Ah, the clarity of hindsight. Lucy wishes she had been more on target in predicting her divorce lawyer’s winning potential by observing the attorney’s office décor. In fact,the attorney had no office. She worked out of the dining nook in a high rise apartment she shared with her two adolescent daughters, and a snarling little dog. Clouds of cat hair coated every surface and a rather odiferous litter box made its presence known in the "office rest room." But come to think of it, actually it wasn’t so much her office or lack thereof that was the major problem. After a preliminary four-way meeting between the divorcing parties--Lucy and her then-husband, plus the lawyers for both parties, her attorney followed Lucy into the courthouse Ladies’ Room where she burst into tears in memory of the angst of her own divorce several years before. Lucy ended up comforting her attorney and handing her tissues. None of this was subtracted from her bill. In the divorce settlement, despite poor representation, Lucy miraculously ended up with only a mildly bad deal.
A decade later, Lucy’s sister, Joy, went through her own divorce and obviously had learned nothing from Lucy’s prior experience. Joy signed on with an attorney whom she chose for the lame reason that the office assistant kindly offered her a choice of herbal tea or fresh brewed coffee and that the coffee was served with real milk, not Cremora. Never mind that the attorney’s office was strewn with stacks of files and loose papers stamped CONFIDENTIAL,and that a couple of unmatched high heels were kicked into various corners. Once, the attorney gave Joy a ride home from a negotiation meeting and the car was so cluttered with old diet coke cans, sweaty gym clothes and piles of coffee-stained paperwork, that Joy couldn’t even squeeze her size 4 self into the passenger seat. Needless to say the attorney was no more organized in planning Joy’s case than she was in they way she kept her office and car. Joy was lucky she walked away with the shirt on her back(barely).