Just when you think you’ve cracked it someone always comes along and complicates things. There I was, looking forward to an early retirement after more years than I would care to admit to shuffling paper for one of our well known High Street Banks. Then along came an old friend and said, “Could you spare a few hours a week to lend me a hand”.
Without hesitation or indeed having any idea what would be involved I agreed and found myself working in a law firm. Not doing anything clever, just trying to keep things running smoothly and the staff content. An easy enough job in an office with a staff of five who always agree with everything and don’t require any holidays. Unfortunately this is not that office. Then of course there is the feeling of trepidation when I realised that the people doing the clever stuff are all highly trained and qualified professionals.
Lawyers are a unique bunch (some might say odd but I think that’s a bit harsh). In an age when it seems the answer to everything is available on the internet, these people actually need to know stuff; some of it quite complicated stuff.
As with any profession they have their own terms and phrases, many of which I find myself nodding in agreement with, and although often not knowing quite what they are on about, I think I’m getting away with it.
Of course anyone can get a degree and pass a few exams and that is not what makes my lawyers so special. I could paper my lounge with their certificates and qualifications but they also have the ability to convert the knowledge into practical help, with genuine enthusiasm, empathy and understanding.
It is fair to conclude that they very rarely see anyone that is not emotionally stressed, divorce isn’t fun. So right from the start when you need to know whether it should be collaboration, mediation, arbitration or just a good old fashioned divorce these personal attributes are critical to delivering a service that removes as much of the pain from the process as it is possible to do.
I know they could bore me rigid with lawyer speak if they wanted to but I also know that they will not be shy about taunting me mercilessly on those rare occasions that Chelsea put in a below par performance. I hold no grudges and even supporting Newcastle, Liverpool, Arsenal or Manchester United doesn’t necessarily mean they are odd, it just proves that they are human and in spite of all the qualifications they don’t know everything.