I learn a lot about practicing law from my husband’s health issues. He is a diabetic on dialysis with advanced heart disease. Every few years, he has an extended hospital stay. I have learned to make arrangements for my children, verify coverage of emergencies for my clients, pack a bag, and move into the hospital with him when this happens. I do this because he receives daily visits from a widening circle of “ologists” (nephrologist, neurologist, pulmonologist, cardiologist). The only way that I can understand what his current problems are is to talk with each one of them as they come by. I ask a lot of questions, (my husband says I cross-examine his doctors) and I find myself getting up in the middle of the night to research concerns as they occur to me, like ‘are symptoms of stroke always asymmetrical?’
The doctors sometimes overestimate how much we understand. Bill’s primary care physician was discussing the results of his MRI and used the word “ominous” four times before I interrupted him and asked exactly what was ominous? What was it that might happen?
“Paralysis” he explained with surprise, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. He cocked his head and blinked his eyes at me, surprised that I had not kept up. Well I hadn’t. Not at all. We had discussed balance issues and muscle weakness and sudden vision loss, but it had never, even in my late night google searches crossed my radar that we had to worry that he might become a quadriplegic.
The only way I can understand what his current problems are is to talk with each doctor as they come by.
What does this have to do with my law firm, and what is this post doing on a business site? We all have areas where we are knowledgeable and areas where we are forced to rely on the education, experience and judgment of others. I have been practicing law for 26 years. It would be easy to forget that my client might have never been involved in a trial before, and to forget that they need reassurance, and to be told what to expect when they walk in the door of the courtroom.
This experience helped me become determined to ensure that my clients do not feel left in the dark
My experience with one of my husband’s illnesses made me determined to ensure that my clients did not feel left in the dark. My primary focus for the last two years has been to instill procedures in my firm to ensure that my clients have regular, predictable contact with their legal team. Every client is assigned a supervising attorney and a paralegal, and is given a recurring appointment every two weeks to review what has happened in their case with our office, and to give the client an opportunity to ask any questions or address any concerns that they have. It is critical to us that our client’s main concerns are also our main concerns, and that the client always knows what is happening in their case, and what they should expect next.
We have created a client portal that allows our clients to see their pleadings, discovery documents, appointments, court dates, assigned tasks and communications from their legal team all in one place. Being involved in a family law matter is stressful. Our job is to make it easier for you, and to guide you each step of the way.