Why I hire creative lawyers
Law and creativity aren’t words you commonly see in the same sentence; lawyers are typically seen as left-brainers - strong analytical thinkers focussed on logic. It’s a stereotype that’s hard to shake off, and you’ll often encounter lawyers who profess to completely lack creativity.
But the truth is, there’s so much room for creative thinking whilst practising law and it’s frequently overlooked. It’s not a skill that’s typically assessed during the recruitment process, or reviewed during appraisals. Law firms tend to place very little to no value on creativity, which continues to baffle me.
We need to work together to quash the stereotype and embrace our creativity.
Creativity is not binary: you can’t categorise someone as either ‘creative’ or ‘not creative’. Every person, including lawyers, has the potential to be creative and it’s important to understand their creative strengths and weaknesses to ensure they are reaching their potential.
For me, fostering creativity in lawyers is a priority. Consider these scenarios:
- Negotiation: if you can’t identify creative solutions you’re likely to find yourself in protracted negotiations where you spend your whole time going back and forth over the same points. Being able to ‘think outside the box’ can quickly unlock sticky situations.
- Contract drafting: properly reflecting your client’s requirements in a contract requires bespoke drafting. Whilst we’re subject to some restrictions and conventions, there’s greater scope for creativity in drafting than most people realise.
- Client communications: it’s easy to think that communicating to clients with words is the only option; it’s not. There’s lots of different ways a communication can be framed, and using visualisations such infographics or diagrams can be really useful.
- Marketing: law firm marketing is typically boring and uninspiring. Creative marketeers often find themselves tethered by the partnerships they work for. We might be a conservative, risk averse profession, but we can be so much bolder in how we present ourselves to the rest of the world.
- Innovation: innovation arises through finding new ways and better of doing things. It’s a process that requires a creative idea to start, which means that without creativity, there can be no innovation. We can’t rely solely on non-lawyers to innovate our industry – lawyers need to be driving change too.
These are just a snapshot of the ways in which creativity can enhance how legal services are delivered and marketed; the possibilities are endless.
We need to work together to quash the stereotype and embrace our creativity, both individually and as a collective.
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