Melissa Hall

WSBA # 51167

The Vision: 

The legal community has largely focused on serving the needs of increasingly sophisticated clients by offering deep expertise in narrow practice areas.

Often the opposite of a good idea is also a good idea.

I serve everyday people who have general problems that need a broad approach by someone with general knowledge.

I offer legal primary care.

My Story

The idea of a personal attorney started in a courthouse.  I was helping my wife do a legal name change, an important step in her transition.  The form was confusing and I helped her sort out a few small questions.  I was glad I was there but it made me wonder what happens to people who don't happen to have a lawyer in their life.

It became clear that as a profession, we did not have a good model anymore for delivering legal services to people unless they were in a special situation.  The kind of general help I was offering was called "cocktail party law" and mostly featured in stories about the annoyances of being an attorney.

I had to look back in time to find a model for giving people general legal advice and still supporting yourself as an attoney. 

I am inspired by the small town general practice attorney.  The small town isn't for me, but what I really want is the commitment to a community of people and their understanding that I will be there for them when things are confusing or scary.

This is the heart of my practice and why I have chosen a community supported model.  I want people to feel like they have back up in a world where lawyers are too often a tool used against them.

I offer legal primary care.  I am mostly here to help diagnose legal problems, generally I recommend self care, but occasionally someone really does need the services of an expert, when that happens I try to find the right help.

Being a generalist is my specialty.  

My Promises

  • I will do my best to keep myself up to date, but I will be as transparent as possible about what I know, what I need to research and when you really need an expert.
  • I will never accept payment for referring my clients.
  • I will respect my clients right to self-identification, to make their own choices and to disagree. 
  • I will always try to support and empower my clients.  Sometimes that is by telling them that they have reached an end and need to stop fighting, but even when I have to do that I will respect their battle.
  • I will respect my clients feelings.  One of my roles is to not feel the problems of the people I work for as acutely as they do, but that is different from not understanding and respecting that a client might have all kinds of emotions.  These are not something I want to exclude from our relationship because I can't adequately represent you if I don't understand the way you feel.
  • Empowered people are in the best place to make good choices, I want to remove as much fear and confusion as possible to clear the way for clients to understand and make their own choices.
  • I am my clients representative. I am successful when a client can comfortably and knowingly make their own choices, not when a client makes the choice I would.