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Top 10 Legal Tips for New Grads

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on May 17, 2013 10:17 AM

So you're a new grad, and you've just finished walking across the stage to "Pomp and Circumstance"... or swaying to Vitamin C's "Graduation."

Congrats!

But after the joys and festoonery of graduating have faded and been swept away, it's time to get down to business. Here are 10 legal tips can help you deal with life's difficulties:

  1. Know your rights as a renter. As you move out of your parents' house or your dorm and into your fabulous new digs, remember that you have certain rights as a tenant, including, in many cases, having your landlord repair your A/C or heater.
  2. Consider a cohabitation agreement. Planning on moving into a new place with your college girlfriend or boyfriend? Better look into a cohabitation agreement to protect you and your stuff.
  3. Prepare for your job search. You still need to get a job once you leave school, so try to clean up your Facebook and Twitter accounts of any inappropriate posts. You may also want to look over these 10 things you can't be asked at a job interview.
  4. Prepare for potential job loss. Just got laid off or fired? Check out The FindLaw Guide to Job Loss to better educate yourself on your options after losing work.
  5. Learn about workplace discrimination. Your first job out of school might come packaged with a bigoted boss or coworkers who harass you. Make sure that you know your rights as an employee.
  6. Beware social media scams. It's easy while in school to get caught up on Facebook or other social media sites. But in school or out, you may be vulnerable to online scams or even "catfishing."
  7. Don't get a DUI. Avoid DUI convictions by not drinking and driving. But if you are facing a criminal charge for driving under the influence, check out our Guide to DUI Charges or contact a DUI lawyer in your area to educate yourself on your options.
  8. Don't drive while high. Dispel any myths that you can escape arrest or punishment by driving high as opposed to drunk; it's just as illegal and dangerous.
  9. Read contracts carefully. Whether it's a contract for a new loan or an employment contract with your fancy new job, make sure to read your contracts thoroughly to avoid agreeing to anything unsavory.
  10. Call a lawyer when you need one. Legal issues crop up all the time. Ever wish you could just call up a lawyer to ask questions whenever you need to? Pre-paid legal plans like those offered by LegalStreet include on-call access to lawyers, and even legal document reviews and attorney-drafted letters, for less than $13 a month. Considering all the trouble new grads may find themselves in, this may end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.

Disclosure: LegalStreet and FindLaw.com are owned by the same company.

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