It is a beautiful rainy Saturday here in Brisbane and I am tucked in my office writing a book pitch! Yep that damn book that seems to be filling my mind, all day, every day. None the less it has been a beautiful couple of hours as I trawl through the random collection of titles in my office for inspiration (or perhaps in procrastination).
In doing so I have come across an old title I bought some years ago when I first began writing my thoughts down. I am embarrassed to admit this is the first time I have opened this particular paperback and now, after reading just a few pages, this may be the last time I do.
This particular divorce ‘help book’ (I won’t reveal the title as I am not intending to offend) includes a chapter called “Choosing a Lawyer”. An aptly named chapter and something I was thinking of writing about in my tale so I thought I would turn to that page to see what this author had to share.
I was surprised to read the following statement- “If there is an attorney in town known as the ‘shark’ you are afraid your husband might use, consult the shark before he does.”
The ‘Family Law Shark’– what on earth does that mean- A shark to me is the big scary grey animal that has the propensity to chop off my arm next time I am swimming at Byron Bay! Notably though, in my 36 years of swimming in the ocean I am yet to lose a limb. So I guess the beauty of a ‘shark’ is the fear his reputation for harm connotes without him actually having to cause such harm.
Is that perhaps what this Author meant her reader to be looking for when choosing her family lawyer- A person who would create an atmosphere of fear with their mere presence lurking in the shadowy legal water?
I like to think that the ‘best’ family lawyers in our industry are anything but ‘shark like’. They don’t lurk in the shadows- they do anything but. They swim with their clients in the shallow waters, supporting them, sharing the load and guiding them down a well chosen path.
A great family lawyer is not going to ‘chop off the limbs’ of either their client or a former spouse. Rather, they will find a way for both parties to a marriage to move forward into their new separate lives with all their limbs, dignity and hope intact. How will they do this- by using skills that are anything but ‘shark-like’- compassion, creativity, understanding and knowledge.
Social perceptions of ‘lawyers’ are wide and varied. As a Family Lawyer passionate about working with families I encourage you to search for something much more than a ‘shark’ to guide you through your divorce- a time in our lives when we will need much more than someone’s limbs chopped off!