I don’t usually write about specific events which I see in my work but an email which I received recently made me think about writing something different this month.
I received an email from a client for whom I had acted for – many of my clients keep in touch long after I have completed their matter – and it made me stop and think about what is a ‘successful outcome’ for a client?
Dear Angela, Everything is going really well and it is lovely to be in my own 4 walls having a feeling of peace and calm. We have retained our friendship which is such a bonus. A positive outcome. Thank you so much for all your help in my being able to achieve this and respecting my wishes not to “go for the jugular”!!
I act for many clients in a variety of family law matters and each client is unique in the way in which they approach their issues and what they see as successful outcome. On occasions I have to provide a realism in identifying what is achievable, sometimes I need to be the strong one encouraging determination and at other times I need to discuss the different approaches sympathetically and how this might affect the outcomes.
However my client feels about their matter, it is important for me that I support that person to ensure that they feel comfortable about how the matter runs and how they are left feeling after I have done my job. I feel that clients need to have a full understanding as to what is going to happen and why.
For many clients separation and divorce is so mystifying that they do not know what it is that they want to achieve and I have to guide them. For others the experience is so painful that I have to allow them time to work at their own pace. On occasions I have clients who are very clear what they want to achieve and want a quick conclusion to their matter and we work hard together to make it happen.
Whatever the circumstances, the key for a good family lawyer is to listen to what the client needs. But what we all miss sometimes is that ‘success’ is not always the same for every client.
It seems that if the client is left in a position where they are feeling confident to move forward with a positive future and having appreciated my involvement in supporting them during their matter then I have achieved a successful outcome.Back to In The Press