The first is to listen to the client carefully for ten minutes, cut them off, and tell them how ‘they’ are going to proceed based on how the attorney thinks it should go. Because they’re the expert, the field is complicated, the client is too emotionally invested to make decisions, and … well, you get the picture.
This approach usually involves months of promises, shallow follow-through, continuances, and a deep immersion into a process that is hardly a paragon of efficiency.
Movies are made about this approach. One of the best is the Coen Brothers’ Intolerable Cruelty. In this case, the title says it all. Fun movie, but no one would ever want to partake even a sliver of it in real life.
They don’t make movies about the other approach – the logic-based, rational method. Good drama (and comedies, for that matter) needs tension and conflict. The first approach has that. The second, our approach, does not. It would be boring if it wasn’t your divorce we were working on.
Our approach relies on a lot more than a few minutes listening. It requires interaction, communication, and problem solving on the fly. It requires a solid combination of common sense and book sense. It requires my filling you in on what you need to know; it occasionally requires us to tell you things you may not necessarily want to hear.
It does not involve getting mired down in the system, and it most certainly does not involve endless promises and no follow through.
It does involve research, analysis, communication, figuring out what is best for you and your family and working toward that goal quickly and efficiently.