Counselor, Advocate, Hired Gun: The Relationship You Have With Your Attorney

What kind of attorney do you want to have? Seemingly everyone has some idea of what they think of when they say the phrase "Well, my attorney..."  But what does that mean for you?  Do you want a hired gun? A true counselor? 

Some people like the idea of the "Hired Gun."  Alluding to the mercenaries of the Old West, gunslingers for hire meant just that- a man with a gun hired to do a job.  His job was not to ask questions, not to second guess or suggest a new plan to his employer.  The relationship boils down to point and shoot where the client tells you to.  The attorney listens to the client and follows through with pinpoint accuracy to the letter of the client's instructions regardless of what the attorney may think of that course of action.  

The client may be satisfied when the job is complete, but has his attorney served his client's best interest? After all, it may seem like the  best idea to the client to send a sternly worded letter to his neighbor making some kind of demand, but the attorney may have experience in this kind of matter.  The attorney knows that the two parties must remain neighbors and that an amicable resolution where the parties are not at each other's throats may be more appropriate in this instance.

The counselor role of attorney is, in this author's opinion, a vital one.  A client has often sought services that they either don't actually need or may regret later on.  Too often attorneys jump to do whatever the client is willing to pay for without thinking of the client's best interest.  You need an advocate and counselor; an attorney that is willing to sit with you and line out the best course of action considering all the factors that may come into play long after your client-attorney relationship has ended.