Local lawyer opens a different kind of law firm – American Press

After 30 years of experience in the legal system, lawyer Stephanie Cochran opened The Legal Shop. It is a place where individuals can receive qualified legal advice, find out what their rights and responsibilities are, prepare to navigate the court system, obtain pleadings and associated forms required by the court, and sometimes hear the suggestion. to contact a lawyer for more specialized advice. .

“Everyone should have a lawyer,” Cochran said, “but I know not everyone can afford one. “

The Legal Shop is not a legal aid office.

“My goal is to help people who do not qualify for legal aid or who cannot afford a private lawyer,” she said.

Payment for services is required. But there is no holding back. No billable hours. Cochran does not go to court with his clients. She does not file any papers. She could help a person from start to finish. On the other hand, it could simply provide a service called “unbundled” or “a la carte” in the industry. Examples include: case consultation and assessment, preparation of documents and forms, self-advocacy coaching, second opinion, obligation assessments, drafting and reviewing of stipulations, write-offs, notary services, among others.

The main reason for The Legal Shop is to help people who seek help there, “educate themselves, prepare and take control,” Cochran said.

The court, including judges and court staff, cannot give legal advice.

“In most, if not all, cases, a lawyer hired by one person cannot represent or give legal advice to both parties because they have conflicting or competing interests,” she said. “Unfortunately, in a large number of cases, there is a ‘judicial gap’ in the justice system at parochial, state and national levels.”

So far, Cochran has seen more family court-type cases at The Legal Shop than any other. the American press asked Cochran to explain one type of case in detail, to give readers an idea of ​​what can be accomplished with The Legal Shop.

“For example, if someone is considering a divorce, I can give them advice on what to expect if a divorce is filed and what needs to be done to file for a divorce. If a person wishes to go ahead with the divorce petition, I will provide them with a divorce petition tailored to their own circumstances – which may include a request regarding custody and visitation, child support, child support. spouse, the use of movable or immovable property, injunctions, etc. There are also required forms that must be submitted to the court clerk at the time a petition is filed and throughout the process in accordance with the rules of the local court of the 14th District Judicial Court, Family and Juvenile Court, and by state law, which they would also receive, ”she said.

Cochran began his career with a local firm, Plauche Smith & Nieset, in the insurance defense field. But her goal was to become an assistant district attorney, which she did, serving two terms under Rick Bryant and John DeRosier, primarily as an assistant district attorney. She has dealt with misdemeanors, municipal court, child support, representing the state government and parish entities. She was asked to do criminal work, child abuse work, and she did.

In 2013, Cochran became a family court hearing officer where she worked on cases relating to child custody and other family and domestic matters.

She could earn more money by practicing law, even part-time. But she doesn’t see herself sitting in a law firm. She sees herself in the public service.

“My sister-in-law is replacing as a pastor in a small town where she needs her,” Cochran said. “I went to hear him speak and the title of his sermon was ‘Perspective’. It was about looking at life and being grateful, appreciating what is there. Right after attending this service, I received an invitation to my 30-year law school reunion. Doing something like this has always been on my mind. So, I decided it was time to go out and do it.

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