I met with a potential new client yesterday at the office for our initial consultation. I treated this gentleman as I do every person I meet with in my office: I prepared for the meeting so I that I went in with an understanding of his situation, I asked him questions to better understand the details, I listened to him, I explained his rights and the legal process, and I answered his questions patiently and thoroughly. It was a completely normal interaction for me. What got my attention (and frankly made me feel really good) was his reaction to our meeting. He had previously hired another lawyer and did not feel listend to, understood, or valued by this other lawyer. He told me that in one consultation I’d already spent more time with him, listened to him more, and understood more about his case than his previous lawyer had in all the time he’d spent as this lawyer’s client.
I get this quite a bit. Many of my clients hire me right away after their legal situation arises, but a decent percentage come to me after becoming dissatisfied with the lawyer that they’ve already hired to represent them. I do not believe in bad-mouthing other lawyers, so I don’t, but unfortunately I hear things all the time that fall somewhere between sad and infuriating. What I can do, what I do do, is help the people that have come to me fully understand their situation, answer their questions, and make them feel heard and valued. At the end of my representation, whether they got a dismissal, a “not guilty” verdict, a plea bargain, et cetera, they know that they can trust that I represented them to the best of my ability and treated them with the dignity and respect they deserve. That’s why I am a lawyer.