It’s a new year, and it’s time for a new way to think of law. Pop culture portrays great lawyers as an all knowing, strategic creatures capable of destroying insurmountable challenges with nothing short of relentless logic and legal acumen. These mere humans transform into sharks, wolves and other predators that the average citizen would instinctually avoid in the wild for the sake of self-preservation. And yet, in our current model for criminal justice, we take the average citizen and throw them to the wolves.

As a result, most people who find themselves in the criminal justice system naturally avoid lawyers and suffer from a primal distrust of their advice. They simply don’t understand the language of law and can’t relate to their lawyer’s legal acumen, so they never really learn anything about how they arrived into the system or how to stay out of it when their lawyers spit them out.

I don’t intend to discount the value of an attorney’s advice on what legal issues exist and how to resolve them in court. But, just as many of us will agree that even the greatest physician’s diagnosis of an illness followed by nothing more than a prescription for medication is not enough to be considered proper health care without the help of nurses and other well trained health care providers, so too should we understand that a lawyer’s advice without more is not proper legal care without the help of paralegals and other well trained legal care providers.

My favorite quote on the topic comes from Ani Hall, who runs the re-licensing division at the MyTrafficMan.NET Legal Care Center in Whatcom County. She says legal care, “turns the law into a language people can understand.” It filters out the multiple layers of tedious or irrelevant information by employing technically proficient teams of well trained talent. This creates a clear path for the client to follow on their journey through the system.

More importantly, just as travelers feel more empowered when they understand the native language in a country they are just visiting for the first time, so too will the citizen be empowered when they understand the process and layers they must address to create a sustainable solution for themselves. So, the new way to think of law is legal care that identifies the layers that must be addressed, and empowers the client during the process.

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" Legal Care, turns the law into a language people can understand."