Avoiding the argument room, the best lawyers are good at it.
Remember the Monty Python skit, the "Argument Clinic?"
Originally it was broadcast as part of the television series, Monty Python's Flying Circus. The skit parodies modern consumer culture. It suggests that we can purchase anything, even absurd things such as arguing or abuse.
The practice of being a lawyer is not, as many of us would believe, about being hired and paid to enter the argument room.
Before we go into that room, we need to be very sure that entering it in the first place is where we need to be. Here is the powerful possibility: maybe, when doing a job for our clients, we can bypass it altogether from time to time.
Unfortunately, sometimes lawyers seem to believe that being a lawyer is about entering the argument clinic on behalf of those we act. We are employed to engage with the opposing side for the sake of argument. It is absurd. It is also very tedious.
Making it even worse, is that, due to the very nature of our jobs, getting drawn into the argument room is very hard to avoid. We need to be continually grounded and conscious in order to avoid being yanked in before we even know it.
The point is this. It is in our power each and every day in each and every conversation to avoid the argument room. If it does not bring our client's matter forward, why go there? If we dodge this space when we can, we will save ourselves tons of stress and frustration.
Another option is that when we find ourselves in the argument room, having gotten sucked into it, we can choose to walk right back out of it never looking back.
The other day I found myself totally absorbed within the four walls of the argument room. I was in a dispute with another lawyer and getting nowhere. We went around and around several times. It was tedious and stressful. Instead of staying there as I usually do, I had the powerful experience of doing something different. I managed to walk right back out. I told the other lawyer I was avoiding the argument room and did so. Choosing to disengage was awesome. I am going to think about leaving that room, despite finding myself in it, way more often.
We can work on avoiding the argument in our legal practices and in all areas of our lives, including when we are engaging with our families.
As divorce lawyers, we advocate on behalf of our clients. Our jobs are about urging the other side to see our client's perspective and point of view. The best divorce lawyer, however, also has a clear understanding of the other party's point of view. They will also see the dispute through a judge's eyes in order to determine what will happen at trial. Consciously perceiving the matter from all angles assists us in knowing what is the best advice to give to their clients.
Returning to the argument room over and over does nothing to help our clients and their cause.
Written by Val Hemminger, a divorce lawyer, owner of Hemminger Law Group Westshore Law Corporation.
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Val has created this website to share with her colleagues. She is not suggesting, by any means, that she is the best divorce lawyer out there. She is, however, suggesting that she is the best divorce lawyer that she herself can be. Feel free to share anything you find useful.