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THE FOUNDATION OF RESPECT AND BUILDING STRONG RELATIONSHIPS
R elationships matter. Personal or professional, our relationships can define who we are. The relationships I have with my clients can become personal as I work toward their interests. I guide clients through the legal system, which can sometimes seem like a maze without an end. I often work with clients who may be going through a difficult time or facing monumental challenges. They may need help that extends outside of the courtroom or our office.
That is to say the relationship I build with a client does not end at the door or when the phone call ends. For instance, I’ve worked with auto-injury clients to help them find appropriate medical care or a medical professional. I can draw on the relationships I’ve built with other professionals and people I’ve networked with over the years. These include doctors and counselors at hospitals or substance abuse treatment centers. I may also reach out to other attorneys who specialize in areas of practice I do not. I value these networked relationships, just as I value client relationships. The true significance of these relationships really shines when they come together for a greater good. One aspect of the client relationship that I really appreciate is their feedback. Though a person may come to me for my expertise as an attorney, a client’s feedback or insight is beneficial and something I regard and respect. This includes their perspective of the case, their situation, and my role as their attorney. And, it’s not just the client-attorney relationship I value — the court-attorney relationship can often be just as important. Naturally, the relationships I build with the court, from the judges to the prosecutors, can be critical. But, I do not necessarily highlight my relationship with the court when I begin working on a case for a client.
What do I mean by this? It’s not uncommon for attorneys to advertise their relationships within the court system. They may say they are a former prosecutor and have an “inside” perspective. Or they may say they’ve worked with a particular judge in the past and know how said judge operates. These attorneys do this to sound appealing to their potential clients. This kind of advertisement suggests that the attorney may be able to gain favor in the courtroom, say with a judge or with the prosecutor’s office, depending on the circumstances. I’ve never marketed myself in this way. I find it is disingenuous, it can paint a false picture, and can certainly play with a client’s expectations. Rather, I let my reputation as an attorney precede me. I simply maintain a good relationship with the court, but I don’t overstep those boundaries. Those within the court system, from judges to prosecutors, understand that I’m a zealous advocate for my clients. These relationships I’ve built with the court and my clients are built on respect, which I find is the best foundation to build a relationship upon. –Matthew Konecky
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