I received a call today regarding one of my clients and a decision we had to make in regard to the quality of his current life and his future. Decisions are a large part of any legal practice, and its why people seek the advice of attorneys. It seems to be more comforting to look to an “expert” to make decisions and to rely on this person because there is an expectation of rationality, authority, and expertise. What makes an attorney an “expert”? Certainly there are legal standards, ethical and statutory obligations. what I think is often overlooked but absolutely required are personal considerations. What would would be the “right” thing to do? What would I want for myself, or my loved one if offered the choice? Personal life experiences cannot be discounted in making decisions, because they add to the value of a well informed decison. Ultimately its about weighing all the options available, considering all the ramifications and determining what we can live with. And while I can approach the decision I had to make with a certain amount of reasonable detachment, it’s impossible to forget that there is a personal impact here and that’s not a bad thing. It means there is an investment in the decision that goes beyond what’s on paper. It’s a human element that’s essential to these types of decisions.