Nobody looks forward to hiring a lawyer. Seeking help with legal issues is normally the rational response to some unfortunate event in a person’s life. Lawyers normally experience this issue as a routine business transaction that begins and ends with the resolution of the client’s issue at hand. For clients, it is generally seen a necessary evil in an attempt to resolve some annoying, to potentially life changing, legal problem. Unfortunately, lawyers are routinely viewed merely as the tools of clients to resolve some legal issue as quickly and effectively as possible.
To some extent, the emotional and professional detachment lawyers have from the client’s issue at hand is an important and necessary value. Lawyers need to be free from the understandable emotional issues that generally accompany the serious issues clients face. Effective lawyers offer rational advice free from mostly irrelevant emotional concerns. This is why it is often correctly said that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.
During the often hastily made decision to hire a lawyer, clients reasonably seek lawyers who have good reputations, extensive experience, high skill levels, offer reasonable accessibility and are affordable. There is no doubt these are critical, even indispensable, qualities in a good lawyer. However, there are other critical qualities that are often overlooked or undervalued.
In our fast paced, bottom line, internet connected, “right now” world, we sometimes forget the simple fact that the “attorney-client relationship” is really just one, or a team of, humans working together to help out another human in need. At the end of the day, it all boils down to people helping people. This is truly our focus. It isn’t just a slogan or a catchy marketing phrase. This attitude is what must genuinely be in the heart to effectively assist another human.
All relationships are based on trust. It is the foundation of every human relationship. The quality of any relationship you have with another person is a function of the level of trust between the people. This applies to marital relationships, family relationships, friendship relationships, and business relationships. The attorney-client relationship is no exception. A low level of trust always leads to a bad relationship. Conversely, a high level of trust always leads to a good quality relationship.
Trust must always be earned. There is no other way to obtain a trusting relationship other than to earn it over time and through sincere actions that build trust. If trust is broken, it can be extremely difficult or even impossible to regain it. As such, earning and maintaining trust must be a top priority and carefully cultivated in any relationship. The attorney-client relationship is no exception.
At our law firm, we are interested in building long term relationships based on trust. Cultivating such a relationship based on trust allows us to have a better, deeper and genuine understanding of our client’s problems, concerns, and issues. With that understanding, we can more effectively advocate for our client’s goals or better assist our client to determine what those goals should be. Effective lawyers who sincerely empathize, understand and are truly invested in the client as another fellow human can also share in the joy of obtaining those goals.
During my time representing clients in legal matters, I have been fortunate to gain many new close and trusted friends. At our law firm, we enter into every attorney-client relationship with the idea that this client may eventually turn out to be a long-term trusted friend; not merely a client of our law firm. We act accordingly. In addition, this “out of the box” approach to the attorney-client relationship is consistent with the values of the outstanding people who make up the team at our law firm.
Without genuinely trustworthy people, trusting relationships are impossible. This is why attracting only trustworthy people, who meet all the other required criteria, is one of the main goals of our law firm. After all, nobody comes to our law firm for the computers, desks and chairs; it is the quality of the people who work for our law firm and the values they hold which define our law firm and sets it apart. This has been the foundation of our success.
When clients first come into our law firm for the initial consultation, they quickly learn we do not offer a “sales pitch.” We always seek first to truly understand the client as well as the client’s problem. It is only after obtaining that initial understanding, do we then offer legal advice. We will always seek to find a long-term solution that brings peace to our client; even if it is contrary to our short-term financial interest. In the end, doing the right thing for our clients is entirely consistent with our foundational values.
Reaching win-win agreements with our clients is always our top priority. Indeed, seeking win-win agreements and resolutions with everyone we deal with is an ever-present goal. Advocating aggressively and thinking outside the box often produce such win-win outcomes that are unavailable with half-hearted efforts of utilizing conventional in the box thinking. We relentlessly seek creative solutions to the problems our clients face.
If you find yourself with a need for legal services, I hope you will consider our law firm. I would cherish an opportunity to win your trust, and I look forward to meeting you personally.
Attorney Marc J. Victor