Summer is in full humid sticky lazy force. Traffic is tougher to navigate as folks are either heading out of town or trying to get back in to their homes. The evenings are long and social. Court dates are continued due to vacation schedules and trainings. Opposing counsel will get back to you a week from Tuesday instead of tomorrow. In the world of civil litigation, the pace of work slows down. Not necessarily so for the family lawyer. Summertime brings a set of predictable crises which occur year after year.
One is vacation. One parent has a trip planned and the other does or doesn’t do something which interferes with the ability to take the trip. Dad doesn’t sign the consent form to get the passports. Mom is now hedging on the informal agreement to switch the schedule in the court order so that Dad can take the kids to his family reunion Or one parent actually opposes the trip itself: the country is too dangerous to travel to. I have had two hearings in the past few years where the other parent tried to prevent my client from taking their kids to Israel – one time the judge let the kids go, another time not. Tensions run high as people worry that long planned vacations will be derailed.
Another is school choice. School will begin soon and summer is showdown time for parents who don’t agree where their children should attend school in the fall. If they can’t come to some resolution, a court may have to decide, so negotiations amp up, and petitions get filed and social studies begin. Of course, starting such a task in the Summer may be too late to finalize by the beginning of the school year, as these things take time and no one ever has enough time, do they?
What should be times of happiness and relaxation for families become anything but. This can take its toll on lawyers, too, who want to kick back and enjoy their own families. I know that I’m better at my job when I have more of a balance in my life. You really do want your lawyer to be rested and healthy and to have a keen perception of your lawsuit and the strategies to reach your goals…right?
So this summer, to counteract that trend and center me in a better balance, I decided to take a little time away from my office in short, periodic vacation periods, and spend more time with my family. I have great office staff that I can really rely on, so why not let them hold down the fort a couple of days here and there this Summer? I can do that because I know my clients are in great hands! I really do this for my clients. My clients will love their happy, healthy, refreshed lawyer even better than before. They deserve it!