Solo

Solo photoSometimes when you’re routine oriented such as I am, you can find yourself sleep walking through life and not really capturing the moment as it unfolds.  That’s being in the present and not worrying about what tomorrow holds or looking in that rear view mirror called the past.  And me and that “rear view mirror” love and hate relationship gives me the blues.  I have to remind myself that I will eventually turn into a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife if I keep it up and Lord knows I don’t want that to happen.  The “shoulda, coulda, woulda,” is simply too great of a distraction.  So, just let it go!

Last Saturday, I stepped out like a “big girl” rolling solo with that great smile and no real mission other than to live in the present and enjoy myselfAnd that’s what happened.  On my stroll, I first checked out some of my usual spots in uptown Dallas.  The crowd was great and of course the ambience was chic and more of a cocktail lounge which is the way I like it.  I got invited over to another event nearby which turned out not to be my crowd, but being the manners girl that I am, I stuck it out for a minute. When I say not my “crowd,” I’m referring to the fact that the venue didn’t have valet in effect.  That’s always a red flag for me because in my mind this speaks volumes about the type of patrons the venue is trying to draw and plus a girl needs her valet especially when she is solo, wearing stilettos or just because.  I know what you’re thinking about me and that’s probably right; as long as you know. LOL! I digress.  Well, after I finished shaking hands and kissing babies, I sashayed right on out of there and returned to my usual state as if I had never left.  I ran into people I knew and gained a few new associates.  The beauty of networking solo is it compels you to engage with others.   And for whatever reason or another, a fella is always coming from across the room or edging up from nearby.  I guess we are less “threatening” without our amen corner; our girls.  Or we might just be too preoccupied with our circle when we travel in numbers to notice we have been noted.  But to this, I say to the fellas, be bold and approach; we won’t bite even in packs.  Ladies, if you haven’t taken the solo stroll, try it and you will be elevated to “big girl” status instantly.  At the end of the night, I returned home with another check in my “shake things up” column.

Chante Prox is a family law attorney and mediator practicing in the Dallas/Fort Worth area @ www.barnesproxlaw.com or follow her on twitter @ https://twitter.com/chanteprox  for her sometimes random thoughts and whatnots.

            Disclaimer:  This information should not be considered as legal advice.  Decisions should be based on consultation with a licensed attorney.  This blog is for informative purposes only.

 

 

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Tips on hiring an attorney & contacting a law office

Backgroundtwitter            Asking friends and family for a referral is one of the best ways to find attorneys to contact.  Their personal experiences with the attorney can help you decide whether that attorney is a good fit for you.  Ask them if the attorney was easy to talk to, whether he or she met deadlines, whether it was easy to get a hold of the attorney, and whether the attorney kept the client well informed about the status of his or her case.

            When you decide to contact a lawyer’s office initially, understand that legal advice isn’t always free.  The attorney is highly unlikely to talk to you over the phone and answer all of your questions right then.  Instead, expect to set up an initial consultation.  So be prepared to ask if there is a fee for this consultation.

            If your initial contact with the office is made with a call outside of business hours and you leave a voice mail, be sure to leave your number, your full name, and a short statement that you are interested in getting legal representation.  You may leave a legal assistant confused if you just say “Hey, It’s John.  Call me at. . . .” They don’t know if you are a friend of an attorney wanting to make a social call or if you are a current client and they need to try to match up your number with the number of several current clients named John.

            During an initial consultation, be sure to understand what and how you will be billed if you hire that attorney.  Money can be an uncomfortable topic for many to talk about, but it’s an important one.  Ask if the attorney will need to be paid by a contingency fee, a flat fee, or a hourly fee.  Some cases are more conducive to a contingency fee and others to a flat or hourly fee.  Additionally, determine how much you will have to pay up front and how billing will occur if work proceeds beyond this initial amount.

            If you have decided to hire an attorney, you may want to evaluate your communication with his or her office.  Most attorneys paid with an hourly fee are happy to listen to your feelings and frustrations.  Especially in the area of family law, emotions run high and sometimes it’s good to express these emotions to your attorney so that they know exactly where you are coming from.  However, if cost is a concern for you, then you may want to limit emotional venting to your attorney.  It’s probably less expensive to speak with a therapist or even a good friend.  And although your attorney may empathize with you and be a great listener, a therapist has the tools to help you process and cope with your feelings better.

            Additionally, when calling a law firm once you’ve become a client, take a moment to think of what your questions are and what you want to discuss.  Frustrations about the case may make you lose your train of thought while speaking with your attorney.  If you write out your questions in bullet points, your emotions or the complicated facts of your case won’t get you off track.  This will result in a more productive use of the attorney’s time, but more importantly, your time.

 Chante Prox is a family law attorney and mediator practicing in the Dallas/Fort Worth area @ www.barnesproxlaw.com or follow her on twitter @ https://twitter.com/chanteprox  for her sometimes random thoughts and whatnots.

            Disclaimer:  This information should not be considered as legal advice.  Decisions should be based on consultation with a licensed attorney.  This blog is for informative purposes only.  

Good Friends

good-friends-are-like-starsWhen I take an inventory of my life and the relationships I have developed over the years, I must say I have some great friends.  Friends who have walked with me through difficult and good times, but more importantly who understand the meaning of “sticketh closer than a brother.”

Recently, I spent some time with friends I have known for more than 20 years but don’t see as often as we live in different states.  However, we didn’t miss a beat when we got together which is a part of the beauty of our friendship.  My “beauty pageant” friend as I affectionately refer to her is still as poised and confident as she was when we met in 1990 as pageant contestants.  She is that type of friend that quickly reminds you of your worth when you have had a falling off moment or two.   My New Yorker moved to the south friend, now he’s a piece of work.  LOL! Good as gold but super guarded with high deflection skills especially on mushy girly topics.  He asked me have I ever thought about being a “therapist?”  And of course me with my come back response, “my bar license does say Attorney and Counselor.”  I won’t mention his frugal living and obsession with coupons (i.e. Groupon, LivingSocial, Angie’s list) and our discussion on using them on first dates.  If you’re a girl above coupons, he’s not the man for you.  But, as I say all the time, look at it with better eyes, because you might miss out.  A man that saves and can make it happen for less is an attractive characteristic.

The jewels in friendship besties from college and childhood — are priceless.  We pray together, laugh together, cry together and of course “girl talk” together.  If I had to describe them with one word using the first letter in their first name, it would go something like this, “good-hearted,” “empathic” and “prudent.”   Ms. Prudent encourages me to be timely and use cash more than plastic including debit cards.  Ms. Empathic reminds me to wear the shoes of others to see the other side.  Ms. Good-hearted helps me to remain optimistic regardless of the situation.

I have always been passionate about friends and friendships. But, sometimes the bad apples of “friends” develop in you mistrust and a guarded demeanor which can easily make you lose sight of the joy of true friends.  You know those apples your mother warned you about — those in your circle but not in your corner and who secretly wish your demise.  Boy that sounds foreign to me and has been difficult at times to sink in because I’m such an “I see the good in people person.”  But the truth of the matter is it has been my reality at times during the course of my journey through life — friends and the betrayal of that friendship.  Yet in still, I’m getting past these disappointments and my resolve is God’s covering over my life supersedes any contrary plan.  When I think of friendship, the lyrics of Hezekiah Walker’s song “I need you to survive” comes to mind.  “I pray for you, you pray for me, I love you, I need you to survive. I won’t harm you with words from my mouth, I love you….”

Dedicated to my good friends and to those who have shown themselves to be a friend

Chante Prox is a family law attorney and mediator practicing in the Dallas/Fort Worth area @ www.barnesproxlaw.com or follow her on twitter @ https://twitter.com/chanteprox  for her sometimes random thoughts and whatnots.

            Disclaimer:  This information should not be considered as legal advice.  Decisions should be based on consultation with a licensed attorney.  This blog is for informative purposes only.