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Six questions for Edmonton lawyer Rose-Marie Cassis

What are your academic qualifications? 
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Lethbridge and I am a graduate of the University of Calgary Law School. I have also completed the training required to become a registered collaborative family lawyer.

What additional designations do you hold?
I am a registered collaborative law lawyer.

Why did you decide to become a lawyer?
I liked the idea of helping people when they really need assistance. You can really make a difference in somebody’s life and I find that very satisfying.

How long have you been practicing law
Since 1994.

What areas of law do you handle most often?
There are three:

I am also a trained and registered collaborative family lawyer and a Commissioner for Oaths and Notary Public.

What is the biggest misconception about the legal services provided by a lawyer?
That hiring a lawyer means there is going to be a lot of conflict and expense. It can be just the opposite: hiring a lawyer can help resolve the conflict. Moreover, and more important, the client is often not aware of the best option when they come to see me for the first time.

What do you say to a client who feels it is important to consider gender when hiring a lawyer?
Women do not need to be represented by female lawyers to get the best representation and the same applies to men. What’s far more important is whether you connect with the lawyer as a person. Are they hearing you? Do they honestly care about your circumstances? I say the same to mothers and fathers — don’t limit yourself by eliminating one gender. Fathers can be well represented by women and vice versa.

If you have one tip for someone getting ready to hire a lawyer in Edmonton, what would that be?
Don’t rely on phone calls or emails. Meet with a few prospective lawyers, talk with them, get to know them and see whether they are effective communicators. That’s the best way to find who is best for you.

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