Your Attorney Isn’t God

Dear Client:

Since I have never met your attorney, I can’t say anything about who she is. But, I can say with a very high degree of certainty who she isn’t.

You attorney is not God. You have every right to expect her to be competent and to work very hard on your behalf. It is not reasonable to expect her to walk on water or to raise the dead. Your actions have consequences. Your lawyer may be able to mitigate the repercussions of your decisions but it is not likely she will be able to completely eradicate them.

Your attorney is not Einstein. She may strut around like she knows it all but she’s no smarter than you are. When she speaks, she should sound like she know what she’s talking about. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak up when you have questions or concerns. Don’t allow her legal expertise to cause you to ignore your instincts. Your attorney may know a lot but she certainly doesn’t know everything.

Your lawyer is not your priest. I am always blown away when I hear stories about people who lie to their attorneys because they don’t want to be judged. Excuse me if I have said this before but it bears repeating: The opposing attorney’s opinion of you is irrelevant, and quite frankly your own attorney’s opinion does not matter, either. Her job is to provide representation, not a path to redemption.

Your lawyer is not your parent. It is not her job to tell you what to do, but to advise you regarding your options and the consequences of various choices. It is your job to make the decisions.

Your lawyer is not your employer. That’s right: You are the boss. Your attorney works for you. You hired her and you have the power to fire her if you are not happy with the services she is providing. As long as you are the person signing the checks you should accept nothing less than the respect people routinely show their bosses.

Your lawyer is not your friend. We all have heard horror stories of what happens to kids whose parents choose to befriend them in lieu of parenting them. Friends can tell you what you want to hear. They can give you a soft place to fall when you deserve a swift kick in the rear end. Your lawyer’s job is always to give it to you straight. If she becomes more concerned about preserving your feelings or massaging your ego than representing your interests then the results could be disastrous.

Your lawyer is not your therapist. There is a reason your lawyer doesn’t invite you to lie down on a couch during your meetings. She has neither the desire nor training to help you decipher the meaning of your reoccurring dreams about strangling your ex or unraveling the connection between your mother’s decision not to breastfeed you and your ability to pay child support in a timely manner.
Knowing who your lawyer isn’t is as important as knowing who she is.

This is an excerpt from Letters to a New Divorce Client Download a copy below:
Letters to a New Divorce Client

Photo Credit: Daniel Y. Go on Visual Hunt

Posted in Letters to a New Divorce Client.

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