I recently had a chance to have a discussion with Nathan Cliber, one of our attorneys at Seattle Divorce Services, about his approach to practicing Family Law.
Nathan said a key to his approach is spending time listening to the client. He believes that it is important to “engage with people as people”. When asked what that means, he explained that he wants to get to know the individual and understand who they are. He wants to make sure the people who come to him never feel like generic clients on an assembly line.
Every person is different, with their own needs and desires, their own unique relationships with their family members, and their own ideas about divorce. By getting to know the client as a whole human being, he can customize his approach to working on that client’s case to fit that client’s individual circumstances.
Nathan also believes there is great value for the client in being truly heard, validated, and cared for. Since divorce can be a very anxious time for many clients, it is important to help relieve their anxieties. By listening carefully, showing that he understands their concerns and outlook, and putting a plan together for moving forward, Nathan is able to ease the minds of his clients so that they can better deal with the process they are facing.
Part of this process involves discussing with his clients what they need, as opposed to simply what the law would do for them. Nathan never wants to simply impose cookie cutter solutions, but rather strives to help the client develop options and approaches that match the reality of their lives, goals, and values.
He says that though no attorney can promise to deliver exactly what a client wants, he believes that reaching an accurate understanding of what they want, and why, is the first and most important step in any case.