Goals When Working With Clients. Podcast #2
Your Best Defense Podcast
Brad: Alright, welcome to the Your Best Defense Podcast. We are sitting with Jacquelyn Ford, also known as Jacqui Ford. How are you doing?
Jacqui: I’m doing very well, Brad, thank you.
B: Good. Well, we’re glad to be able to talk to you today. Jacqui what is one of your goals when dealing with your clients?
JF: My goal for my clients is just very different. I believe in quality representation over quantity of representation and for each person that walks in this door, my goal (and my staff is fully aware of this – this is part of our mission) is that when you walk out of our services you walk out of here a happier healthier person than when you walked in. And if I can benefit just a single person in that way then my role here on this earth has been fulfilled. That’s our goal. We don’t want to treat our clients like a case number. I know your name. I know your wife’s name. I know your husband’s name. Sometimes we know your children’s names. It is a personal relationship that we build with our clients because the criminal justice system is incredibly scary. It comes with a lot of things that people don’t think about. It’s not just that you’ve been caught doing something wrong or even that you’ve been wrongly accused of doing something wrong. When you’re accused of a crime, especially a felony crime in the State of Oklahoma, it damages your reputation. The consequences of a quick plea or a quick resolution to run you through the system is lifelong. I don’t think that many people know that. It’s important for me that my clients know it. So every initial consultation that we have there are some ground rules that are laid out. The first ground rule is always this: I am here to help you. I will not lie to you and I will not sugar coat your reality. I’m very very upfront. I believe it’s important that we have an open line of communication so that there’s a level of trust. I’m never gonna be the lawyer that you see in the street that represented you five years ago and you say, “oh my gosh that awful woman told me this and the reality was that!” That’s very very important to me. Being upfront and honest with my clients is the most important thing because there has to be a level of trust. I believe that when you pick a lawyer to represent you in a criminal defense matter that it is as important if not more important than the surgeon you might choose to conduct brain surgery. You are quite literally placing your life, your liberty, and your freedom as well as your future life liberty and freedom and that of your family in my hands. I take it very very very seriously and my relationships with my clients are top priority. It is a rule in my office, if you are to choose to hire me, that we walk into the courtroom with our heads held high. I do not walk in shame with my clients whether they’re guilty or not guilty. We work in a criminal justice system that I believe in 100%. The presumption of innocence exists. The government bears the burden of proving our guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. And if and when the government has met that burden, I accept that and sometimes we have to go forward to the next stage which is oftentimes sentencing. When I walk into a sentencing with one of my clients, we do not walk in with our head held low. We don’t do it in shame. We are exercising our constitutional rights and we will do it with pride. My clients are never standing alone. They always have a hand that’s being held with them, and arm around them, and a shield before them. Because even if you are a convicted felon, even if you did make a mistake, even if you did do something that was against the law, it does not have to define you. In our office, it does not define you. Who you are as a person defines you and how you handle the adversity defines you. My goal is that we handle this adversity together, we do it with respect honesty and professionalism.
BP:What motivates Jacqui Ford? What motivates you?
JF: What motivates me is when my clients walk into that room that they’re not David fighting Goliath all by themselves. They have an advocate. They have a friend. And most importantly, they have a voice.
B: That’s great. Good stuff. You’ve been listening to Your Best Defense Podcast with Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney Jacqui Ford. You can find out more at FordLawOKC.com