Alafair Burke – Close Case, Third Samantha Kincaid Crime Novel, A Journey Inside the Justice System

Author Alafair Burke, former deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon, and criminal law professor at Hofstra University, Long Island, NY, reveals the inner workings of the Justice system in Portland, Oregon, in her series of novels with heroine ADA Samantha Kincaid.

Truthfully, I picked up her first crime novel, Judgement Calls, when I saw her name on the cover, a name made famous by her father’s, James Lee Burke, invented adopted daughter in his best-selling series of Dave Robicheaux crime novels based in New Orleans and Southwest Louisiana.

Alafair doesn’t disappoint, her books are unique. She takes you inside a world she knows very well, the Portland, Oregon, justice system. In this Close Case, the obvious, usual suspects are all the wrong ones even the less-than-innocent ones that confess.

Conflicts of interest in the personal and professional relations between heroine Assistant District Attorney Samantha Kincaid and her boyfriend, a Portland police detective, complicate investigations into the murder of a popular newspaper reporter.

More die before the insidious tentacles of corruption that extend into the police department can be shut down by the efforts of Samantha and the Internal Affairs Division.

If you like crime or mystery series, you’ll like Alafair’s books. She just keeps getting better. Though she writes in the first person her books are different than her father’s books. I eagerly await her next book, Dead Connection, coming out Summer 2007.

You can find her books, including her first Judgement Calls and her second Missing Justice with news of her upcoming book on her website with links to your favorite stores, at =>Alafair Burke

http://www.AlafairBurke.com

Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Enrolling in an online criminal justice degree program can get you started in a career that is exciting and meaningful.

Criminal Justice Careers

The criminal justice field offers a wide variety of careers- from local level law enforcement to State and Federal agencies and private sector law enforcement. A career in law enforcement will allow you to make a difference whether you are a youth probation officer or an FBI agent.

One of the things that attract people to online criminal justice programs is their desire to help people. Often criminal justice is a second career for those who have found their first career to be unsatisfying. Entering the criminal justice field is an important step. An online degree program in criminal justice can get you there.

Some of the more common criminal justice occupations are described in short below. The usual educational requirements needed for each job is listed. For further information you may want to refer to the U.S. Department of Labor website and check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook for specific jobs.

Corrections Officer- Corrections officers work in jails, penitentiaries, and prisons with persons convicted of crimes or who have been arrested and are awaiting trial. Most work in State and Federal facilities with inmates. Prison workers in most State and all Federal prisons must attend college (States 2-4 years, Federal 4 years) and have previous related job experience to be considered for employment. Localities may or may not require any college. There are many criminal justice degree programs online.

Crime Scene Investigator- A crime scene investigator gathers and analyzes evidence at crime scenes. They must be trained in investigative procedures including finding, handling and preserving crime evidence. Some investigators are trained in forensic science and some are sworn police officers. Most crime scene investigators are graduates of 4 year criminal justice programs. There are also associates degree programs. Both are offered online.

ATF Agent- An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent works for the Federal agency ATF to investigate criminal violations relating to explosives, firearms, arson, alcohol and tobacco. These agents are also involved in preventing and fighting terrorism and investigate unexplained explosions and bombings. Qualifications are very stringent regarding physical and mental fitness and character. There are several grades of special agents, requiring from 4 years of college at the least to a masters degree. Previous investigative experience is also required.

Court Reporter- Court reporters are responsible for the word for word transcript of court and other legal proceedings. There are several accepted means of recording, each which require specialized training. Education required is 1 to 2 years, depending on recording method. Court reporters must have attended programs that have been approved by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). There are several online programs approved by the NCRA.

Probation Officer- A probation officer and the related occupation parole officer supervise and monitor the activities of offenders who have been placed on probation or parole. Both work with offenders to create probation or post release plans and then evaluate their progress. Both have the goal of rehabilitating an offender and returning the offender to society. Probation and parole officers need a 4-year college degree at the minimum. There are online programs that will fulfill this requirement.

Police Officer- Police officers work for local and State police departments. Their job is to enforce the law and to protect the citizens in their jurisdictions. The duties of a police officer vary, but generally they respond to calls for assistance, arrest offenders, gather evidence, testify in court and maintain the security of their community. Most police officers are now required to complete at least two years of college in a criminal justice program as well as complete additional training after being hired. Online programs exist to fill this need.

Online Criminal Justice Degrees Available

We depend on those in the criminal justice system to keep us safe. Education and training is vital to developing and maintaining the skills necessary to perform well in these occupations. Although the above list is incomplete, it is clear that an online criminal justice degree would serve to complete the educational requirements for most occupations in the field. Whether you need an associates, bachelors, or masters degree, there is an online program for you.

Finding the right online criminal justice degree program will take some research. There are several good websites that can direct you to online criminal justice programs.

Some tips: Make sure the online college programs you are interested in will meet your needs. Find out which courses are offered and if they will be useful in the occupation you have chosen. Compare costs, as they vary greatly from school to school. Take a virtual tour online and talk directly to an admissions representative. After comparing several programs, choose the school that seems to be the best fit for you and that will help you meet your professional and personal goals.

Good luck in your search and as you start on the path to your career in criminal justice.

The Roles and Duties of the Air Marshal in the Criminal Justice Field

The job of an Air Marshal is exciting and dangerous. It is not a job for those who are weak at the heart. If you are one of those who is forever bitten with wanderlust and want to see new destinations every day then this job is for you.

However, first let us understand the roles and responsibilities of an Air Marshal in the criminal justice field. The job of an Air Marshal is to take care of the law enforcement aspect of flying. The main responsibility of an Air Marshall is that they need to protect the crew and passengers from terrorist attacks.

Below are the basic rules and responsibilities of the Air Marshal:

1. Air Marshals needs to be able to masquerade as normal travelers and blend in with the crowd. This will enable them to take the terrorists by surprise lest there is an air attack.

2. In case of some emergencies or situations, Air Marshals can also carry arms on the plane and make arrests without a warrant. This will also need discretion and a logical analytical mind and keep cool in times of problems.

3. Air Marshals need to be detached from their families and friends at the time of their duty. Hence, they should keep minimum contact with their family. An Air Marshal can be assigned to duty in any part of the world and at any time.

4. Perhaps one of the most important qualities of an Air Marshal is that he should be an excellent shot. He should be able to take on the terrorists without harming the passengers or the aircraft. The Air marshals have access to some of the most sophisticated equipment and are some of the greatest shooters in their field.

5. The job of an Air Marshal is highly stressful and demanding. There are times when he or she might not be able to see his country or his people for ages. Hence, he should be able maintain his calm and composure in all situations.

6. The position of an Air Marshal requires people with exceptional judgment. He or she should be able to judge and summarize the situation and take appropriate action. His judgment capability is also required to thwart and foil terrorist attacks.

7. The Air Marshal needs to be in excellent shape. Since this position requires days of traveling and a vigilant eye, it is important that the Air Marshal should be in excellent physical shape.

8. Another important qualification for the position of an Air Marshal is that she should have great communication skills. Since Air Marshals need to take charge of the situation all the time, they should be great leaders and motivators. It’s also important for him to be a great negotiator and convincer in the times of stress or attacks.

The position of an Air Marshal requires excellent shape and form. This job requires an individual with a sharp eye and a good shot. It is a great paying job and involves a lot of travel. So, if you are an adventure enthusiast and love living on the edge, this is the job for you!

Before you run out and start looking for Air Marshal job, I encourage you to do more research on this career. You can do so by visiting websites which cover the profession in more detail.

Note: You are free to reprint or republish this article. The only condition is that the links should be clickable.

Law Jobs Search – How to Find Law Jobs Online

Looking for legal jobs? These days lots of students are showing interest in these jobs. They always want to make sure that they choose the best job for themselves so that they can make it big in their field and can earn lots of money.

Money has become one of the most important factors in choosing a field these days. Law jobs can help you earn big if you can reach to the top. But before that you need to go through law jobs search. Where can you find the best jobs related to this field?

This is a common question which has a simple answer. You can perform your attorney jobs search on the internet. You might be aware of the growing popularity of the online job boards.

There are so many job websites available these days that it can be quite confusing for people to choose the right site for themselves. If you are interested in law jobs search then you can surely check out the job boards which are dedicated only to these kinds of jobs.

If you have some connections in the legal field then this might help you in your job search. People who are already a part of the legal industry know lots of important things which might have missed out. They might even help you find the best website for job search.

When you find the website dedicated to lawyer search you can create an account. You need to post your resume and cover letter on the site so that the prospective employers can view the resume and send you an interview call.

Most of these jobs search websites are free. You need to make sure that you update your profile regularly so that the employers always find you at the top. These specific job boards help you narrow your search and make it faster.

When you have decided to enter into the job market then it is always better to perform a research regarding the market to find out the present condition. You might either want to go for a paralegal search or even criminal justice jobs search.

It is important to find out which of these jobs are hot in the present market conditions. If you choose a hot job it will surely help you earn more and become successful quickly. You need to take your time to understand the market before you take up law jobs search.

Always be prepared with your resume and cover letter so that you can apply to the hottest jobs in the market whenever they are posted on the job boards. Once you get the job of your choice you can surely make it to the top.

5 Tips for the Best Law Firm Logo

What does your law firm logo suggest to your potential clients?

You only have one chance to make a first impression. Upon meeting a new or prospective client and exchanging business cards, the client will get an impression of your firm based on the law firm logo alone.

So, what does your logo say about your firm?

Your law firm logo represents your law firm to the outside world. Every seemingly insignificant aspect of it makes an impression on the client. Font. Color scheme. Name arrangement. Text size. Spacing. Inclusion of a scale or gavel image.

Looking at your business card and firm logo, your client gets an impression. Your client forms an idea in his or her head of what your firm stands for. Is your logo modern or traditional? Does it make you look frugal and indifferent, like you made the logo yourself in Microsoft Word or does it look like you value your reputation and appearance, and had a professional designer create the logo?

Before approaching a logo designer or creating the logo yourself, there are some very important steps you can take to get a clear picture of what the logo should entail and how it should represent your law firm.

Tip 1: Look at your competitors

You don’t want your law firm to look like the other law firms in your practice area and location, lest your firm be unmemorable to the client. The last thing you want to do is confuse the client with what sets your firm apart from everyone else. See what you like about their logos. Make notes. Try and gauge how their logos make you perceive their law firms. Do their logos make the firms appear professional or do they seem like the firms are unremarkable? Think about what you like and don’t like about these firm logos when deciding on how your own logo is going to look.

Tip 2: Modern or traditional? Decide on a theme

Do you want your logo to be modern or traditional?

These are the two main theme options for law firm logos. This usually means the difference between serif and sans-serif font. What does that mean? Open Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Type your law firm name in Times New Roman, Georgia, or Garamond font. Then, type your firm name again in either Arial or Helvetica. The first three fonts are considered serif fonts because you can see they have little lines on the bottom and sides of letters like A, B, and C. The sans-serif fonts do not have these lines. Serif fonts are associated with newspapers, considered more traditional fonts. Sans-serif fonts are associated with Internet content and are considered modern. Do you want your law firm to have the appearance of a traditional, storied practice or do you want it to appear sleek, adaptive, and modern? The choice is yours.

Tip 3: Choose a Font

Now that we’ve decided whether to go serif or sans-serif, we need to choose which font is going to represent the firm. First thing’s first, it should be noted that you should NOT use a commonly used font. Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman. People see these fonts every day. Whether they recognize them immediately as Arial, Helvetica, or Times New Roman, people know these fonts. They see Times New Roman while reading the newspaper. They see Helvetica when getting on the subway. They see Arial while reading websites. These fonts do not make an impression anymore.

There are many sites where you can download fonts for free. Google has a directory of free fonts, most of which you’re guaranteed to not have come across. Take a look around. Use the Google Font tool to test out your law firm name in different fonts and compare them side by side.

One last tip on choosing a font: Don’t be indecisive. While two or three fonts may look similar to you, your clients will never know the difference when you choose a font for your law firm logo. They will never know that it was down to three similar fonts. The client will likely not be influenced any differently by similar looking fonts. You may want to ask someone else for their opinion on two or three fonts, but make a choice and stick with it.

Tip 4: Choose your colors

Online you can find many color wheel tools useful to help web designers choose color schemes. Click on a primary color and they will suggest complementary colors. Just make sure that you use a color selection helping tool. Otherwise, you may end up picking two colors that just don’t work together.

When picking colors try avoiding those of a law firm in your practice area and region. You want to make sure you stand apart in the mind of the client. If you think every color combination has been taken by the firms in your region, just ensure that your logo look different to distinguish you from your competitors.

Tip 5: Images or No Images?

Often a law firm logo entails an arrangement of the names of the partners. Sometimes it’s an abbreviation of those names. Other times, the logo includes a tried and true symbol of the legal profession – the scales of justice – or a gavel – alongside the partner names.

Generally, I hate the scales of justice and gavel. They’ve been played out. They’re overdone. They’re sickening. They’re unimaginative.

If you are going to include an image alongside your partner names, why not include a memorable image that represents your law firm, conveys professionalism, and also originality? You can do this by including an image, if you so choose, of the initials of the firm partners’ names. If the firm is Crane, Poole, and Schmidt, you could have a small CPS initialed logo. This is a more modern element to law firm logos, differentiates the firm, and also looks professional. So, if you are going to include an image, consider shelving the gavel and scales for something a bit more contemporary and unique.

Conclusion

With all of these tips in mind, you’re ahead of the game. Whether you decide to make a logo yourself or approach logo designers, you know what you want your logo to convey. You know the message you want your clients to receive. You know how your competitors look and how you’re going to look different. Now, you can clearly envision what your logo is going to look like without having to get wildly different designs from a designer that won’t be useful for your firm.

If you are proficient at Photoshop, I would suggest taking a shot at creating a logo yourself. If not, maybe you should consider hiring a logo designer. In this crowdsourcing era of Internet technology, logo designs can be incredibly inexpensive. There are many sites now like 99designs.com where you can crowdsource your logo design, having up to several hundred design mock-ups sent to you by freelance designers, with you choosing and paying for your favorite.

Good luck.