1. The importance of connecting: About the first meeting with a patient, he writes, “During a consultation, I have to gather information — the patient's life story, the history of his problem — but the most important thing is that the patient should leave our first meeting feeling heard. At the end of this meeting, he should feel that what he came to say, has been said, listened to, and thought about."
That’s a worthy goal for lawyers (or any professionals). I often feel drained when I speak to a new client. The initial connection is so important. Concentration and understanding is not easy work.
2. The limits of our abilities: Here is the second passage, at book’s end, in which he writes about losing a patient that, no matter how hard he tried, he could not help or reach: “Now, so many of the patients I saw when I was young are gone or dead, but sometimes, as when waking from a dream, I find myself reaching out to them, wanting to say one more thing."
Isn't that the truth? There are so many clients, judges or juries to whom we, as lawyers, wanted to say just one more thing, make one more argument, stake out one additional angle. I think that Grosz wonders, as do I, whether it would have made any difference. We will all be left wondering.