Regardless of the media attention devoted to high-profile court cases, and the entertainment industry’s love affair with smart, ethical attorneys, it seems lawyers don’t enjoy the same popular respect that, say, teachers or doctors do. That sentiment is especially interesting these days, when our health-care and education systems have been the subject of such scrutiny. But as yet, we haven’t blamed doctors for our health-care ills the way we do lawyers for our unwieldy and often capricious legal system.
The vilification of the legal profession seems especially unfair in light of Cloutier & Brandl, a Minneapolis law firm offering the services of attorneys Jean Brandl and Liz Cloutier, which has a work ethic that, quite frankly, puts many teachers to shame.
Attorney Jean Brandl says, “We’re like a small-town law firm in a big city. We take a lot of time with our clients, and we don’t just bill for every single thing that we do.”
Cloutier & Brandl’s long hours and reasonable billing practices may not make either of the attorneys as wealthy as some of their counterparts at other firms, but for both, being able to help their clients is their top professional priority.
“We could charge more than what we do, but we want people to be able to afford us,” Brandl explains.
With more than years of combined experience—and Brandl’s 17 continuous years of criminal law—what attracts clients to Cloutier & Brandl is not simply price point, but rather the philosophy of practicing law in a way that is ethical and in line with a client’s individual goals.
“In court, you fight hard, but you never play dirty. We believe that pays off,” Brandl states. “And if we think somebody can do a case on their own, and doesn’t have to spend the money to hire us, we’ll tell them that, and tell them how to do it.”
Between the two of them, Brandl and Cloutier can handle almost every type of legal case, but specialize primarily in criminal law; family law (including second-parent adoptions and partnership agreements), employment, and personal injury cases.
A free initial consultation determines whether a case would be valid in court, and what a client’s desired outcome might be.
The latter is especially important to Brandl, who advises, “The attorney and client should work as a team. If an attorney isn’t listening to you, and isn’t taking your input, that’s not a good attorney.”
Name of Company: Cloutier & Brandl
Year Founded: 2007
President/CEO: Elizabeth Cloutier
Number of Employees: 3
Phone: (612) 332-5100
Web site: www.cb-lawyers.com