Perez Halpern English - February 2019

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February 2019

LEARNING THE MANY FUNCTIONS OF MY ROLE

HELPING PEOPLE IN DIFFERENT WAYS

Recently, I reconnected with a client I worked with a few years ago. Since she is a yoga instructor, it was really interesting to not only catch up with her but also learn how her collision has changed her practice. I took her case very shortly after going out on my own as a lawyer. She had been involved in a collision and had sustained neck and back injuries. These types of limits on mobility present a challenge for anyone, and they made it especially hard for her to carry out her job as a yoga instructor. She couldn’t work one- on-one with clients as easily as she could before her injury. This caused her to pause and recognize how important our bodies are for what we do every day. One of the things she commented on during our conversation the other day was how working with me wasn’t so different from the work she does with her clients. Through teaching the practice of yoga, she helps people heal, become more flexible, and gain wellness. As she put it, I helped her heal after her collision. I played a similar role to hers in that I connected her with doctors, made suggestions for tracking her injury and lifestyle changes, and provided overall guidance during her healing process. She felt that as much as she helps her clients

heal through yoga, I helped her heal as her attorney. It was pretty amazing to hear that from a client.

Because I began this work to help people, I really appreciated hearing that I had played this role for someone. It’s important to know that the people we’ve helped feel that we’ve helped them. In my experience, the compensation is nice, but most clients would walk away from the money because at the end of the day, it’s about their bodies, feeling good again, and returning to their lives. What we hope to give to our clients, beyond compensation, is the guidance and support to make the best decisions they can in their circumstances. In February, we celebrate Valentine’s Day, but I would encourage you to extend that love beyond romantic relationships to your friendships and care for every person. You never know when you’re going to have an impact on someone. It was very special and rewarding to hear from a client — five years after the fact — that I helped to provide healing in a holistic sense. I’m thankful I get to be part of that.

–Meliha Perez Halp ern

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