3 Things to Consider When Wearing Your Counselor Hat

/, Women in Law/3 Things to Consider When Wearing Your Counselor Hat

3 Things to Consider When Wearing Your Counselor Hat

Attorneys often wear many hats for their clients. In this short video, Guest Blogger Karen Thalacker looks at an attorney’s role as a counselor. She focuses on three things to consider when wearing your counselor hat.


We answer to a variety of names.  Lawyer.  Attorney.  Advocate.  But there’s one name that sometimes gets overlooked — that name is counselor.

Here are 3 things for you to consider about what it means to be a counselor:

  1. You have a professional relationship with your clients but it can also be profoundly personal. Your clients look to you for advice and counsel at the worst times in their lives.  Being kind and firm will help you gain the trust and confidence of your client.
  2. As you advise your clients, avoid using technical legal jargon. Even the most educated or experienced clients may not be familiar with the legal terms we casually use.
  3. As a counselor, you are advising your clients. You are not dictating what your client should do.  You are helping them reach a decision that is right for them but it’s not your decision.

Most times you and your client will be in agreement about the next step in the case.  But on those occasions when your client is going against your advice, be sure to thoroughly document it for your file.

By |2019-03-05T11:13:30-06:00March 29th, 2018|Managing Your Practice, Women in Law|0 Comments

Authored by:

Karen Thalacker

Karen is a graduate of Wartburg College in Waverly, IA, and Drake University Law School in Des Moines, IA. She began her legal career as a prosecutor before entering private practice. For over 20 years, her practice has focused on family law and general practice. Karen is trained in Collaborative Law and also acts as a parenting coordinator for high conflict parents. Since 2009, Karen has served as a judicial magistrate in Iowa. She is also the Chief Compliance Officer and pre-law advisor at Wartburg College. Karen is the author of “The New Lawyer’s Handbook: 101 Things They Don’t Teach You in Law School” and also two knitting books for children. Her commentaries and guest opinions have appeared in the Huffington Post and the Des Moines Register. She and her husband Pete have 4 children.