Advantage Denton

September 24, 2008

Financial Bailouts, Legal Advice – consider the source

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Melissa Denton @ 7:44 am

Since other folks are really busy with assigning the blame for why our tax dollars are needed to bail out the financial industry, I don’t feel the need to add my opinion to the mix. After all, my opinion on that subject is fairly uninformed, since I have not done the work to become an expert on the subject. When I look at whether to rely on what someone says about about any subject, the first step for me is always to evaluate “who says so.”

For example, when I look at a movie review or a book review to decide whether I am interested in the movie or book, I often don’t even look at what the review says. I look at who wrote the review.  If a review is quoted from a person or media source I recognize and respect, I might be interested.  If the only reviews are from less reputable sources, my attention goes elsewhere – even if the less reliable review says amazing and excited things.

The reason I am telling you about this thought process is because I am an expert at evaluating information. As an attorney representing clients since 1990, it has been my responsibility to give my clients advice they could rely on for some of the most important decisions they make in their lives.  I don’t know enough about the financial industry’s crisis to provide helpful comment on where blame lies – or, more importantly, to suggest solutions for today’s economic situation. I do know enough to say that I don’t know enough. That is one of the most important skills that lawyers or lawyer finders bring to serving you.  It is our responsibility to say we don’t know when we don’t know.

Lawyer finders are not acting as your lawyer.  They have expertise in finding the right lawyer for you and are required not to give you legal advice.  Some lawyer finders are also lawyers, but they know their boundaries and that giving you legal advice when they are acting as a lawyer finder would be unethical.  Most lawyers are not lawyer finders and, unless they happen to know the right lawyer for you, they usually refuse to act as lawyer finders.  Each qualified and responsible professional knows their area of expertise and the role they are performing when you consult with them.  

Consider the source when you chose who is going to help you find a lawyer. Consider the source when you decide whose advice you will take. Lawyer finders from Advantage Denton will connect you with the right lawyer.  The right lawyer will give you the advice you need to make important decisions.  Both will refuse to advise you on things they are not qualified to comment on.  

Not giving or taking unqualified advice is very smart.

I would like to hear what you have to say.  Please comment if you want to.

September 16, 2008

Attorneys are useful creatures

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts,Uncategorized — Melissa Denton @ 7:34 pm

 I am using the word “creatures” in the same tenor as one speaks of “all God’s creatures”.  Advantage Denton is strongly supportive of the vital role that lawyers play in our nation’s life. You don’t have to go far to find someone who is willing to bash attorneys as a group. It doesn’t take much thinking to try tearing down other people’s hard work and slam a whole group in our society. Most lawyers are very good people, but we are only human, just like you are.

It is absolutely true that a bad lawyer can cause a lot of damage. Lawyers are entrusted with a sacred duty to behave in accord with higher standards than most other people. We are officers of the court and an important part of the judicial branch of our states and nation. Lawyers wield a lot of power. When a lawyer stinks, they stink bad. Most lawyers do not stink and the ones that do behave badly are often called on it by their licensing authority. Just like other bad apples in society, you can’t always catch and stop a stinker fast enough to avoid harm to everyone. Even among good lawyers, some lawyers do a better job than others.

This is where Advantage Denton comes in. We find the right lawyer for you, not just any lawyer. Because we spend our careers focusing on how to find the right lawyer, we are able to access and digest a huge amount of information that is not easily evaluated by other folks. Even lawyers themselves don’t spend their time finding right lawyers for other people and usually (unless they work with Advantage Denton) won’t be able to refer you to the right lawyer unless they just happen to know another lawyer’s qualifications.

Most lawyers know the small group of attorneys who practice in the same geographic region and specific area of law as themselves. This is really useful knowledge for the attorneys to use in helping clients. Knowing the lawyers in your practice area does not usually help an attorney refer folks who need that kind of lawyer, because the attorney will usually keep a client for their own firm or will have a conflict of interest and not be the best person to get a referral from.

An attorney’s knowledge about lawyers in other areas of practice is usually limited to attorneys they know personally or by reputation. While we lawyers sometimes happen to know of some other lawyer who might be right for you, practicing attorneys don’t have free time to go research to see if some other lawyer (who we don’t know about yet) is actually the right lawyer for the family member, neighbor, church member, friend, acquaintance, current client or caller to the law office who asks for our help.

Since using Advantage Denton’s service pays for itself when you get the free 30 minute interview (and especially pays for itself many times over when compared to getting the wrong lawyer), clients are much better served by hiring us to find the right lawyer. Attorneys are relieved of the responsibility for a possible wrong referral and Right Lawyers are provided with a pre-screened client for whom they are the right lawyer. If you need a lawyer’s advice or know of someone who does, I encourage contacting Advantage Denton to get the right lawyer and the answers that will help so very much. We work strictly for you and not for a list of attorneys who pay to get clients. The attorneys understand this, because they are supposed to work only for the client, too.

I would like to hear what you have to say.  Please comment if you want to.

September 10, 2008

Incredible Wonderful Applicants

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Melissa Denton @ 11:54 am

Lawyer Finding is a new and very respectable delightful type of career.  It is wonderful that such fantastic people have applied to work with Advantage Denton.  Since it is quite time consuming to respond to every applicant individually, I want to mention here that the clients who come to Advantage Denton to have us find their lawyer are going to be very well served.  The folks who already work here do a great job of finding lawyers and the people who have applied to work with Advantage Denton are some of the smartest, most experienced, best-hearted people you could ever hope to work with.

It will take a little bit of time for Advantage Denton to have enough clients so that we can bring on more of the folks who have applied because we have only just begun letting people know of our existence.  Please have patience with us while we grow wisely.

In the meantime, please do let other folks know about this service.  A lot of folks expect to get services for free if they find them on the Internet and lawyers are always being hit up to pay for advertising.  We are sort of turning this notion on its head.  We work for and are paid by the client, but the client receives the 30 minute interview with the right lawyer which more than pays them back for the money they spent for our service.  It may take a while to catch on because many other businesses out there promise the public something for nothing.  There is no free lunch, but Advantage Denton gives the best quality and the best value.  People need to know about this.

By the way, my colleagues were great at the meeting yesterday.  They seemed a little surprised that I am doing this very different thing, but the questions were good and I think they will be supportive of Advantage Denton.  Now, to communicate effectively with all of the other clients and lawyers in the United States…

I would like to hear what you have to say about Advantage Denton.  Please comment if you want to.

September 9, 2008

First meeting with Lawyers about Advantage Denton is Today

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Melissa Denton @ 10:48 am

Advantage Denton is a great resource for clients who need to find the right lawyer. It is also a great resource for lawyers. Lawyers don’t pay Advantage Denton. We don’t ask Right Lawyers to commit to anything beyond great service to clients (which they already give) and a free 30 minute interview for the client. We give all lawyers and people who work in law firms a safe and appropriate place to send clients to get the right lawyer when the firm they work with can’t help. All of the attorneys I have talked with about this are pleased to have a good resource like this for people they can’t help.

I should mention that a 30 minute interview with me costs clients $125 and clients get a great deal of valuable information during this 30 minutes. My typical first interview with a client is 30 minutes. Even when they don’t hire me at the time (I tell them they don’t need to or it is not the right time for them), clients most always leave with a better idea of what to do next and great emotional relief from having the information from the interview. The lawyers who provide a free 30 minutes are providing a very valuable service to the public and to the client.

Today, I am attending the Family Law Section meeting of the Thurston County Bar Association. We meet monthly at the courthouse and talk about issues relevant to family law practice in our area. These are the primary people I have been proud to practice law with for 17+ years. I hope that they will be supportive of Advantage Denton. You often hear about how someone who starts a new idea will be discouraged in their home town while the larger world raves about their success. Maybe this happens sometimes because the person starting a new thing doesn’t ask for the support of their home town folks first. Hope this goes well.

I would like to mention that several people have commented on my blog. Since about the only people who can find this web site are folks who are answering my craigslist ad for lawyer finders, it makes sense that the only people who comment are the only people who find the blog. As my web site increases in functionality (quickly!) and becomes findable on the internet, other folks will visit a lot (I hope). Please know that I do appreciate your comments but I don’t expect anyone applying to work with Advantage Denton to feel pressured to comment. It is delightful that many other people agree that Advantage Denton provides an extremely valuable service. Learning about your stories will help other people reach out to us so we can connect them with the right lawyer to give them the help they need.

Thanks for reading this blog. I hope to contribute to it at least once a week, preferably more frequently. If you want to comment, I appreciate hearing from you.

September 6, 2008

Melissa Denton’s Blog

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Tags: , — davem @ 10:52 am

I am passionate about the law, about the great people who are lawyers (almost all of them great), and most passionate about people who need the help of a lawyer. I have absolutely loved working for my clients (almost all of them) since 1990.

Advantage Denton Lawyer Finding is a service that has long been needed, but no one provided it until now. Just about every day in most law firms, attorneys and staff are confronted with someone they can’t help who needs a lawyer. A few times, the lawyer or staff know just who the lawyer should be for that client and they give a name and phone number right off. Far more often, we gave a name we are not sure of, or we send folks to the phone book and the Internet to find their own lawyer. 

While we work in law firms because we love to help people, lawyers and staff are not trained as lawyer finders. Lawyers and staff don’t get paid to find lawyers. We are also more aware than most folks that lawyers could have liability if they make a poor referral. It is not fun to do something you are not trained for, not paid for and can be sued for.

Now, lawyers and other people who work in law firms (and everyone else) have a much better option: send the client to AdvantageDenton.com or have them call us at 1-877-LAW-CALM. (For self help for clients who want to find their own lawyer, see Do I Need a Lawyer? on our web site.)

Just as lawyers are ethically bound to perform their jobs as directed by their clients and in the best interests of their clients, Advantage Denton works directly for the client to find the Right Lawyer for the individual client.

We start from all of the lawyers in the world (except my law firm, which gets no business from Advantage Denton). We utilize all of the information we know how to access in the world about lawyers (a lot of information, believe me). We use the specialized skills we have developed to find the right lawyer for each client who hires us. We ask the right lawyer to give the client 30 minutes of their time for free. The lawyer has no other commitment to us. Just do a great job for the client.

Right after the interview, we ask the client to keep the “Cow Promise” to give us survey results and rate, from 1-10 how the lawyer did, the likelihood of them hiring the lawyer, and how Advantage Denton did. This rating will be important in the future. The lawyer will be eligible to be listed on AdvantageDenton.com’s “Right Lawyer Listing” only if Advantage Denton independently found them and they got good client ratings.

I would like to hear about what you think. Please post comments to this blog so that Advantage Denton can help make justice more accessible to clients who need legal advice from lawyers.

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