Few areas of law are as unsettling as family law. An attorney specializing in family law deals with incredibly sensitive matters ranging from divorce to adoptions and interactions with social services. Many of the decisions made in such cases are highly personal and emotionally draining. As such, practicing family law requires more than just knowledge and skill. It also requires compassion.
Salt Lake City attorney Anita Dickinson is a defense attorney who also specializes in family law. She explains that the cases she takes are sometimes civil in nature and other times criminal. Both kinds of cases need to be handled delicately. Both require the knowledge and care of an attorney who understands what it means when families are in trouble.
Intimate and Sensitive Information
Attorneys in family law cases have discussions with clients that often include very intimate and sensitive information. That information is more than just evidence. It is part of the client’s life story. It is personal and needs to be treated as such. The last thing a client needs is an attorney who sees her case only as a matter of law and nothing else.
Conversations of an intimate and personal nature are made easier when compassion is part of the equation. An attorney who actually feels empathy for the client is more likely to be gentle with questions and nonjudgmental about responses. That is just what a client in crisis needs.
Trust Is Also Important
Compassion without trust isn’t very helpful either, so attorneys also have to prove themselves trustworthy. The best way to do so is to work hard to establish a solid reputation in the local community. Building trust among community members makes it easier to reach out when someone needs assistance with a family law matter.
Family Law and Communication
Smart attorneys know that keeping clients in the loop is a good way to demonstrate compassion. Rather than leaving them hanging for weeks on end without any progress updates, the compassionate attorney will make a quick phone call or send a note every few days. If for no other reason, regular communication lets a client know that her attorney is still working on the case.
The one downside here is the potential of showing so much empathy that the client loses faith in her attorney. The client may reach a point where she feels her attorney is not aggressive enough to handle her case properly. Fortunately, such perceptions are false more often than true.
On the contrary, a compassionate family law attorney tends to be more aggressive thanks to the ability to empathize. A good attorney shares the client’s concerns as if they were her own. That motivates her to fight aggressively on behalf of her client.
The Value of Looking Around
The point of all of this is to say that clients in need of family law services would do well to look around for an experienced and compassionate attorney. There are plenty of attorneys, in Salt Lake City and elsewhere, capable of handling family law matters. Not all are equally compassionate.
It is often worth it to contact more than one Divorce law firm to ask about a case. Clients should never be afraid to ask questions relating to experience, previous cases, etc. Those initial consultations offer the best chances of determining whether or not an attorney is compassionate and aggressive enough to handle the case.
There may be no other area of law that requires the same kind of compassion necessary as in family law. Maybe that’s why good family law attorneys are so valuable.