I am able to recall my very first meeting with Wanda Dawson vividly. Through heartbreak, I entered her firm’s office with tears flowing freely – hardly believing that I was moving ahead with my imminent divorce. I felt like a failure and that my whole life was on the verge of falling apart. I walked the halls of her firm to a meeting room with my face swollen from tears – feeling like I was “on display” for all of the firm’s employees to see. In each and every person that I made eye contact with, I received a knowing smile and a look that said “everything will be okay”.
I learned quickly that there was a difference between what I “wanted” and what I “needed” in a lawyer after meeting Wanda.
I “wanted” a lawyer on MY level so that they could see how broken and disillusioned I was … what I “needed” was MY lawyer to tell me that they understood my situation and had the skills to deal with it effectively. That was Wanda.
I “wanted” a lawyer who knew how scared I was when I correctly predicted that “this will get nasty” … what I “needed” was MY lawyer to say “I have your back and will lead the way through this”. That was Wanda.
I “wanted” a lawyer who would bulldog through the divorce and make it all go away quickly … what I “needed” was MY lawyer to place importance on my long-term future instead. That was Wanda.
I “wanted” a lawyer who would stop at nothing to balance what I perceived was fair and deserved … what I “needed” was MY lawyer who knew “the system” and the likely outcome to guide my situation. That was Wanda.
I “wanted” a lawyer who would only see my side and advocate solely for that and that alone … what I “needed” was MY lawyer who saw all perspectives and directed the outcome to the best interests of my child. That was Wanda.
I “wanted” a lawyer to agree to cave into demands so that it would end … what I “needed” was MY lawyer who could carry the energy, hope and perseverance to finish the divorce. That was Wanda.
I “wanted” a lawyer to believe in how desperately I needed to protect my child when circumstances arose with the other parent … what I “needed” was MY lawyer to BELIEVE in the concern and take immediate and deliberate action to protect my child. That was Wanda.
It is hard to put to words the journey of a divorce let alone the role that Wanda has played throughout this process. To describe Wanda accurately would take the entire English language but because of length limitations, I will attempt to keep this short.
Wanda was my strength when I hadn’t any left. She was my solution when all I saw was complexities, issues and barriers. Wanda brought brilliance, knowledge and foresight into a situation that appeared dark, confused and limited. Wanda brought tenacity and skill to Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeal while balancing “procedure” with humanness, compassion and understanding. Wanda was my calm within the storm.
I truly believe that my life would be incredibly different without Wanda’s experience, skill, wisdom and dedication to my situation. She is an incredible lawyer who balances the intricacies with genuine compassion and realistic outcomes in the navigation of an often difficult family law system. Wanda has my complete trust and faith in handling whatever challenging legal situation may arise for any one. It is with great sadness to know that others choose lawyers without Wanda’s credentials, professionalism or ethics. If you are looking for one of the best, she is that for certain.