What I’ve Learned from Working with Attorneys
What do most people think when they hear the word attorney or lawyer? Do people automatically think kind things? Or do thoughts some sleazy guy wearing a suit enter their mind? A lawyer is a person certified and trained in the theory and practice of law and licensed to give legal advice and to represent others in litigation within a particular jurisdiction. And then you have the vernacular words for attorneys such as fee-chaser, fire-burner, or shark. Most stigmatism around an attorney is that they’re very egotistical and out for the almighty dollar. It begs the question, “How do they get people to work for them? Why would people want to work with attorneys? Aren’t they boring, stuck-up, know it all’s?” The answer to that question is just like the answer to most things. Yes, some of them are, but not all of them.
So, what is it really like working with attorneys you ask? It’s a learning experience for everyone.
We have seasoned attorneys, and we have fresh attorneys full of passion. We have an attorney that used to be a teacher and we have an attorney that used to be a business owner. It’s an amazing amount of personality, experience, opinions, thoughts, philosophy, ideas, insight, and expertise to work with on a daily basis. These people have a vast amount of knowledge and they are brilliant. They want to help people and they want to better our community. However, attorneys do not go to school to learn how to run a business. They do not teach business skills in law school. The attorneys that we have on staff must trust our business team that we are making decisions that align with our values.
I have a long list of things that I’ve learned while working with attorneys for the past few years. While this is not an all-encompassing list, these are some of the highlights:
- Do not send an email asking for everyone’s input. If you have multiple attorneys, you will get multiple interpretations of your email with multiple opinions.
- Most attorneys do not speak business and most business people do not speak attorney. This makes for numerous opportunities to learn from each other on how to marry the two dichotomies and create long-term success.
- Attorneys do have egos, however, if you cut them, yes, they do bleed. Let’s be honest, everyone has an ego to some degree. Everyone wants to be heard and validated. It’s our makeup.
- Some of our attorneys do not dress like typical attorneys or other business professionals. For instance, the managing partner, Christopher White, wears flip-flops, fancy flip-flops, albeit still flip-flops. Matthew Kearney wears outlandish socks that make other attorneys raise their eyebrows in the courtroom.
The most important thing that I have discovered during this journey working with attorneys is that they are a necessity for our communities. Not everyone has the desire to go to law school. Not everyone is willing to subject themselves to the years it takes to earn those initials behind their name. I would trust the team of attorneys we have on staff with any legal matter that would ever come up during my lifetime. Because I know this, if they don’t know the answer, they will find it and if they do not feel they can handle the situation, we have strategic partnerships with different firms across Ohio that will. We have attorneys that genuinely want to educate and enhance our communities. Our DNA statement says, “Justice is our passion. Peace is our profession.” Our attorneys strive to carry that out every single day.