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Lawyer No-Go

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Technically, this post should have come before my moving post because this happened prior to the move, but as I’m sure you can imagine things were pretty chaotic the few days leading up to and then right after the move so I’m circling back to this now.

On the advice of several readers, I decided to book a consultation with a lawyer prior to moving. I’m glad I did, as it really convinced me that I DO need to move forward with proper representation. But the specific person I met with is a big No-Go for me.

I went directly to the lawyer consultation from work one afternoon.

Walking in, I wasn’t even greeted by the office staff. I literally stood there, kind of waiting to be acknowledged, and then when I wasn’t I signed into the Sign-In sheet (kind of like what you see at a doctors’ office – totally odd), and just sat down to wait.

I was kept waiting about 10 minutes past my appointment time. Not a huge deal, I’ve been kept waiting longer elsewhere so I wasn’t too worried about it.

Then the lawyer walks out to greet me (first person to even acknowledge me – the office staff literally never said a word. Not a “hello”, no offer of a bottle of water from their fully stocked mini-fridge, nothing). I follow him back to his office. First thing he asks is, “So, why are you considering a legal separation rather than a divorce?”

I answered with the first response that came to mind – the response that seemed most genuine and correct. I said, “Well, we’re not sure about divorce at this point.”

In response to this, the lawyer literally rolled his eyes (HE ROLLED HIS EYES!!!) and said, “I need you to be honest in order for me to best help you. Is the reason you’re seeking legal separation because you need to stay on your husbands’ insurance and benefits?”

UMMMMMM, COME AGAIN????

I was floored. I mean, truly shocked. First, that he’d talk to me this way (coupled with the non-verbal eye-roll). Second, that this is 2018 and misogyny is so clearly alive and well.

I was like….”No, actually. It’s more so that HE will be able to stay on MY insurance and benefits.”

But seriously….wtf? There was no coming back for the guy at this point. We did go on to have a reasonable consultation and I feel like I received some valuable advice. But in no way, shape, or form do I want to go back and retain this person to serve as my legal representative.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with a lawyer before? This was my only consultation so far, but I’ve dealt with lawyers in regard to my Dad’s estate before and have never had these types of interactions. I know lawyers get kind of a bad reputation as a group, but this was bad, y’all. It felt so rude and condescending. Bottom line, I WILL be moving forward with trying to establish legal representation and have help with completing and filing the legal separation paperwork. But I will NOT be using this guy. I just moved and am still settling in so this has been put on the back-burner for now, but soon I’ll start making the calls to new folks and trying to set up additional consultations. Maybe I’ll purposely look for some female lawyers, just because.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Stephanie |

    I totally get where you are coming from. That kind of attitude ticks me off. There are plants of divorce lawyers so you just need to keep looking. Each meeting, you will learn more and you will find one that meets your needs. Several of the readers cautioned you to learn from the attorney whether you would be disadvantaged by leaving the marital home. I hope the attorney at least answered that question for you.

    Wishing and your daughters well!

  • Reply Theresa |

    What a jerk. Save some time and ask around or have a good friend ask around for some recommendations.

  • Reply Kili |

    Hi Ashley,
    Some people are so rude in their assumptions.
    Is there a yelp-kind of site to look for a lawyer?
    Best of luck

  • Reply Louise |

    Whoops. My last comment was meant to say that I had a kickass woman lawyer for my divorce. Definitely find one of those and hire her.

  • Reply M.V. |

    Wow! I’m so sorry you had this experience. I’m an attorney and cringe reading this. Although, I work in-house now, I ran my own firm for years. I worked with a lot of awesome colleagues (all solos) and rarely saw this type of behavior. Know there is the right lawyer for you. I suggest looking for women who practice almost exclusively in family law and are open to working with you for piecemeal representation—meaning they’re okay and respect you may want to do parts yourself, etc. Good luck!!

  • Reply Sarah |

    Ugh, gross. That must have been so frustrating! Fingers crossed that the next lawyer you try is awesome and makes you feel super comfortable so you don’t have to spend even more energy trying to find one.

  • Reply Megan |

    I view lawyers in the same way I view therapists. You have to shop around to find the person who is the best fit for the issue you are tackling AND for your personality. That guy might have been perfectly qualified but was NOT the right fit for you. That is annoying but definitely time to go on to the next option. A lawyer is still the right move, just not that lawyer.

So, what do you think ?