Disclaimer: My name is Christine Springer. I’m a paralegal and owner/founder of Desert Edge Legal. I am solely responsible for the content in this post. I am not an attorney and I cannot give you legal advice. There is no guarantee that the information in this post will work for your individual situation. Please consult with an attorney if you have questions about your individual situation.
Today is the day! My newest digital product, called “How I Used Arizona’s Notice of Claim Statute to Collect Unpaid Pandemic Unemployment Benefits” is now LIVE!
I mentioned in a previous blog post that I have been working on a digital product explaining how I used the Arizona Notice of Claim statute to make a claim against the State of Arizona for unpaid PUA benefits. I wrote this product with the help of my friend Linda Dominguez of the Phoenix Paralegal Group.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (“PUA”) and Unemployment Insurance (“UI”) are two programs boosted/extended/augmented by the CARES Act, passed into law on March 27, 2020.
You can get it for FREE now through Monday, December 14, 2020 at midnight CST. Use the promo code NOCFREE20 in the promo code box during checkout.
You will need to enter your e-mail in order to receive the product. This will subscribe you to my newsletter, but you can opt out at any time. I haven’t been sending a lot of e-mails lately and I definitely don’t spam or sell your information to others.
This product represents an important turning point for me for a few reasons.
First, it represents a shift in the way I plan to do business going forward. I love the law, but in the last decade, it feels like it’s mostly been unrequited. I am really excited at the outcome using this strategy.
It’s been fantastic to use my legal knowledge in a practical way AND to get the results I wanted. This has been a bright spot in an otherwise dark time.
Next, I’ve been in business since 2007 and I’ve done a lot of things: contract paralegal work, helped homeowners find the weaknesses in the foreclosure cases against them, written eBooks, prepared documents, and more.
All of these things worked for a season or two and then they didn’t work anymore. This has contributed to a lot of instability in my life and I’m honestly just over that.
However, I love the law. LOVE IT. I can’t imagine NOT being interested in the law, and I would do it for free if I could! And I honestly think that is the answer: I need to find a way to help more people for low cost or for free.
Dealing with people who don’t have the resources to pay for my services has been beyond frustrating.
It’s true that the legal field is more profitable when there’s an economic downturn. It seems to me that the economic downturns of the last 20 years have been worse than usual, at least in my lifetime. They’ve brought crushing job losses and exposed all sorts of other systemic problems that have not made recovery easy.
It’s clear to me that the old ways of doing business as a legal professional don’t work anymore. I have some advantages because I’m a small operation and better able to pivot in the marketplace. That doesn’t make it easy, though. There has been constant pressure to evolve, find ever more creative ways to make businesses work, and it’s just exhausting.
I’ve written about this before, but there are a lot of people who cannot afford legal help. The legal system in the United States is failing the very people it is meant to help. The cost of legal services, especially for hiring a lawyer, is just too expensive for most people.
Arizona has a new type of license coming in 2021, a Limited License Legal Practitioner (“LLLP”) license that will allow certain non-lawyers to represent people in certain types of cases.
I am skeptical that there will be much of a marketplace for this type of licensee for at least a few years. Over the long term I think it’s a positive step, but in the near term I doubt people can afford this either.
The LLLPs will be associate members of the Bar Association and there will be license fees and bar dues, advanced education (eg, LLM degree), which means that it’s not sustainable for these licensees to charge $25 an hour. It will also take time for the public to get used to paying non-lawyers a decent hourly rate $75-$150 in my estimation.
I was an Arizona Legal Document Preparer (“LDP”) for awhile (this is a type of license in Arizona that allows you to prepare legal documents without being supervised by a lawyer) and ten years ago, people had trouble paying $75 an hour for someone to prepare documents for them. .
Additionally, when I was an LDP, clients almost always expected that my rates would be very low (less than $25 an hour) for my services.
I do think there are some positive changes ahead but they won’t be right away.
Unfortunately, there are thousands of people who need help NOW, especially with the situation with DES and the state’s broken unemployment system.
I have never been on unemployment. Ever.
My experience with the unemployment system has been HELL. The pandemic has certainly exposed the government’s lack of compassion for the people it is supposed to serve, its rampant incompetence, the lack of a social safety net and more. I could go on, but you get the point.
Personally, I’ve had enough.
I’m ready to get off PUA and get back to work. I think a lot of people are frustrated that this damned pandemic continues to drag on.
Second, it is pretty shitty to arbitrarily suspend payments for thousands of Arizonans with no eviction ban and no other relief in sight.
Third, Arizona’s maximum weekly benefit is $240, which is less than $1000 a month. I don’t know any adults who can live on that.
And, there is a lot of garbage rhetoric, judgments and other conflicting things being said. This is the last gasp of a dying paradigm.
One day, there won’t be stigma attached to getting help from the government. Those of us who aren’t rich have been programmed to think it’s shameful to get help from the government while the rich get showered with cash.
However, people need help NOW. Go here to get my new ebook!
Finally, this product is the perfect opportunity for me to finally get off PUA, help a lot of Arizonans get paid without worrying about police violence at a protest or being exposed to the virus, and to put pressure on the governor and legislature for the State of Arizona to fix these problems.