Connecting with People

By: Hannah Travis, Law Clerk and current law student at Capital University 

As someone who has golfed since I was six years old, I have always connected with people through the game. At my young age, I participated in the First Tee program. This program is built on nine core values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment—all characteristics I believe the attorneys at Dagger Law possess.

I learned so early in life how important networking and connecting with others is. I learned about good eye-contact, how to properly shake someone’s hand, and being engaged in conversations with others. I believe my people skills have helped me get to where I am today. Through golf, I met Partner Jeff Spangler, as well as others who work for the county in law and law enforcement. Through conversation and friendliness, these people asked about my life—where I was attending college, what my major was, what I wanted to do in life. Being from a small town and wanting to stay in the area long term sparked interest in these people and landed me a job at Dagger as a summer law clerk.

I think there is a certain prejudice that lawyers, doctors, and other professionals seem to have surrounding them. In my first year of law school, my Contracts II professor had the class complete a group activity. She first asked us to describe what people typically think of when they think of a lawyer. Several students raised their hands and gave answers such as crooks, rude, intimidating, and ingenuine. She then asked what we would want a lawyer we hired to be like, to which students answered: friendly, helpful, caring, and kind. We then discussed how most lawyers are actually described as the way we answered the second question.

I find it very important to form opinions of others for yourself, not by what others say about them. Lawyers are highly educated individuals, but they are still people. They like sports, they have families, they exercise, they go out with friends, etc. just like everyone else. Throughout the week, and even sometimes on the weekends, they talk in “legal-ese” because they are mostly surrounded by other attorneys and judges. When talking to attorneys, I have found that if you do not understand something, just ask! They get used to a certain way of communicating at work and sometimes just forget to “change gears.”

In the legal field, I have also observed that talking to a Partner of a firm seems to be more “intimidating” than talking to other attorneys. At Dagger, this is not the case. As a law clerk, I do a lot of work for Partner Jeff Spangler. He is extremely approachable and willing to answer any questions I have. He is thorough in explaining facts of a case to me or in what work I need to do. He treats everyone in the office with respect, and he gets his work done just like everyone else.

I have also had a chance to shadow Katie Cornelius-Blume, another attorney at Dagger. I observed a meeting she had with a younger client, and she was extremely thorough in explaining the client’s rights to them. Katie is understanding and caring with her clients and wants to make sure they understand what she is explaining to them.

In the end, people will always remember how you treat them and make them feel, so make your first impression to others one you want them to remember for the better. I believe the attorneys at Dagger truly care about their clients and put forth their best work each and every day.

COVID-19 Hours of Operation and Precautions; Update 3 June, 2020

Coronavirus **UPDATED 29 JUNE, 2020**

For the protection of our clients and staff, Dagger Law will be continue to practice social distancing and to conducting business by phone and email based on the attorney’s discretion and safety of all involved.

Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary for clients to visit our office. In these instances, appointments will be coordinated through your attorney and specific guidance regarding the meeting will be provided. Though we are accepting unscheduled, in-person, visits we request that  every effort be made to set an appointment, the interests of public safety.

For your convenience, we do have a drop box located in our rear parking lot on the left set of double doors as you look at the building. If you need to drop off a payment or paperwork, we ask that you consider the use of this option to minimize any unnecessary social contact. We understand that not every packet of papers will fit in the slot and that there may be times when you may have questions about your paperwork that may be answered before you hand them over to our attorneys and staff. If you need notary services, please stop at our front desk, located off of Main Street, and they will be able to assist you.

We are not requiring the wearing of face masks by clients of the firm, but ask that you consider this option for the safety and protection of others, as recommended by the Governor of Ohio and the CDC. Staff and attorneys will wear face masks to the maximum extent possible, but may need to remove them in order to be heard clearly, or to have hard-of-hearing clients read lips. In these cases we will make every effort to institute the recommended six foot social distancing measures, if possible, in our office spaces and conference rooms.  

Thank you for your cooperation and assistance with our efforts to keep the community safe.

Why Families With Children Need an Updated Will.

Who Needs a WillIt might be logical to say that everyone would be better off with some planning for their estate, today we want to focus on families with kids.

While nobody wants to sit down and think about what happens to their kids if they suddenly, and unexpectedly, die; there are many important reasons to do so. First of all, as a parent, we know you want what is best for your children. In your mind you probably have ideas about whether you would want your kids to be raised by a friend, godparent, or your favorite aunt. Without a Will, the state has no way of knowing who you would trust to raise your kids.

Second, it is unlikely that the state would pick the worst person in your family to take on the task, but creating a Will ensures that your wishes are considered!

Finally, you may admire the way your aunt loves and dotes on your children, but perhaps your accountant brother would be a better person to manage the assets that your child may now inherit upon your death. A Will will allow you to create some distinctions about who manages what aspects of your child’s life, until they become an adult.

It is hard to predict all the nuances that you might want to spell out in a Will, and we at Dagger Law recommend that you sit down with an attorney to ensure that your wishes and intentions are clearly defined, and allowed, under the law. We are here to help you protect your assets, and your children’s future, today.

Ohio Legal Help Website

Ohio Legal HelpOhio Legal Help, http://www.ohiolegalhelp.org, is a new website that is providing free information about common legal questions. This project is the collaboration of a number of organizations, including the Ohio Supreme Court, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the Ohio Clerk of Courts Association.

Branden Meyer, the Fairfield County Clerk of Courts stated: “Often, my staff is asked questions whose answers would result in giving legal advice. It is frustrating for both parties that we cannot answer them. We expect all will benefit from this project.”

The new site is not meant to replace an attorney, and many using it will still need to seek appropriate legal representation. But it should provide useful information and allow individuals to be more informed during the legal process. As with any set of general information, Dagger Law cautions that one size doesn’t fit all legal situations and a more thorough look at most cases will be needed. That said, we welcome the resource as a great way for clients to learn more about the law so that they can be an informed participant in their legal cases. If you have a particular legal situation that needs attention, please review the website and then give us a call to see how we can help!

Dagger Law Names Alyssa Parrott to Partner

Dagger Law, General practice law firm in Lancaster & Canal Winchester, OhioAlyssa Parrott has been promoted and named as a partner with the Dagger, Johnston, Miller, Ogilvie & Hampson law firm. Parrott joined the firm in 2011 and focuses on family law including child custody, adoption, estate planning, and divorce.

“Alyssa has been a valuable asset to our firm for several years and it’s an honor to name such a successful, strong and knowledgeable woman to our team of partners,” said Jeff J. Spangler, co-managing partner at Dagger Law. “Her passion for our clients, and the legal community in Central Ohio, have added some very positive energy to our firm, and we’re looking forward to having her help lead Dagger Law into the future.”

Parrott is a past president of the Fairfield County Bar Association and a CALI Award recipient. She was also named a 2019 and 2020 Ohio Rising Star by Super Lawyers. Parrott is a member of the Fairfield County Women’s Bar Association, The Ohio State Bar Association, The Rotary Club of Lancaster-Sherman and the Fairfield County United Way. She also serves as a juvenile law instructor at the Ohio University Summer Law and Trial Institute and is a member of the Ohio Supreme Court Juvenile Rule Work-group.  

She graduated magna cum laude from Ohio University with a bachelor’s in political science. She received her law degree from Capital Law School with a concentration in children and family law.

“I am looking forward to starting this next phase of my career,” said Parrott. “I especially appreciate that I’m able to move into this role at Dagger Law and continue to serve our community in an even greater capacity.”