I was speaking to a friend about how I work and how I understand that it can be daunting or nerve-racking going to see a solicitor. She said that when she had to visit her solicitor, one of the was one of the worst aspects of going was stepping into solicitors’ offices and expecting to meet someone in a suit.
I understand that and that is why I don’t wear a suit and I don’t have the book lined office.
When people come to see me, I do understand how much it takes for them to take that first step. I understand that they will be telling me all sorts of personal information and they do not know me at all. That is a brave thing to do and I respect the trust they place in me.
I do not think my job is to tell people what to do or to take over. I firmly consider my job is to translate the tricky legal concepts into ‘normal’ language and then to explain options with potential outcomes. My client then chooses what they want to do.
I don’t wear a suit – unless I am going to court and then I have to. I want people to feel comfortable when they come to see me to speak about deeply personal matters.
I have a virtual, paperless office and I pass the cost savings on to my clients. Cost and fees are a real issue that people want clarity about. I understand that and a proper, forthright conversation is definitely the best way to go.
I think good communication is the key to a successful working partnership with my clients for both parts of the equation. I want my people to be able to phone and ask the questions, even if they think the questions are daft. Answering questions is part of my stock in trade.
If you are a bit nervous, don’t be. Reach out and get the legal advice that you need. I am not alone in way I want to be as a solicitor. Find the right fit for you. You can speak to more than one solicitor before appointing one to act for you. If you choose a solicitor you’re unhappy with, you can change your solicitor if you think it’s necessary. It’s best not to do that too often, in my view. It can get expensive and it just increases the anxiety.
If you need legal advice, don’t be put off getting it by worries about what to wear (wear what makes you comfortable), what the solicitor thinks of you (I am pretty much un-shockable after nearly 24 years of family law work) or that you might not remember everything (I send a note at the end of the meeting).
It has even been said (at the end of the first meeting) that I am normal. For a solicitor. Who knew……..