The Lawyer’s 2 Hats: Advocate and Counselor

I guess I’ve always known it.  Though, they don’t really teach it in law school.  When you think of a lawyer, you think of the person who is going to stand beside you in the courtroom and zealously represent you.  You think of the bulldog.  The person who has only your interest in mind.  That’s the advocate.  That is just one part of your attorney.

The other hat your attorney wears is that of counselor.  This is the hard part for lawyers.  You have to be able to deliver bad news to your client.  You have to help clients when the judge does not order something in their favor.  Clients don’t like the counselor.  This part is hard.  But it is also extremely important.  A lawyer needs to be able to discuss your case openly with you.  It is important that they discuss the pros and cons of your case.  In family law, as with almost any other area of the law, things are gray.  There is not one “right” answer but many workable answers.  So many factors play into a court decision and what could happen in the case.  A client should know where their case is strong and where it is weak or there is no way they can effectively resolve their case.

So, as a client, don’t get mad when your lawyer discusses the weak parts of your case with you.  He isn’t on your spouse’s side when he does this, he is just making sure you know the good and bad of your case and how the law applies to it.  Of course, when it comes time to put on the suit and head to the courthouse, your lawyer is going to do all he can to be your advocate and highlight the “highlights” of your case.

Comments

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