Several years ago, I worked as a clerk in a small prestigious law firm in San Diego. I was only an undergraduate in college but I knew my way around the various courthouses and the legal world. My primary job at the firm was to be the initial point of contact between new and potential clients, our existing clients, and the attorneys.
One day, I received a call from a woman who was near hysterics. It turned out that she had just given birth to a beautiful baby boy and now was in a custody dispute with the baby’s father. After she came in for her initial consultation, a preliminary hearing was scheduled for the following week. When I arrived to work on the morning of the hearing, there was a flurry of activity and the family law partner asked me to go to the courthouse with her.
It turned out that our client could not find childcare for the baby, so I stood in the lobby of the courthouse, holding a two week old infant in my arms while his parents determined custody in the other room. This was the most poignant moment of my entire experience in family law. I realized that in most other cases, the benefits and consequences were not tangible like this sweet little baby. I was holding a living, breathing, completely innocent being while the attorneys and the legal system worked to determine his fate.
From that moment on, I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping families through their roughest years, and even though I know that not every case will have a happy ending, I can at least do my part in making sure that it is not a painful ending.