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Letters From Lea: Holding Space

Being a lawyer can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but at Lewis & Keller, where we practice law that helps injured people get the financial stability they need, being a lawyer means being a public servant. Our managing attorney, Lea Keller, has exemplified this time and time again. She has written a letter directly to you, our friends and neighbors in Winston-Salem, to help them understand exactly what it is that our attorneys can do for our clients.

Dear Neighbors,

When I was a little girl I used to talk a lot. I mean a LOT. So much that people would meet me and say, “you talk so much, you should be a lawyer.” Well, the joke was on them because I’m not just any lawyer, I’m a lawyer for grieving people. People that have been broken open. People who are trying to make sense of a life that is so starkly different than it was in the moments before a life changing crash. People in so much pain. And that means that I spend a lot more time listening than I do talking. Walking people through the stages of grief is not for the faint of heart.

Holding space is more of an art than a science. I’ve heard it described a lot of different ways, but to me it’s about being with someone in their most vulnerable moments and trying your best to make them feel safe in their feelings. No judgment, no fixing, no analyzing. Just safety. Trying to convey the message of “you are not alone” to someone who is walking a road that nobody can really walk with them is tough. It takes more heart than words.

I’m sure there are some lawyers reading this and cringing. “How can you maintain your objectivity!” “You can’t carry around everyone else’s grief all the time!” “Getting that close to your clients is unprofessional!”

Well, let me assure you, we can maintain objectivity because we are skilled in our profession. Objectivity isn’t an emotion. It’s a quality. It’s the ability to analyze facts and details apart from emotion. It doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to have emotions on the subject. And yes, sometimes carrying other people’s grief around can get heavy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. Much of this job is hard, but we still show up and do it every day. With respect to professionalism, we get to be in our clients’ lives for a very short period of time. When their case is over and they walk out our doors, they rarely find their way back unless they are hurt again.

So if in that short period of time, we can give them all the empathy and heart we have while they walk through a dark moment, then shouldn’t we do just that?

Mike has always told me that people will forget what you said but they rarely forget how you make them feel. Getting hurt in North Carolina is hard. The laws are tough, the system favors the insurance companies, and there is a lot of red tape. I know that sometimes at the end of the day the result is not fair. All we can hope is along the way, we have held enough space to make our clients feel heard and cared for so they didn’t feel like they had to walk through it alone.

Attorney Lea Keller

Share Your Story with Us

If you were injured while working or in an accident that wasn’t your fault, let Attorney Lea Keller and our team of experienced attorneys hold space for you and help you through this difficult time. We will walk this road with you and help you seek the compensation that will meet your specific needs. Learn more about your legal options with a free case review today.