Every attorney sees themselves different. In the litigation arena, there are those attorneys who simply fight to the death, contest every issue and whose fundamental purpose is to destroy everything in their path. There are other lawyers who take a completely different approach. They are solution minded. Their goal is to protect their client’s rights and achieve their client’s goals in the most cost-effective way possible.
It is really easy for “aggressive” lawyers to drive endless bills to their clients by engaging in “letter war” tactics and other heavy-handed strategies. These lawyers don’t discriminate much between clients. They simply fit everyone into the “aggressive lawyer” business model.
More solution minded lawyers try to identify the client’s goals and then work towards solutions and compromises which meet those goals. While it is sometimes necessary to aggressively assert a client’s right, that is not necessarily the default position.
As a litigation attorney, I get to make choices each day about what type of approach works best for a particular client on a particular matter. I always have to remind myself to step outside the classic threat letter, analyze threat letter response, reply to response to threat letter approach. Sometimes, just picking up the phone is the right answer for everyone involved.