What kind of lawyer are you?

I get asked this question almost every day.  Most lawyers have a quick, buzz-word answer: “family law,” “criminal,” “medical malpractice defense,” “corporate.”  I don’t.  My answer is that I’m a problem-solving attorney who strongly resists being pigeonholed.  According to Merriam-Webster, a “pigeonhole” is a “neat category which usually fails to reflect actual complexities.”  That’s my objection – real life and my clients’ real problems are far too complex to be stuck in a neat box.

Maybe the easiest way to understand what kind of lawyer I am is to look at what ties my clients together: they all face difficult, frustrating, painful, complex legal issues and they need help working through them from an experienced, thoughtful attorney.  They all need help understanding and working through the complexities of both our legal system and the myriad of emotional, practical, spiritual, parental, and physical problems that go along with legal issues.

That’s the sort of attorney I strive to be: one that can truly help my clients reach the best solution for them, whether that is filing a lawsuit to try to rectify wrongdoing, defending a lawsuit that’s been filed against them, negotiating a joint parenting plan during a divorce, or perhaps counseling them on how to let go of the anger and hurt they feel without filing a lawsuit.

So, wait! A litigator who actually talks people back from the lawsuit ledge, rather than one who pushes people right off that ledge?  Sure — if that is what’s in my client’s best interests.

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