn could cause a loss of company’s income.
“We are like a shopkeeper; we are selling weight. But with the weight goes the responsibility of being able to seat the passenger comfortably,” said Samoa Air Chief Executive Chris Langton to The Wall Street Journal. He paid attention to the fact that while a 160-kilogram person on Samoa Air will pay four times as much as a 40 kilogram person, the airline would ensure more space for the bigger passenger.
The change caused heated discussion on Samoa Air’s Facebook page, where many called for a boycott of the airline based on discrimination. There were others who absolutely commended the company for its decision on charging by weight.
While Samoa Air could wake up the profit-starved industry, many of the world’s airlines have so far been hesitating to gain advantage from passenger weight because of discrimination concerns.
There is no doubt that a great number of Americans are obese. According to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012, a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health, half of all American adults are expected to be obese by 2030.
The social consequences of obesity include discrimination in employment, barriers in education, biased attitudes from health care professionals, stereotypes in the media, and stigma in interpersonal relationships.
As most cases involving weight are employment discrimination cases, and many of them are unsuccessful, in an article by Donna Ballman entitled: Is Weight Discrimination At Work Illegal?, are reported the top ways you might be protected under the law against discrimination if you’re overweight:
1. Disability Discrimination – The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees from discrimination due to disabilities. EEOC considers morbid obesity to be a protected disability. If your life activity is essentially limited because of your weight, then you may be protected against discrimination.
Overweight people who are not “morbidly obese” but who experience weight discrimination cannot file claims under the ADA because they are not considered disabled. These unresolved issues, along with public perceptions that blame obese people for their own negative experiences, result in inconsistent court rulings and deter other overweight people from seeking legal recourse at all.
2. Sex Discrimination – Very often, women are expected to be slim but men aren’t. If your employer is holding women to different standards than men (or vice versa) then they may be guilty of sex discrimination.
3. Family and Medical Leave – If you need medical treatment because of your weight problems, you may be protected for days you miss work under the Family and Medical Leave Act. You can get protected leave for each of your doctor’s appointments, for up to a total of 12 weeks per year. You can use both intermittent and continuous FMLA leave as your doctor requires.
4. State and Local Laws – Very few, but nevertheless, some states and municipalities have limitations on appearance or weight discrimination (for example, Michigan has a state law).
However, if you are in none of the protected categories above, that all changes, and you have to fight your battles alone. Despite increased attention to the obesity epidemic, little has been done to stop the discrimination that obese people face every day. No federal laws exist to prohibit bullying and harassment against obese people. Many forms of discrimination are perfectly legal.
However, some of these “legal” kinds of discrimination may also have an illegal effect. Try to look around and see if what’s happening is really about sex, race, age, disability, pregnancy, national origin, or some other type of illegal discrimination.
Obesity is an extremely complex condition and it’s going to require many different solutions.
In a recent New York Times article written by Sam Dolnick and Danny Hakim entitled Women Employed by Lawmaker Describe Sexually Hostile Office Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman Victor J. Lopez has been accused by five women of sexual harassment and the use of crude language in his office. The scandal began to unfold last Friday when the New York Assembly ethics committee substantiated claims that Mr. Lopez had harassed two women. The Assembly released a letter censuring Mr. Lopez and taking away committee chairmanship and barring him from employing interns or anyone under the age of 21.
Mr. Lopez represents one of the city’s last powerful political bosses at the age of 71. The letter released by the Assembly found that he had verbally harassed, groped and kissed two of his staff members without their consent. Governor Andrew Cuomo and other elected officials have called on Mr. Lopez to resign. To date, Mr. Lopez has refused to do so.
The scandal comes on the heels of the release of information that New York State Assembly speaker Sidney Shelton had authorized a secret payment of $103,080 in June to settle prior allegations against Mr. Lopez from two other women. This settlement has resulted in cries for an investigation into the Assembly’s handling of the matter.
In a recent Yahoo News article entitled: Sex discrimination hampers poverty button: UN’s Ban is stated that discrimination against women impedes progress in alleviating world poverty and costs Asia-Pacific economies tens of billions of dollars a year, United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon said.
“Gender discrimination blocks progress. Equality makes it possible to achieve huge breakthroughs,” Ban told an international meeting for young female leaders during a visit to his native South Korea.
According to Ban, the lack of women’s empowerment affects individual women’s rights and it holds back whole countries.
He says that helping women is crucial to achieving the Millennium Development Goals on poverty reduction by 2015.
Women worked harder and for less money than men and a lot of girls were shut out of primary schools. Two-third of the 780 million people in the world who cannot read are women.
Ban claims that a woman dies every 90 seconds from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth, so he is heading a global movement to end these needless deaths.
“We are moving on all fronts to invest in women so they can reach their full potential, drive development and lead us to a better future,” Ban said.