A lawyer is a member of your community who has obtained a law license.
The Montana Supreme Court-granted right to practice is your assurance that they have been judged eligible to represent you appropriately.
To practice law in Montana, all attorneys must be members of the Montana State Bar.
To be admitted to the Bar, they must complete college and graduate from an accredited law school, pass the Board of Bar Examiners’ comprehensive examination, be of good character, and pledge to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Montana, as well as to discharge their duties as an attorney to the best of their abilities.
As a member of the Bar, attorneys are required to attend “continuing legal education” seminars on various elements of the law on a regular basis. This allows them to stay current on the law and better serve their clients.
A lawyer is, first and foremost, a court officer tasked with explaining and interpreting the law for you and representing your interests both in and out of court.
Legal aid is extremely desirable and frequently required in many other situations in life that have nothing to do with crime or a judicial proceeding. In many cases, the greatest moment to consult with a lawyer is not when you are in legal trouble but before it arises.
Never think of a lawyer as a “last resort” because one of the most significant services a lawyer can do is preventive law. It aims to remove possible problems, much like preventive medicine. Preventive law can also save you money. Costly legal issues can often be avoided by smoothing out the legal kinks ahead of time. Having an attorney draft critical documents can save you from unpleasant surprises later on.
You should consult a lawyer in the following situations:
- When your situation changes: Coming of age, marriage, childbirth or adoption, and relocating to a different state can all result in new or different legal and personal duties. This may necessitate adjustments in the way you handle your business or finances. Your lawyer can assist you in planning for and meeting such duties, including the creation of any necessary legal paperwork.
- When you write or revise your will: The preparation and drafting of your will is a serious legal subject. Your lawyer can manage your estate in a way that is most beneficial to you and those to whom you intend to contribute by creating your will. Your lawyer can recommend appropriate solutions that may result in significant tax and other estate expense reductions.
- When you buy or sell a home: When buying or selling real estate, you should consult with a lawyer. A real estate broker may be extremely helpful in getting the transaction together, but they may fail to provide certain necessary documents or provide sufficient legal guidance on a regular basis.
- There are potential legal problems in the purchase or sale of any real estate that can only be avoided by someone who understands the laws governing real estate, taxes, insurance, contracts, and other related matters. Your lawyer can help you avoid such dangers.
- When you sign any contract: Any oral or written contract involving a consideration (the exchange of something of value in exchange for goods or services) may be binding and enforceable. Oral agreements should be avoided as a general rule, and written agreements should be made or analyzed by a lawyer on your behalf before you sign them, especially if the agreement represents a significant financial obligation.
- When you get in a car accident: If you are involved in a car accident that causes personal harm or property damage, you should consult with a lawyer. They can assist you in protecting your rights and should be called as soon as possible so that appropriate action can be taken. You should also tell your casualty insurance carrier right away.
The law exists to defend your rights, but in most cases, you must take action to make those laws work for you. Your lawyer is ready to protect and enforce your legal rights in all of your personal or business matters.
Where should you go for a lawyer when the time comes? Many Montana residents will engage an attorney on the recommendation of a friend or family member.
While this is a viable alternative, it may not be the best if the attorney is not knowledgeable in the area of law in question. Others simply consult the phone book. You should consider using an attorney referral service if you live in Montana.