Where is the line between personal and professional?

by | Feb 28, 2014 | Off Topic

Therapists deal with this all the time. When to offer personal details and when to keep an objective distance from the patient? Therapists learn appropriate boundaries in school.

This isn’t something they teach us in law school; but it is something that we as family law attorneys learn with experience.

Divorce attorneys are individuals with their own history of relationships, good and bad. But is that important information – or even appropriate – for a client? Does it make the conversation different if the client knows you yourself went through a divorce or have an ongoing, decades-long marriage?

I think that may depend on the client and on the attorney.

In earnest, we family law practitioners must keep a measured distance between our personal lives and our clients’ needs. Plain and simple. It does not matter what personal states we have endured when our focus and responsibility is the client. Any attorney who pours out their heart to a client does not have the client’s best interests in mind.

Clients may ask questions and any attorney can reveal what details they think are pertinent or appropriate to share.

But it’s not about us.

We are here to serve our clients and serve them well. My clients may ask questions, and I know underlying their question is a need to feel supported and secure. That is my goal; that is how I know how to answer your question.

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