Today, Monday September 9, 2013, is the final day of “Paryushan,” a Jain holy week, when we ask for forgiveness from family and friends. It seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to ask for forgiveness from my clients, prospective clients, and those who would have been my clients if I had reached you in time. Here it is:
I wish I were perfect and that I could help all of you attain your immigration goals. But I am merely human. I try my best, but even my best is not perfect. You do not often hear this from your attorney, but I want you to know that I know my own limitations and imperfections, and am humbled by them. At times I may have missed a call, I may have delayed responding to your email, or I may have made you wait for your appointment even if you arrived on time. On your consultation with me I may have been the bearer of bad news. I may have underestimated the complexity of your case and given you false hope. I may have lost your case despite my best efforts. I may have not communicated my boundaries and then have gotten upset with you for crossing them. I may have refused to take your case, or my fees might have prohibited you from seeking the kind of help you should take. I may have failed to fully emphasize how important it was for you to get legal assistance in your case. I may have missed helping you because my marketing never reached you in time. I may have been afraid to be direct with you when it was what you needed to hear. I may have gotten frustrated with you or another person and projected that frustration toward you. I may have gotten impatient with you for not turning in your documents on time without realizing or understanding your life’s circumstances. I may have failed to spend the time to listen to your whole story because it was not legally significant. Even if it wasn’t legally significant, I know that your problem was significant to you.
I need for you all to know that I value each and every one of you. I recognize that your stories, even if they are not always relevant to the case, are important for you. I understand how big of a step it must be for you to take your problems and present it to someone you hardly know–to divulge all of your information and hope that this person will be able to help you. I’m grateful to you for trusting me and my law office to be able to assist you in this. You all, with your complex lives, quirky personalities, and diverse problems, you teach me more than I could ever learn by myself. For this I am eternally grateful. I know I will continue to be better as a person and as an attorney, in no small part thanks to my clients and prospective clients who continue to challenge me and rejoice a victory with me. I am absolutely loving this journey because you keep me on my toes. I want to be sure that in my journey I never forget you, my dear clients and prospective clients, who have taught me so much along the way. Your cancelled appointments taught me I need to confirm appointment times and not keep appointments on Fridays, because who wants to see their lawyer just before a weekend? Your objections to price made me aware I needed to be better at communicating my value. Your panicked emails made me aware I need to be better at communicating my boundaries to you. Your complex life and immigration stories teach me perseverance. Most importantly, your trust in me and your gratitude inspire me to no bounds.
So, my friends, when I fail to respond to the email or phone call, just know that it isn’t that I do not care about you. And if you find it in your heart, please forgive me. I am trying my very best, but I will never pretend to be perfect.
Feel free to comment below if you so choose, and to forward this story on to others who may need to hear a humble apology from an immigration lawyer.
Dhenu Savla, Esq.