In 2012, my life took a dramatic shift when I developed chronic migraine disease. After spending nine years litigating, trying cases, and arguing motions, my body told me it was enough. I had spent my days in a suit standing before judges and my nights and weekends trying to solve the world’s problems. I realized that I could no longer continue like that. I was giving my life, health and happiness to a system that seems inherently designed to force people into debt or settlement. I began thinking about all the families that needed a good lawyer who would encourage them to settle quickly and save their money for themselves. I determined that a costly litigated divorce mostly serves the legal industry, not the people needing a resolution to their cases. Worst of all, I saw the outcome of litigation on children’s lives. Often, they are the victims of litigation, as their parents have spent considerable amounts of time trying to convince them that the other parent is evil, bad or somehow deeply flawed.
This seemed contrary to the oath I took to serve my clients. I knew there had to be a better way to help. I knew that most families could not afford to pay a lawyer the equivalent of a great vacation or new car.
I started thinking about how I could offer my services to people in a manner that would help them move forward, cost less money, and be considerably less stressful. I was one of the first attorneys to begin using a flat fee structure in this area. I moved my office from the heart of lawyers row in downtown Edwardsville to O’Fallon. I stopped taking most contested work. I rejected the idea that lawyers have to be stuffy and formal, so I use my first name when I can, don't wear suits unless I need to, and think about how I felt when I hired lawyers in the past. I began crafting a process and paperwork for families that just needed a guide through the process that treats them like they want to be treated. To do that, I often introduce myself as Amanda the lawyer, and not Ms. Bradley. I give advice designed to save you money, not make me wealthy.
I did not forget the lessons that litigation taught me. I learned how to craft paperwork that serves families both now and in the future. I help clients think about how to meet their child or children’s needs, both now and in the future. I help them think about how to move from their current way of life to their different future. I understand my process is not right for every case or every family. Some divorcing couples will continue to fight, some parents will keep a child from the other parent, and seek a winner-take-all solution.
Now, I wear jeans to my office and spend my days writing, not litigating. I go home at a decent hour to my three cats and my husband. I watch baseball or hockey and really enjoy cooking. I work on cases where clients want to move through the process without fighting, arguing or spending their lives in courtrooms or lawyers’ offices. I have streamlined my processes so that I can offer my trade at a fair value. You will not feel like your case is one in a big pile of other cases. I offer personalized attention to each client’s paperwork and give you detailed answers to help you navigate this difficult process. If this is what you are looking for, I would love to hear from you.