I spent the last week devouring a great book “Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life” by William Deresiewicz. Not only did Deresiewicz’ book encourage much thought about my own education but that of my children, it also encouraged me to ponder the practice of law; specifically, the family law practice. There are way too many “sheep” in our midst – attorneys who just do the same thing, case after case, without regard to consequences or a family’s unique circumstances. They demand large retainers, file unnecessary motions, create damaging acrimony and write canned parenting plans with an “every other weekend” schedule and a Wednesday overnight. These “sheep” have forgotten their role as “Counselor at Law.”
Many people go to law school, pass the bar exam and become attorneys. Less people take on their role as “Counselor at Law.” To truly represent family law clients in a “non-sheep” manner, one must go beyond the basics. An excellent family law attorney who embraces their role as “Counselor at Law” will dig deep, will question you about what is important, will challenge you at times, will even grill you if needed – and, most importantly, will educate and counsel you. An excellent family law attorney will be knowledgeable about a multitude of issues; taxes, finances, retirement plans, parenting struggles, developmental stages, negotiation strategies, personality styles, mental health issues, domestic violence dynamics, substance abuse, relapse and recovery just to name a few.
Don’t hire a sheep, even an “excellent sheep.” If your family law attorney is not educating you on finances, co-parenting skills, communication styles, negotiation strategies, you have a sheep. If your family law attorney is not counseling you, challenging you and helping you broaden your way of thinking about solutions, (i.e. thinking “outside the box”), you have a sheep.
You and your family deserve better than a sheep. Hire a counselor at law. Ask tough questions and demand thorough, thoughtful answers. Your family’s future depends upon it. Contact Elise at Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC.