Evenings at the Carey household are a wind whirl of activity. Our dog Cleo waits by the front door, hoping someone will take her for a walk. The child whose turn it is to do the dishes grumbles by the sink. The child who is rushing to get to a basketball practice, wearing Adidas flip flops even in the dead of winter, fights over the tap to fill a water bottle. A third child sits at the family computer, pretending to do homework while actually texting friends on an iPod hidden behind a textbook.
Unfortunately, some days are even worse. My athletic kids are often getting injured, and doctors and physiotherapists prefer you come to them during the day. So do teachers. School sports have games starting at 4pm, so if you want to see your kid play, you need to leave the office shortly after 3pm.
This means that I am often putting in hours in our home office, early in the morning or late at night, trying to catch up. I knew it was time to bring in extra help. Running a law practice on your own is like being a single parent. There are no sick days, no one to share the ups and downs, and no backup.
Fanni Csaba was once my rescuer. I had what was later diagnosed as severe bronchitis. I was scheduled to give a presentation to English as a second-language teachers. My voice was so scratchy I wasn’t sure I’d make it through without it giving me up on me entirely. I put in a few calls, and found a student at the University of Ottawa law school willing to accompany me to the presentation, and to take over for me if my voice failed completely.
I didn’t end of needing her voice, but she was great. She set up my projector, made sure I had water when I needed it, and talked with participants after the presentation. Clearly intelligent, well-spoken, and great with people, she was a connection I didn’t want to lose.
Over the next few years, as she continued her studies at the university and went on to do her Bar exams, Fanni helped me on a volunteer basis with refugee files and with my monthly newsletter. Her legal research skills were superb and she writes even better than I do.
I had come to the point where I was turning away prospective clients because I was so busy. She needed a job after securing her license to practice law. It was time for us to solidify our working relationship.
Fanni will be working under my direction, with my existing clients and with new ones who come through the door.
I’m so pleased to have her on board.