As attorneys, we know that clients come to us when they are vulnerable and scared. There’s always a lot riding on the outcome of each case, and the clients want to make sure they are on the winning side of a case.
Unfortunately, that also means they expect their attorney to promise the moon and the stars, and deliver all of it. That’s not the way legal cases work. While a good attorney can certainly help and deliver a home run, it is very important for each client to manage their expectations. Any time you go in front of a judge, it’s a safe bet you’re not going to get every single thing you want.
To keep your sanity, and the sanity of your attorney, it’s important to keep your expectations in check. You don’t have to settle for low expectations and be in misery. Just be realistic and work with your attorney instead of against them.
Here are some helpful things to keep in mind to help you manage your expectations in your case and make sure that you’re not burning bridges with your legal team.
It’s very important that you are honest with your attorney. Tell them everything that you think is important in your case, and ask that they are honest with you in return. Keep in mind that your attorney is not their to make decisions for you; they are there to show you what your legal options are and to help pursue those options in court. The final decisions are yours to make.
If you aren’t honest with your attorney, and your attorney gets a big surprise in court, your expectations can be thrown out, because you probably won’t win your case.
If your attorney is promising to deliver everything you want on a silver platter, it’s time to start shopping around for a new attorney. In a legal case, anything can happen. You want an attorney who is going to be realistic with you about what they can do and an attorney who is flexible enough to roll with some punches in court.
The goal is not to get everything you want. The goal is to know, at the end of the case, regardless of the outcome, that your attorney has given you the best legal representation available. Be realistic about your expectations and listen closely to your attorney.
Your attorney spent many years in law school learning and studying cases. They’ve gone and passed the state bar exam and have probably tried numerous cases that are as hard, if not harder, than yours. In other words, they’re the expert at what they do.
Be respectful of that knowledge. If your attorney decides they need to give you some unvarnished criticism or adjust your expectations, accept that there is a reason for that. You’re paying for their skill set; respect the skills and knowledge even when you have to lower your expectations a bit.
One way to manage your expectations is to stay in contact with your attorney. Ask your attorney upfront what their schedule for status updates is. Also, ask what the communication procedures are in their office. For example, some attorneys do not accept inbound calls, but refer calls to their legal assistant and then call clients back when they have a break.
Managing your expectations is important. There is a difference in what you expect to happen and what actually will happen. By taking some simple steps, you can avoid having a meltdown when the court hands you a victory, but not everything that you wanted.
Having a good relationship with your attorney will go a long way towards this goal. If you are in Henry, Fayetteville, or another metro Atlanta county, Family Matters Law Group has the expertise to guide you through any family law case. We’ll also be honest and upfront with you about your expectations. Contact us online using our convenient form. We look forward to serving you.