In most of my driver’s license restoration articles, I get into a detailed examination of the license and clearance appeal process, or specific parts of it, and how it all works. The reader can get a pretty good idea of who I am and how I do things through those articles. I’ve been told many times that, in person, I “sound” just like I do in my writings. That’s exactly what I’m shooting for, so I take that as high praise. Not surprisingly, when I’m looking to hire a professional for something, I like to know about him or her and why they do what they do, as well as how they do it. In this article, I want to explain why I love being a Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyer, and how that translates to a benefit for my clients.
For the most part, lawyers are in the misery business. No matter how much money some attorney makes, it’s almost always because something has gone wrong for someone else, be it a marriage, a business deal, a contract, an accident, or a criminal charge. I know this firsthand, because I handle DUI cases on the other side of my practice. I concentrate in driver’s license restoration and DUI cases because I believe it’s important for me to work at both ends of the drinking spectrum, and I think my experience on each side is beneficial to my all of my clients. DUI cases are never good news, whereas license restoration cases almost always are. DUI cases are all about minimizing the negatives, and no one is happy to have to deal with that. By contrast, gratitude and positivity are the defining characteristics of license appeals. License restoration clients are always on the upswing in life. A license restoration or clearance appeal is usually the last step in a person’s journey to a new, sober life.
Making money is great, to be sure. Most of us never seem to have enough of it. I know that I could have made some career choices long ago that would likely have netted me a much larger income. Of course, I do well in this field, and I’m not complaining, but my point is that if it was simply money that motivated me, I’d be a TV injury lawyer, with some cheesy slogan like “When you’re in a bad crash, Jeff will get you the most cash.” Except I hate that stuff. I hate lawsuits. I’d rather clean puke out of port-potties at a carnival than do divorce work. Instead, as a Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyer, I get to help people who really deserve to win back their licenses, and I do so well at it that I guarantee my results.
It takes profound life changes necessary to beat a drinking problem. You don’t go from problem drinker to non-drinker easily. The overwhelming majority of people who are “alcoholic” do NOT get better. Statistically, less than 5% of all people who meet that rather fluid definition ever recover enough to accumulate 5 or more consecutive years of sobriety. Those that fight hard enough and have the determination to get and stay sober deserve to get back on the road. To be sure, there is an certain element of luck to this, at least for than minority of people who do manage to overcome their addiction, but at the end of the day, you either recover, or, for most people, you don’t. In my role as a Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyer I do, quite literally, get to see tears of joy every single week when I win back drivers licenses for those people who have gotten sober. The joy my clients experience is the real reward for me, and my staff. And best of all, it’s not just that we make someone happy; we help people win back what they’ve worked hard for and honestly deserve.
This is important, at least to me. As a lawyer, I understand, intellectually, how some lawyers can do rape and murder cases, but I could never do that kind of work. More than that, however, I don’t know how a lawyer can sit next to some guilty-as-hell killer or rapist and actually care about him or her. I guess that for those that take such cases, it comes down to caring only about the rules and the mechanics of the case, rather than the rapist or the murderer. For me, it’s different. I do care about my clients. I will ONLY take cases for people who are genuinely sober, but the tradeoff there is that I want my clients to win not just because I’ve been paid, or I’ve played the game right, but because they have worked hard and truly deserve to win. This begets a personal investment of my heart and soul that transcends money, although, because I guarantee to win every case I take, I am every bit as financially invested in these cases as my clients, as well. That certainly doesn’t hurt.
When I was in high school, it never occurred to me that someday, I’d be genuinely interested in the addiction and recovery processes. I might have agreed that I could grow up to be a lawyer, but who in the hell even knows what a driver’s license restoration lawyer is, much less what he or she does? As much as the money might be great, I just don’t think some slick injury lawyer really feels as great for his or her client for that $120,000 slip and fall settlement as I do when sitting next to a client in the hearing room and watching him or her get choked up after the hearing officer grants his or her license appeal. To this day, I still feel a flush of emotion when that happens. I don’t think either the slip and fall client or the lawyer experiences those kinds of emotions, although I’m sure the experience of receiving those big payouts doesn’t exactly suck, either. Whether it should be that way or not, I take my cases personally.
My point here is that I am proud of what I do. I love what i do. This is so important to me that I went back to the university campus, after law school, and completed a post-graduate program of addiction studies. As much as my clinical education makes me a better driver’s license restoration lawyer, it makes me a better DUI lawyer, as well. I use my clinical knowledge every single day, in every case I handle. In that context, as great as it is to win license cases, it is also wonderful to be part of the conversation that makes a person facing a DUI recognize that his or her relationship to alcohol is problematic, and want to do something about it. In short, it feels good to actually help people.
Many years ago, an older lawyer once told me that he liked to cut his own grass because, unlike carpenters and doctors and dentists and mechanics and plumbers and anyone else who actually fixes or creates something at work, lawyers usually don’t. Sure, the big injury lawyer makes a mountain of money, but don’t most of us think “slickster” or “ambulance chaser” when we see some sharpie running after dog bite and slip and fall cases? How much joy does a divorce lawyer get out of his or her work beyond a paycheck? Can there be any real thrills to outmaneuvering the other side and winning a contract lawsuit?
Me – I get nothing but joy when I help a client win his or her license back. I am proud of my work because it actually does create something. I help genuinely sober people who have worked hard to change their lives put the last piece of the puzzle back into place. I don’t win my cases by luck, and I don’t take cases for people who still drink. I have been able to take my undergraduate degree in and passion for psychology, go through law (graduate) school, and then through even more post-graduate education in a psychology-related field and apply it every single day in a very unique, legal setting where I make a good living and actually produce a material benefit for the people who hire me. I do good things by helping sober people be able to legally drive again. My work is genuinely rewarding.
And it’s interesting, to boot. I just can’t believe that a divorce lawyer experiences anything like this. I actually read professional journals, textbooks, studies and scholarly articles about addiction and recovery processes. I am interested in the latest diagnostic techniques and treatment modalities. Whatever else, this (at least to me) is a lot more interesting than some bar journal article about contracts. I get to take my clinical training and actually use it, and as a lawyer, no less! Moreover, as much as I get to “understand” and use this clinical stuff, I don’t actually have to practice it in any clinical sense. In that way, I’m kind of like a food critic who gets to try all the great dishes and then critique them, but doesn’t have to actually cut the veggies or endure the heat of the kitchen.
If the reader senses that I have a real passion for what I do, and I have a real passion for my clients, then you’re getting the point. I don’t dread going to work, and I actually get to deal with subjects that I personally find interesting. As a group, license appeal clients are way more positive than other in need of legal services. I just don’t think that you can get any true job satisfaction in divorce law, ever. I’m sure every lawyer enjoys making his or her client happy, but I think that still falls short of knowing your client has worked through a drinking problem, changed every part of his or her life, and now finally has won back the ability to drive again and move forward in every sense of the word.
If you’ve quit drinking and you’re looking to get your license back, I can help. Do your homework and read. I have written over 400 license restoration articles for this blog. There’s more information here than you can find everywhere else on the internet, combined. Still, you should find that out for yourself. When you’re ready to get the ball rolling, start checking around. All of my consultations are confidential, free, and done over the phone, right when you call. You can reach my office Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (EST), at 586-465-1980. We’re here to help.