When most of us think of a creative profession, the first creatives that come to mind are most likely…
Artists, poets, musicians.
Your first thought is probably of someone who creates something from nothing or someone who is involved in a profession of the arts.
But, have you ever thought of a rule-following lawyer as creative?
However, law is actually a creative profession – despite that it is rarely considered that.
To be creative simply means to think of new ideas, and that is actually something lawyers do every single day.
How can lawyers be creative?
Whether they are trying to seal the deal in a negotiation, interpreting a case in a novel way, or even reframing a bad act, lawyers need to hone in on their creativity skills quite often.
As each case makes its way to their desk, they are working to find new avenues that could help their client win the case.
Being creative can also stem from being strategic – a quality most lawyers possess. As they strategize for their client’s day in court, they create new argument methods and new ways to present evidence.
And yes, believe it or not even something as mundane seeming as developing will kits requires a healthy dose of creativity.
How can you increase your creativity?
Many people – especially those who do not consider themselves to be creative – can easily find themselves in a creative rut.
Much like writer’s block, a creative rut is when you simply cannot foster a new and potentially successful idea.
But, if you find yourself in that position…
There are ways to make yourself more creative:
Turn off your inner critic.
You can easily be your own worst enemy. Start your time of creative thinking by turning off your inner critic.
For just a moment, try to temporarily abandon your legal training. Try to separate yourself from your thoughts and don’t criticize yourself before your thoughts even develop.
Let your mind flow freely and write down every single idea you come up with. Next, when you go to expand on and edit the ideas, then you can begin to remove some. List out a few pros and cons to help you narrow down the best one.
Practice, practice, practice.
You’ve probably heard the saying…
“Practice makes perfect,” right?
Well, that applies to lawyers just as much as it does athletes.
If you desire to be creative, you need to practice creativity. Find a good creative exercise that works for you – such as doodling – and spend a few hours each week practicing.
Give your brain a break.
Our brains have two modes of attention which are the most dominant:
- Task-negative network
- Task-positive network
When task positive is in charge, you are actively focused only on the task at hand, but when task-negative is in charge you are daydreaming.
Your creative moments originate in the task-negative network mode – new connections form, allowing your brain to wander.
Take a break between task-positive network mode and sleep on your idea, take a walk, exercise, or listen to music. Any of these task negative network activities will help you devise better ideas.
The best lawyers are creative lawyers. They are constantly coming up with new and effective methods to be used in the courtroom. Foster your brain in such a way as to be creati