by Alexander R. Domanskis, Managing Member, Boodell & Domanksis, LLC
Being an attorney is such an opportunity to help people and companies in need. Clients and potential clients do not come to us except when they have problems and want and need resolution and solutions. Our response to them is not a tedious exercise; it is the opportunity to serve and to help others in circumstances that range from easy to exceedingly difficult. What makes our work that much more demanding is that there is no guarantee that we will be successful in our representation of our clients.
Nonetheless, in all that we do, we have to do our best. We should view each task we undertake as an opportunity to serve and as a zealous quest to work for and with our clients. Otherwise, why are we attorneys, and why are we taking on the task and honor of representing others? If we approach all that we do as a challenge to do our best to serve others in need, we will have satisfied our clients and even make clients or referral sources out of the opposing attorneys, opponents and other service professionals such as accountants and brokers who experience and appreciate our quality work.
I often hear and see the lack of satisfaction and depression of lawyers. There is no reason why the practice of law, although difficult and stressful at times, should not be fun and interesting. By viewing our work not just as a task to be completed but as a service to our clients and colleagues, how can it not be fun and interesting?
In every communication we make in our work and in our contact with others in life, we should impart that we as attorneys, individually and collectively, have something to offer. We should also express our commitment and love for what we do. Otherwise, why would someone want to work with us? If, on the other hand, we view ourselves and legal services as a fungible commodity where it does not make a difference whether someone hires us or someone else, then we have lost in our quest for clients and for individual success and success for our firm.
Absent paying clients, we cannot make a living or succeed. Having and seeking clients is having a relationship with people, and we want those that we are in contact with to know we want the best for them in whatever we do. On occasion, that means telling potential clients that we are not the right firm to handle a particular legal matter regardless of how lucrative the representation could be. It may also mean that we will not see that client ever or for a number of years. But I have found in my practice that people appreciate this candor and will tell others that we are the go to attorneys either to handle a legal matter or get a referral to someone else. And, importantly, most times we will be able to help people solve their problems and advance their lives in productive ways.
Ultimately, I view the practice of law as a vocation of service to others and a vital and fulfilling part of my life.