Five Things Attorneys Want to Tell Their Clients
You are sitting in an attorney’s office waiting to meet the attorney you are considering or have chosen to represent you in a legal matter, be it civil or criminal. You have a whole list of things you want to tell and ask the attorney and you are even ready to write his or her answers down.The next half hour or so is important and could even change the course of your life. A successful outcome for your issues usually means a great deal to you and you will be counting on the attorney, if at all possible, to make this happen.
However, have you ever thought of how the attorney feels as he or she gets ready to meet with you for the first time? Is it all about money for the attorney’s pocket? Is he or she just waiting to pounce on whoever happens to need representation, not really caring if the final outcome is actually in their client’s favor as long as it is somewhat okay? Maybe the attorney is as interested in you and your concerns as you are in the attorney’s. In fact, most attorney’s are just that, concerned individuals, trained and ready to help you reach the final outcome you hope for and deserve. There have been a number of studies done on how an attorney thinks and feels and what things he or she would want to tell their clients, in much the same way clients tell things to their attorney. Here are five important things that attorneys agree they want to tell their clients:
- We are not all crooks out to get your money without concern for your welfare. While it is true, good legal representation is expensive in light of most people’s pocketbooks, it is usually needed to provide the resources necessary to put together a firm case, try to negotiate a settlement out of court, and when necessary appear in court on a client’s behalf. The cost of a law degree, setting up practice or associating with a large firm, and the day to day expenses of good legal practice make charging what seems like a high fee necessary. It is interesting to learn most attorneys do pro bono work for those who can’t afford legal help. Many attorneys also give time and money to worthy causes in their community and the world at large.
- The only person you can count on to be 100% on your side at all times is me. No matter how it may seem to you at times, as you may disagree with the way your attorney is handling things, your attorney is doing what he or she feels is best, given their knowledge, expertise, and experience. Most attorneys truly care about trying to get the best possible outcome for you and they are on your side in trying to do so.
- We are lawyers, not magicians. Sometimes, even when an attorney has done everything possible to try to get the outcome you hoped for, it doesn’t happen. As is any controversial situation in or out of court, there are many extenuating circumstances influencing final outcomes. For example, there can be a surprise witness, the judge is having a bad day, a witness doesn’t testify the way he or she was supposed to, opposing counsel is able to discredit the testimony of your client, or a judge can rule important evidence not admissible. There are no magic wands to wave to change what is said or done when trying to settle in or out of the courtroom.
- I am a person too. While an attorney will make arrangements with a client for ways of communication, no attorney can be on call 24 hours a day, 365 days of a year. Attorneys have personal lives.They also need time to respond to a client’s request so sometimes an answer to a client’s concern cannot be immediate. Clients need to respect communication guidelines set by their attorney.
- We are not your judge. One of the most important things a client must realize is the need to “tell all” to their attorney. While some things may be embarrassing to admit, that very piece of information may be the needed piece of the puzzle for your defense. Attorneys do not judge their clients. While ethics and morals are an important part of an attorney’s practice, they do not form a judgment on a client’s ethics or morals or in some cases, criminal behavior. An attorney is there to represent his or her client, no matter what.
So if you are looking for legal representation, think about how an attorney feels and what some of his or her needs are. Try putting yourself in their shoes. Mutual respect and caring on the part of both client and attorney will enable a professional relationship and a respectful outcome.