When people are thinking of hiring a Connecticut attorney, empathy is probably the last thing on their mind. They want an attorney who is knowledgable, strong and experienced. These are all important qualifications; so where does empathy fit in and why should prospective clients care? It goes to the heart of a trial attorney’s core responsibility: speaking on behalf of their client.
Yes, we do legal research and writing; we analyze the facts; we counsel our clients on the law, the process and make recommendations along the way. We negotiate with opposing counsel and present cases to the judge. We do these things in every case. But every case is different because every client is different. Every client has a different history, a different life and different concerns. Representation is not, “one size fits all.” It is imperative that attorneys not only take the time to understand their client, but that they empathize with their client. Empathy means the ability to share feelings. Only when you share your client’s feelings can you truly represent them.
It’s easy for attorneys and judges to talk, argue about and decide “cases.” It becomes much more personal and difficult do the same with “people.” And it should be. An attorney who has empathy is able to focus opposing attorneys and judges on the client, not the case. Not only does this make for better results, but better client satisfaction. Client’s don’t always know it initially, but it is really important to them to feel heard. When there is a disconnect between the client and their attorney, there will be dissatisfaction and often, mistrust. Empathy should be an important consideration when seeking representation for your legal matter.
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