Interviewing Jordana Confino, “recovering attorney”, and creator fo the Positive Lawyering course at Fordham law School, was an absolute treat. Jordana explained, from inside the legal and education professions, why and how lawyers should and can change from an adversarial mindset to a more amicable one, while representing their clients in an efficient and positive way.
- How to detect a Positive Family Law Lawyer: They sound like it. The words they choose, and the tone of voice they use, are the first and most important indicators, along with the strategies they present as being best for your case. The word they should never use is “fight”. When lawyers look at divorce as a battle, everyone loses. When lawyers look at divorce as the rearrangement of a family, with the best interests of children being forefront, everyone wins. If there are specific issues that have to be dealt with – substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health issues – these issues must be dealt with with care, consideration, and extreme sensitivity, in order to move through the divorce without destroying the co-parenting relationship for life.
- How to Humanize the legal profession: It starts in law school. Law schools get lawyers thinking in a certain way – adversarially – and the courses that follow support that adversarial mindset. But the public can start requesting that the lawyers behave more humanly, with care and consideration to the well-being of the spouses. Ask the lawyers interviewed for your divorce, how they look at their role in getting you through the divorce. And explain to the potential legal representatives that you want the most amicable outcome possible with the least exposure
- People find the lawyers who match their level of ethics: This is a huge issue. You’ve heard that phrase “Water seeks its own level”. Well, that means that adversarial clients will gravitate towards adversarial lawyers. If this happens in your case, and you don’t want the divorce to be handled in an adversarial manner, you and your non-adversarial lawyer can still be an equally functioning half of the case. Your lawyer just has to be deft at communicating in a way that is effective, strategic, yet respectful. Your lawyer needs to know the law so well, and work in a time-efficient manner, that he/she can work methodically, intelligently, and respectfully, while maintaining a strong position in the negotiations for settlement.
- Your lawyer should have a positive attitude on life to positively represent you: This was an important point Confino made in the interview. A lawyer is no different than a non-lawyer. They either have a positive or negative view of life. Your lawyer’s view of life will reflect in their representation of you. Something no one talks about is the lawyer’s personal experience in marriage and divorce. Have they been divorced. How did that go? Are they experiencing fallout from their divorce? This could negatively impact your divorce.
- Lastly, if you don’t like your lawyer, fire them: At the early signs of discontent, consider another lawyer. It’s hard to know how the relationship will go until you’re in it. Kind of just like marriage. Don’t retain an attorney who you don’t feel comfortable with. Not worth it. Move on.
- There are lots of lawyers out there. In fact, I interviewed an amicable attorney named Tracy Ann Moore-Grant from Georgia, who started the Amicable Divorce Network. It’s going nationwide. Tracy is committed to finding lawyers in every state who will and do only work in an amicable way. There is a movement afoot in this country to change the way lawyers work, and how the public perceives them.
#lawyer #attorney #positivethinking #divorce #negativeemotions #well-being #gratitude #depression #happiness #shiftingfocus #relationships #positivityresonance #oneness #humanconnection #coaching @JordanaConfino @TracyMoore-Grant @AmicableDivorceNetwork