Photo by Sarah Crowder

If actions speak louder than words, knowing how someone spends her time may be the most telling aspect of the individual. Family law attorney Susan Hais, of Hais, Hais & Goldberger, spends hers focused on her clients.

Her days begin early. Hais starts the morning with a 5 a.m. run, followed by a traditional breakfast of bacon and eggs to fuel the many hours ahead. "To me, it's the best time of the day because you can think about things," she says. Hais arrives at the office at 8 a.m., returns a few calls, then often has a morning court appearance. Thanks to the firm's location, Hais says she's sometimes able to walk to and from the courthouse with her client.

In explaining her day, Hais continues to focus on the importance of finding time to meet with her clients. "I've been practicing [law for] a long time, but I'm one of those lawyers who doesn't just take in a file and pass it off to someone else…I have people help me so that I can process a file," explains Hais. One of such people is new team member Erin Zielinski, who recently joined the firm as the eighth attorney. This assistance means that Hais can work on a variety of cases without taking on clients she wouldn't be able to see face-to-face. "You learn a lot just by listening to the client—you learn what's important to them and what they're going to be happy with."

Hais' afternoons usually include more court appearances, as well as client meetings and phone calls. And while the beginning of the day has a definitive start, the end is a bit fuzzier. Hais explains that her work days don't really end, as her work phone is linked to her computer, which means she sees missed calls after-hours—and often replies. "I will return calls all the time. I stay as long as I need to. If a client needs to come in past hours, I stay."

Hais is even known to give her cell phone to a few clients. This constant availability even included a recent trip overseas, during which Hais' husband and business partner, Sam Hais, says she took a call from a nervous client while biking around France. "I am there, and I think that the clients really appreciate it," she says. "I feel like if I called the doctor and they didn’t get back to me, I think [that would be] wrong. It's kind of the same thing."

ON THE COVER: Family law attorney Susan Hais, of Hais, Hais & Goldberger, has been practicing for more than 30 years and know the importance of spending time with clients. For more information, call 326-4885 or visit hhgl-law.com.

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