As an attorney, you want to have what’s called “professional empathy.” You SHOULD be able to put yourself in the client’s shoes and consider what you would want and how you would want to be treated if you were in the same situation. How would you feel if the same set of circumstances were happening to you and what would you expect from your lawyer? But you also have to balance that by making boundaries around yourself personally. Remember, the best thing you can do for a client you care about is be the best attorney you can be. Focus on how to do what needs to be done to effectively represent your client. Give them competent legal advice by going over the specific law or policy, telling them how it applies to their case and what options they really have. Maybe even consult with another attorney with experience in that area of law and see how they would handle the case if you feel you may be too personally involved and need a second opinion (that would still protect attorney client privilege). Stop short of doing anything that is not a lawyer’s responsibility. Compare your actions to what you would do for a close family member who is not a client.
Read a book called A Civil Action. It is about a lawyer who got too involced in a case and basically ruined himself and the people at his firm. First he took the case and thought he could win. Then when things got tough he invested more money and time in the case. The firm became dependent on this case. Then when it was obvious that he was too wrapped up and needed to get out he couldn’t because he was too involved emotionally and it became a personal vendetta and he was financialllybmessed up that he needed to win to even stay level. I hav seen familyblaw lawyerstake calls from clients because their spouse is so sulking. You have to draw a line with yourself and your clients. Getting emotionally involved compromises your objectivity and judgments
When it comes to being in an industry that requires you to form a relationship with a person that is supposed to be strictly professional it can be very difficult to push the personal feeling aside and may result in the clouding of your judgment and take a toll on mental health. It is important to take care of yourself mentally and seek help if needed. I would recommend getting a therapist and seeking other forms of mental health treatment to establish boundaries between the client and you.