Q: I've had the same lawyer for a large portion of my working life. She's always done a great job handling my legal concerns, and I've never had any complaints until recently.
Over the years, we've talked about a slew of topics, including our attitudes about retirement. She's always joked that she'll never retire. She's in her early 70s, and I'm just a few years older -- but we're both still working.
Even though I don't look forward to retirement for myself, I'm concerned that my lawyer isn't doing as good a job as before.
Am I being a hypocrite?
A: Ask yourself whether your suspicion is rooted in facts or in prejudice.
Ageism is a complicated subject, as time affects us all differently. Judge your lawyer based on her own merits instead of labels.
There are other reasons why your lawyer may not be meeting your needs. Workload, personal life and health issues can affect the work quality of people of all ages.
Is your lawyer able to respond to your legal concerns in a timely fashion? Does she remember your scheduled meetings, and is she able to locate your required documents? Has there been a problem with follow-through? Is the payment system functioning?
Communication is key in all relationships, whether business or personal -- things become more complicated when your relationship is somewhere in between. Before severing your relationship, make sure that you are communicating what you want to your lawyer.
When you have a request, make sure that your lawyer is aware of your timeline. Don't hesitate to communicate when something is urgent.