10 Things We’ve Learned After 10 Years of Sodoma Law
Photo Credit: Daniel Coston
Sodoma Law’s 10-year anniversary was in December 2018 and we are proud! 10 years! A decade! What the 10 years of existence as Charlotte’s premier boutique law firm doesn’t account for is the 91 years of family law, and over almost 140 years of collective practice experience, shared by our brilliant and compassionate attorneys.
It also doesn’t account for the incredible victories we have had, or the heartbreaking tragedies we have witnessed. It doesn’t begin to encompass the number of clients that have shared their darkest secrets within our walls, nor would it ever because our clients are not numbers; they are people. So, while 10 years is exciting to celebrate, it is the relationships formed, the advocacy provided, the personal and professional developments we have championed, experiences that have shaped us, and the lessons we have learned that really matter.
In celebration of this anniversary, we wanted to share with you 10 things this past decade has taught our Family Law Practice.
1 – Family Law is More Than Just Family Law
We use the term “holistic” in our practice because that is how we approach every case. If we know how to help, we do. If we don’t, we find someone who does. In fact, while the foundation of our practice is family law, we opened a business practice, estate planning practice and employment practice to provide even better services for our clients, making us perfectly suited to handle almost every scenario you throw at us.
2 – Fearlessness is a Huge Part of What we Do
The legal work we do is critical. But, the most important things we can offer our clients are the tools to have courage. Not only is our advocacy fearless, but our clients are inspired by the courage and emotional endurance we show them so that they can make the best decisions. All of us have stories of clients who went through the unthinkable and yet found a way to start a new chapter for themselves. We don’t share the details of those cases, but we do share the spirit behind them – no matter how bad you think your case is, with the fearlessness that we will bring, we will help get you to the other side.
3 – We do the Best with the Facts that we are Given
Sometimes the facts are against us. We don’t always represent the “super parent.” Sometimes we are working with the parent who is struggling, the one managing addiction, the one convicted of an offense, or just figuring out how to parent alone. We can’t predict what will happen, but we can help our client, in whatever place they come to us, to do better and be better. Our goal is to leave every person that crosses our path better than when we met them.
4 – The Kids Matter More
As much as we serve as an advocate for our clients, everyone at Sodoma Law is part of a family and we promote and encourage strong family relationships. It’s no surprise that we encourage parents to set aside their personal agendas and make decisions that are best for the kids – even when that seems impossible. At the end of the day, what is best for the children, is best for the family.
5 – Clients Really just want to know we are There
The number one state bar complaint clients have, and the stereotype that we hear most often, is that attorneys have poor communication with their clients. Calls are not returned or emails unanswered. We may not be able to answer every question as it comes in, but we are diligent in a timely and substantive response. Simple, yet so appreciated.
Photo Credit: Daniel Coston
6 – It’s the Little Things
We have had clients more grateful for a congratulations card when they remarry than a victory in court. Any attorney can read the law and make an argument in court, even the less-than-brilliant ones will get a “win” here or there. It takes something special to remember the things that are not integral to an attorney’s “job description.” At Sodoma Law, we strive to excel in big ways and small.
7 – Be Prepared!
The last thing a client wants to see is their attorney or paralegal fumbling for documents, confusing cases, or missing deadlines. Mistakes happen; we are human, but our clients count on us to get it right and then to fix it on the rare occasion we don’t. We over-prepare, have backups, arrange our cases by team, and are always looking for more ways to ensure that we are bringing our best to the table when our clients may feel that they are at their worst.
8 – We can take it and we Should
Everyone needs to vent, especially someone going through a separation and divorce. Oftentimes, they can’t complain to family because they feel ashamed, or friends because they know they have problems of their own, and certainly not their ex because now they aren’t even on speaking terms. Who can they turn to? Who is in a position to know the facts of the case, without judgment, and keep information confidential? Their attorney! Of course, those thoughts may come spilling out in a less-than-ideal way. It’s ok. We get it. Tears, yelling, curse words – that doesn’t faze us. We have heard it all. We know that it is not about us; it is about the situation and sometimes just listening can make a big difference.
9 – We are Lawyers
Venting aside, we cannot provide the non-legal type of help many of our clients need. And, that’s ok, too. We are not mental health professionals, bankers, CPAs, or realtors. However, because of our case management, reputation and relationships, these types of professionals, and more, are lined up to help. We truly can help in every way. We not only help clients find the resources, but we can also stay in contact in order to work together as a team for the benefit of the client and the case. Yes, even in family law, it takes a village.
10 – Family Law is not just About Divorce
Family Law is the term we prefer over Divorce Attorneys, but we also prepare premarital agreements for engaged couples, post-marital agreements for married couples, and create adoption and surrogacy agreements for parents starting or adding to their families. While it is often assumed we only get the ugly side of the law; we also get the best side.
There are so many more lessons that have been learned, and many more to come. We are excited to see where the next 10 years take our firm, families, friends, clients and community. Cheers to 10 years and many more!