Kentucky Bankruptcy Law

Counsel with Care

Why I use Counselor at Law rather than Attorney at Law:

Occasionally I am asked why I refer to myself as a Counselor at Law rather than Attorney. It is a sublety that most miss, but it actually encapsulates a key philosophy to my practice. An Attorney is an agent. They go and do what they are told to do by the principal. I remember going to an attorney in my prior life over an employment issue. I really needed to understand what was happening, but this highly recommended attorney told me very little. I later realized that this was because he either: 1) did not know what he was doing so stayed silent to look wise, or 2) said very little to minimize any liability on his part.

Anyway, he went and did what I asked him to do, but I was very dissatisfied with the process because I felt very much in the dark most of the time. I mean for my clients to feel informed. This is one thing a counselor does. They help you understand what you are going through.

Secondly, a counselor counsels. In my example above, I sought wise counsel as well as understanding. This is because I was faced with something outside of my experience. I recognize that it was ultimately my decision to make as to whether or not to pursue the matter, but I needed at least some rough estimates about the expected outcomes would be depending on my decision. So, as a Counselor at Law I take the risk I believe my profession calls upon me to take to explain options and the likely outcomes of each.

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April 29, 2007 - Posted by | Life & Law, Solo & Small Firm

1 Comment »

  1. I realize I’m responding to an older post, but I’m a new lawyer in Kentucky hanging a shingle and I’ve been researching this question. While I agree with the practice of using attorney and counselor, why use “at law”? Why not “attorney and counselor”? Is this a Kentucky requirement or common practice?

    Comment by Loren | October 23, 2007 | Reply


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