Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Line Crossing

I've been dealing with an emergency on one of my pro bono cases since Friday, and also trying to take care of all of my other work, so I haven't had much of a chance to write. After a very stressful weekend, I feel more hopeful today about my case.

Pro bono cases are challenging for many reasons, not the least of which is that lines often end up getting crossed. Your work as a lawyer melds into that of a counselor, a big sister, and a friend, and back again. People tell you not to cross those lines. They tell you that getting emotional could negatively affect your clients by influencing your ability to be objective. Other people tell you that your line crossing has saved the lives of your clients, and encourage your passion and commitment. Everyone has an opinion about how you should act and what you're doing wrong. Some have praise for what you're doing right.

So, what do you do? You keep focused on the best interests of your clients and you try to do what's right. When they come into the office for meetings, you feed them. When they call feeling hopeless, you listen and try to remind them that they are not alone. When they need support, you provide it to them.

You do it because it's the best thing for your case, because even the most successful legal action is worthless without a client around to benefit from its success. You do it because you care, and because not doing anything when you see someone in so much need is impossible. You also do it because if you didn't, no one else would.

At least that's why I do it. The Evil Empire doesn't scare me. I just wish it didn't make things so challenging for me and my clients sometimes.

4 comments:

Sparky Duck said...

what? you don't do it for the publicity?

Gypsy said...

I, for one, am really glad you do it. :)

Starshine said...

I think that when you offer help to someone in need, you are giving of yourself. Therefore, a part of you gets invested in the lives of those you are helping. I understand the importance of keeping some kind of "professional distance" in certain situations, but it is near impossible to be human, help others, and not cross that imposed line with some part of your soul. Cross it with care, but cross it we must! And I don't think that's a bad thing at all.

Buttercup said...

Sparky - Nope!

Gypsy - Thanks my dear.

Starshine - You're so eloquent and compassionate.