Step Into Your Client’s Shoes

What would it be like to step into your client’s shoes? What does it feel like sitting in jail awaiting trial, sometimes for months at a time? What does it feel like to miss your arm? What does it feel like to constantly test your mettle as a man who may not be able to provide for his family due to his injuries?

All lawyers should have to do that very act, step into their client’s shoes for the time they assume the battle for their client. Most don’t. Most lawyers never eat jail food. Most lawyers never see the client try and get dressed missing his or her legs. Most lawyers will never change a bag or diapers for their client. Most lawyers have never felt true raw emotion since before law school. How is that possible, you ask?

It seems that in the law schools, those professors who “teach” young lawyers, who never go into a court room. They who never have to pay rent, they who never have to struggle with bills, teach their students not to care about “the client”. It’s always “the client” to them, not Mary or Sam, just “the client”. “The client”, they say, is never to be gotten close to. “The client” is never to be a friend.  “The client” is one to keep at arms length, lest you get to close to “the client”. Is it any wonder these professors don’t have any clients?

I don’t ever remember a class in law school where those professors taught compassion or understanding or love, just “the law” was taught. Little comfort to the client, when the client is all alone facing insurmountable odds and all the client has is a lawyer, who is supposed to stand up for them when the client can’t. Imagine how the client feels and why there is no trust of lawyers today. The conversation might go something like this:

Lawyer. “Gee. I’m sorry you are facing life in prison. I’ll do what I can to help you.”

Client.  “Well, could you at least call my mother and tell her I love her and it’ll be okay?

Lawyer. “No, I can’t do that, you see my professor, who has several titles after his name, taught me never to get involved with the likes of you. You’ll have to face this alone.”

Don’t you just want to slap the hell out of the professors who taught this lawyer to be a non caring machine? Something less than a human being with just a tiny bit of compassion? So what’s the risk, Mr. Smart Professor? Could it be that I might learn something other than what you taught in law school by extending a hand to “the client’? Might I learn to be a being of love, instead of just a legal machine? Doesn’t your method of teaching me take away from who I really am? Isn’t that what makes us most memorable to others? Not what we can regurgitate, but what we are as human beings? Would anyone have listened to Christ if all he did was spew verses from the bible? Or is it because he was a unique person whose life lessons we aspire to live and he did not care what others thought of him?

How in the hell can you understand someone’s predicament if you don’t get to know your client on a personal level? How can you argue for damages if you do not know the pain and suffering the client feels? Hey Mr. Smart Professor, there is no mathematical / legal formula to determine a person’s worth. I mean after all, your body is composed of maybe $20.00 of chemicals. Is that your worth?

Well anyway, we just need to step into our client’s shoes. You’ll be surprised at the verdicts you get when you do this. I’m off to town. Hope you all have a nice day.

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One Response to “Step Into Your Client’s Shoes”

  1. Trial Lawyer News | Lawyers Central Says:

    […] Step Into Your Client’s Shoes […]

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