What to Look for in Your Fertility Lawyer

Jun
21
2017
The relationship you will have with your fertility lawyer is a unique one, as they will be intimately involved in one of the most important, and possibly one of the most exciting and vulnerable, areas of your life – collaborative family building. During your brief, or lengthy, working relationship, your fertility lawyer will participate in either your pure elation or your deep disappointment, but should do so while simultaneously demonstrating many very important characteristics.

What are those important characteristics?  Recently, I hired a marketing consultant/professional coach to help me uncover the answer to that question.  I wanted to know exactly what clients want from their fertility lawyer.  My consultant conducted a series of interviews with past clients, current clients, and other intended parents with whom I had no relationship.  She asked a series of open and closed-ended questions, analyzed the responses, and arrived at the following results.  It appears that the top five qualities intended parents look for in a fertility lawyer are as follows, in order of importance:

1.  Professionalism – Even though the relationship with your fertility lawyer will intersect with your personal life, intended parents still expect their lawyer to maintain a high level of professionalism.  After all, the relationship with your fertility lawyer is still a business relationship.  That relationship includes meeting deadlines, returning phone calls and replying to emails promptly, producing work that is top quality, communicating effectively, and generally striving to exceed your expectations.  Although you may not be able to determine whether the fertility lawyer you have retained is a “true professional” until your work together is already underway, if you pay attention, you may be able to glean some insight into whether they possess this quality prior to the formalization of your relationship.

2.  Approachability/Connection/Trust – These characteristics are difficult to measure but are easy to “feel”.  These are important intangible qualities that your fertility lawyer must possess for the working relationship to succeed.  You can rely on your intuition to help guide you here.

3.  Flexibility – Because you will be dealing with “personal” matters, it may be difficult for you to work with your fertility lawyer during your regular working day.  You should vet your prospective fertility lawyer with respect to this quality and ask whether they are prepared to work early mornings, nights and weekends, as required.  In this area of work, deadlines don’t wait for Monday morning!  The cycle will start when the cycle starts, and all your hopes will be invested in ensuring that certain legal steps are taken in advance of that date.  Meeting critical, irregular deadlines requires flexibility.

4.  Advocate – You should feel that your fertility lawyer is “in your corner”.  Although generally, the subject matter of fertility law requires a conciliatory approach with all other parties involved (i.e. your intended parents, your surrogate, your fertility clinic and your agency), you should know that your fertility lawyer will come to your aide, and will advocate for you, whenever the circumstances require.

5.  Experience – There are many permutations and combinations of situations that can arise when dealing with the complexities of third-party reproduction, and the lawyer you select should be able to provide a sound legal analysis and advise as to the correct course of action in all scenarios.  This ability can only be honed through experience.  By asking the pertinent questions, you should be able to determine whether your prospective fertility lawyer has “been around the block”, as they say.

The fertility lawyer you select is an important member of the team you will assemble to lead you through your third-party reproduction journey.  By considering the top five qualities other intended parents have identified as being most important in a fertility lawyer, you will be well-guided in your selection of a fertility lawyer.

 

Michelle Flowerday, LL.B.
twitter.com/FertilityFamily
facebook.com/FlowerdayLaw
www.flowerdaylaw.ca
 
For more information on resources for family planning, please visit our 'Resource' tab, http://anovafertility.com/our-services/resources

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