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My Job (and what is NOT my job)

I graduated from Firth High School in Firth, Idaho, in May of 1991. I took exactly one psychology class in high school. The only thing I remember from it was watching the movie “The Power of One” in class–and I only remember it because it’s a pretty horrific story about South Africa during apartheid, and there were some pretty graphic violent scenes.

I graduated from BYU in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Clothing and Textiles, Self-Employment Emphasis. The only psychology related class I took while in undergrad was Clothing and Human Behavior, a class that studied the effects of what we wear on how we act and how others treat us.

I graduated from the University of Wyoming’s College of Law in May of 2010. The only class I took there that could even be marginally related to psychology was Domestic Violence and the Law. It was a study of the law as it relates to domestic violence situations, and addressed victims’ issues in ways that they coincide with the practice of law.

I do really like all of my clients, but we're not BFF's...that's what girlfriends and guyfriends are for.

I do really like all of my clients, but we’re not BFF’s…that’s what girlfriends and guyfriends are for.

At no time during my educational history have I EVER received any credentialing to be a social worker, therapist, mental health counselor, or anything related thereto. I am not a psychiatrist or a psychologist. I’m also not the mother, sister, or BFF of any of my clients (not that I don’t like them. I do.)

The point here is this: I am a lawyer. What I do is advocate for and advise my clients based upon the law. When I get a call from a client (or an email) that is simply a rant, or a need to vent, I do understand. Believe me, in many of these cases, I KNOW how my clients feel. I have been there. But given my expertise, and my hourly rate, am I the best person for my client to discuss issues that have nothing to do with the actual law?

For the kids in the back who weren’t listening, here’s the short answer: No. If you need to vent during your domestic case, please please PLEASE call your mom. Or dad. Or BFF. Or your therapist. I’m too expensive for you to pay me to listen to a rant. Really. I hate billing clients for time spent when I wasn’t actually doing what MY job is, but I will, and DO, because time spent listening to a client venting is time I no longer have available to do legal work for another client. I can’t give away ALL of my time for free (and I DO give away a helluva lot more than I ought to, but that’s not the point…)

I AM a Mom, but I'm not YOUR mom (unless you're my son and reading this...and that's different.)

I AM a Mom, but I’m not YOUR mom (unless you’re my son and reading this…and that’s different.)

Again, I get it. I do understand. But I’m really not the person to vent to. Please save your legal retainer for paying me to do what I’m professionally trained: Being a Lawyer.

  1. September 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Such a great article, so true, save money on your lawyer and her frusterations!


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