What makes a lawyer good? Certainly, some people would look to courtroom verdicts won by the lawyer. That is one measure. Others might look to the type of clients the lawyer represents. The larger the client the better its counsel. And, what about how much a lawyer advertises? A lawyer who advertises must be good, right?
Well, the reality is that while many of these are fine measures of the success of a lawyer, I would argue that all of them are virtually meaningless. The worth of the lawyer cannot be measured in the courtroom, as 99% of all cases settle. The worth of a lawyer comes from his or her understanding of a client’s unique situation and making the client feel that his or her case is the only case the lawyer has.
If this description sounds like a portrait of a good therapist, then my point has made it across my hand, into my computer and over to you. Lawyers, in many instances, are therapists without licenses. Now, normally, practicing anything without a license is not a good thing. However, in this instance, a good lawyer is perhaps the most expensive therapist a client can have. Hopefully, the money spent is well worth it; as a good lawyer will not only keep a client out of trouble, be it criminal or civil, a good lawyer will recognize that the client makes no money talking to the lawyer. A good lawyer recognizes that business people conduct business and time spent talking to a lawyer doesn’t generally lead to new business. The good lawyer, like a good therapist, should listen, help solve problems, and then send the client on his or her way to challenge the world.
To any therapists reading this post, don’t worry. I can’t afford to go back to school to get a degree in psychology.