Friday, February 26, 2010
The Personal Side of Law
Please welcome guest blogger, Stephanie Steele. Stephanie is Supervising Attorney for The Manely Firm, PC in Gwinnett County. Her office is located in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Stephanie handles all aspects of family law and has developed special expertise in adoption law.
Recently, someone came to my office and wanted to understand his options about adopting a little girl from his relative. I explained the overall legal process, detailed what we must show the court to be successful and discussed the financial aspects of such a case.
We explored the possibility of the mother consenting to the adoption. At that point, the man looked at me and earnestly asked, “How do I approach her about giving up all her rights to this beautiful child? What do I say?”
Being an attorney is not just about knowing the law and how it applies. Being an attorney is also about knowing and understanding people.
There were a number of strategies that came to mind, but in that moment, what I saw and felt most was the desire of this man to take care of a child who needs someone to care for her.
Although some think of law as a cold, unfeeling set of rules, I see the law as a tool for helping people in a very real way. I see my job as much more than explaining or using rules in a dispassionate manner. I see each case as a unique opportunity to help make the world a better place, one child and one family at a time.
Sometimes what is ‘right’ and ‘just’ and ‘better’ is unclear, but thinking about transitioning from here and now to where you want you and your family to be clarifies things. Caring about your family, expeditiously cutting to the core of the matter and resolving your case in a way the helps you and your family move through the here and now to the next part of your lives is the guiding principle for how we handle cases.