Let’s retain an attorney!

Professionals doing their own work is a funny thing: on the one hand, you often read about architects who design their own homes. On the other hand is the saying “The doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient.” Well, on Friday I eschewed the DIY approach and retained an attorney in New York to seek judicial intervention on behalf of my grandmother, who had a stroke two weeks ago today. (She’s doing fine at the moment, though at 93 years old, anything is possible).

While technically anyone could have filed the necessary papers, the complications of acquiring a court number and serving any interested parties (in the appropriate language) became daunting. This would be a good time to note that law school (nor the Bar exam) didn’t really cover the minutiae of actually being a lawyer. I’m embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t even clear on how a retainer works until I had to pay one.

I am especially grateful to the Elder Law clinic at CUNY School of Law, who provided background info and attorney referrals. Having worked in legal aid for five years (and Rachel had put in a good four semesters at a similar clinic in JP) I know that the work they do is vital to the community.

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