Why Your Family Law Attorney’s Big Ego is a Good Thing
I have a big ego. Don’t hate me for it. If you are my family law client, this is a blessing. If you are my husband, this is a curse.
If You Are My Family Law Client My Big Ego is GOOD
Let me explain why my huge ego could be good for you if I am your family law attorney.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Every attorney I have ever met has a big ego. I don’t know if people with big egos choose to become attorneys or they only get big egos AFTER they have been attorneys for a while. Regardless, in my nearly 18 years of practicing law, I have conducted my own research, and I have reached an irrefutable conclusion:
Attorney = Big Ego
I have thought about why attorneys have big egos. This is what I’ve come up with:
The practice of law is kind of like “The Hunger Games;” only the “fittest” survive. Because of this, you want a family law attorney who has trained him or herself to outlast all opponents in the arena. If your attorney doesn’t have a special strength or skill (on top of the basics), you are doomed to fall when faced by a worthy adversary. You already know that failure could ultimately change your family’s life (and not for the best) in the foreseeable future.
Do you want a family law attorney who is a Katniss-like warrior? If so, you need someone with these qualities:
1. Education. Knowledge. Experience. Preparedness.
Duh. These are basic and non-negotiable characteristics that your lawyer must have. If your attorney doesn’t possess these things…
You. Are. Screwed.
By and large, family law attorneys are linear thinkers. There is, however, a rare creative type who gets him or herself thrown into the mix. I work with two of them. They are teaching me a lot about thinking outside the box.
In family law, the best solution might not be one that anyone has ever thought of before. If you have a family law attorney who is not afraid to paint outside the lines, she has courage, self-confidence, and a healthy ego. If your attorney can come up with an imaginative deal that saves you headaches, stress AND is best for your family, that is a special quality, indeed.
2. A willingness to face the opponent even when petrified.
What I am about to admit has to stay between you and me. I will say it only once. And only here.
Sometimes when I am doing these cases, I am really scared. If I fixate on how much is at stake for each of my clients, I can work myself into an anxiety attack. As a result, I CHOOSE to focus on doing the very best job I can for each client. Focusing on being strong helps.
Sometimes though, I am up against an opponent who I think is bigger, stronger and has more battle scars. In these cases, I have to get myself psyched. I have to do the research on my challenger. I have to exploit the weaknesses of his or her case while framing things the way I want them to play out.
Not only that, but I also have to fake it. I have to pretend not to be scared. And this is where having a big ego helps me.
I have been the underdog before. I have come out on top of the pile. I can and will do it again.
How do I know this? Because of my ability to be 100% confident in my own self-worth and value as an attorney. In other words…because of my big ego.
3. The insight to recognize that backing down on a certain battle might be the best move in terms of winning the war.
A strong and confident warrior is also wise. The survivor knows when and where to expend valuable energy. (Tweetable!) There are just some things not worth fighting about.
A family law attorney whose ego serves her well will not go to battle on every single thing. That lawyer will play it smart. She knows when to lie silently in the interest of devoting all resources to something that really matters.
4. The ability to admit a mistake and apologize.
We attorneys sometimes mess up. An attorney with his or her ego in the right place understands the importance of being accountable for those mistakes. An attorney who can admit a mess-up and do her best to fix it is confident in her skills and strength.
This is the attorney you want to have on your side.
So, now…for the non-legal, more human and probably more entertaining part of this post, I am going to tell you why my big ego is a bummer…
If I Am Your Wife (or Possibly Another Family Member or Friend)
First off, please remember that I am human. I have my own issues. I don’t always live my personal life consistently with my professional life.
When it comes to my husband, I am the first to admit that my big ego sucks for him. I hate being wrong when it comes to James. I’m not sure why, but I hate it, hate it, hate it.
I am a prideful little thing and when I have committed to a position, it’s hard for me to back down. Yes, I DO know that my Mom taught me better. Yes, I also know that my priest probably would not be thrilled with me for this.
I do, in fact, realize that it is somewhat hypocritical to write about all these self-helpy “cleaning out your closet” things while I continue to let my ego run the show. And finally, I understand that apologizing when I am wrong will ALWAYS be best for my relationship with my husband (or mother or brother or friend).
I struggle daily with my big ego.
If you are my husband, family member or friend, please remember that my big ego is not about you. It is about me. My ego is about always wanting to be in control. It’s about feeling out of control.
Most importantly, it’s about fear.
In the new year, whether you are my beloved husband (or client), I promise to be constantly aware of how my ego could help (or hurt) our relationship. I promise to NOT allow fear to run the show. I vow to not let my self-image get in the way of our mutual best interests. Above all, I promise to act from the best and highest place of my inner self.
And so it is.
Sending you wishes for a week in which you act from the most perfect part of your own being.
All my best,