by Bradley W. Miller, Miller Law LLC
I think that lawyers, either by our nature or because of our training, tend to develop tunnel vision when it comes to handling issues for our clients. Before we even get into law school we take the LSAT, a large portion of which is focused on logical reasoning. In law school we are taught to break down issues and make logical arguments, to “think like a lawyer.” Throughout our schooling there is little room for creativity, and this gets carried on into our practice.
For issues that are relatively straightforward or similar to ones we have encountered in the past, we hear the problem and immediately start envisioning the solution and steps to get us there. In the context of helping our clients though, sometimes the “best” or “obvious” solution to us may not be the best for the client or even address their true goals and desires – some of which they may not even realize. If the solution seems too easy, it probably is.
If an issue is complex, we turn to our internal decision-making framework and methodically work towards a solution. We get stuck if there doesn’t appear to be a rational solution. Or worse, sometimes we find a logical solution and our clients don’t want it – because clients often base their decisions on emotions and desires and not logic.
It is easy for lawyers to focus too much on logic to the exclusion of creativity. Without a balance of the two though, we aren’t coming up with the best solutions for our clients, and aren’t truly serving them.