Meet the team
Welcome to the family.
In 2011, I came to work with my husband at Erkan & Associates, LLC after a successful career in the corporate world. My prior experience had been in the boardroom and on the corporate jet as I served as the Executive Assistant for the CEO of a major multinational company. I had experience working with talented people. As a result, I was excited to work with my husband, who I knew had a fire in his belly; a passion for fighting for his clients' freedom. But when I came to work for the firm, I had no idea just how transformative the experience would be.
“Within the walls of our firm, the stories I heard, and the lives we touched helped me understand that all human life, and the sense of dignity which defines it, is always worth fighting for. ” — Shah Erkan, client coordinator
In a short amount of time, I realized what little I knew and understood about the endless variations and circumstances which join together to form the “human condition.” Within the walls of our firm, the stories I heard, and the lives we touched helped me understand that all human life, and the sense of dignity which defines it, is always worth fighting for.
When people experience severe stress it is not uncommon for their lives to quickly unravel. When a person whose life has been upended turns to us for answers, this is a tremendous responsibility and a humbling honor. These encounters inspire in me the passion to bring the team together to give our clients comfort and relief.
Over the years the most common complaints I hear from clients about their experiences with other lawyers revolve around communication. A failure to answer questions, to pick up the phone, and to sympathize with the anxiety which pervades the lives of criminal defendants. Surprisingly, I hear these complaints from clients dealing with otherwise highly regarded attorneys, who sometimes look at their clients as a cold set of facts, rather than people who need help and compassion. I found this so hard to accept -- that a person who asked for help would be left in the dark to suffer the uncertainty and anxiety which grows in the absence of a steady channel of communication. For that reason, I have put together a three person support team whose purpose is to listen to our clients concerns, find answers to their questions, and above all, empower them with information.
You may be surprised to learn that, in an effort to maximize profit and reduce overhead, most criminal lawyers do not invest in support staff. In fact, most work alone. As a result, they handle not only their cases, but also act as their own receptionist, secretary, bookkeeper and law clerk. Handling simple document requests and mailings, coordinating meetings, maintaining financial records and managing calendars leaves little time to put real thought and effort into cases, let alone client communications.
I have watched countless law practices fail their clients by stretching every penny, with one lawyer trying to wear every hat. I believe to succeed, a law firm needs lawyers who are free to focus on one thing: delivering outstanding results to the clients.
“I have watched countless law practices fail their clients by stretching every penny, with one lawyer trying to wear every hat. I believe to succeed, a law firm needs lawyers who are free to focus on one thing: delivering outstanding results to the clients. ” — Shah Erkan, client coordinator
Flowing from that simple principle, I have implemented a system in which all of the moving parts function together seamlessly. Where the lawyers are able to respond to the developments in the cases, and the support team is there to plug the clients in to the information and communications they need to remain aware and involved in the progress of their case.
My biggest contribution to the firm is not measured by my individual successes. Although my background helps me to handle a fast paced environment, what I bring to the team springs from my love and devotion to my family. To me, my family is not just those who live in my house - my husband, my daughter, our family dog. It's not just those wonderful, dedicated people who make up Team Erkan -- Chris, Daryl, Nathaniel and Vicky. It is each of the clients who comes through our doors, those people who face their darkest hours, and in those times, turn to us for help. Our joint success depends on our ability to work together in the best, most effective way possible.
My education and professional background provided a sturdy foundation for what I now do for Team Erkan. I studied International Relations at the Near East University with full scholarship and graduated with high honors. A week after my graduation I was hired by Tesco -- the 3rd largest retailer in the world measured by profits. At Tesco, I was in charge of overseeing daily communication between the CEO of Turkish operations, his board members and store managers.
These past experiences, the opportunity to work with people from varied cultures and backgrounds, my ability to manage a stressful, fast phased environment, and the determination and discipline it took to obtain the honor of those positions made me a great fit for Erkan and Associates LLC.
With that, this is my promise to you. I will always listen. I will make sure all of your questions are answered, in a thorough, clear and timely fashion. I will make sure that you are always welcomed and respected when you walk through our doors.
Welcome to the family.