Law in Contemporary Society
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My Take on How To Be A Creative Lawyer

-- By JalilMuhammad - 28 Feb 2020

Section I : The first requirement is Courage to see things as they are

Subsection A: Conversation with AG and the vulgarity of it all

Subsection B: To be around crime is to be close to the essence of civilization

Subsection C: A creative lawyer is like a clairvoyant, he sees what no one else does.

Subsection D: A creative lawyer steps outside the law and judges it

Section II: The second requirement is competence in your craft

Subsection A: Robinson notes A Real lawyer knows how to solve legal problems

Subsection B: Competence is the wave that creativity rides on

Subsection C: Enhance competence, enhance creativity

Subsection D: The distinction between competence and creativity

Section III: The third requirement is financial independence

Subsection A: Robinson doesn't like being beholden to anyone

Subsection B: Financially free lawyers are dangerous because they are creative

To be a creative lawyer requires the ability to think creatively or outside of the proverbial box and to stand in critique of it. Creative lawyering requires something that can never be bought from a retail store, learned in a book, or acquired in law school. It’s an attribute that we are all born with but dies through lack of cultivation. Creative lawyering requires courage - The courage to say what we know is right, the courage to do what we know is right and the courage to be the truest version of ourselves. From courage flows all the other important ingredients that comprise what it means to be creative. The creative lawyer doesn’t mind being wrong and doesn’t fear making mistakes. What he doesn’t know, he learns. What he hasn’t experienced, he tries and what he hasn’t conquered, he is in pursuit of. In the novel, Robinson’s Metamorphosis, Robinson displays a tremendous amount of courage. He sees things as they are and is completely unafraid to confront them. The courage to do so is what feeds his creativity. However, his courage makes those around him who are in denial about reality uncomfortable. For instance, he cites a conversation he once had with a federal prosecutor who took umbrage with his vulgar language. Robinson notes, “I was dropping my usual ‘fuck-this’s’ and ‘fucking-that’s,’ when he says to me, I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t be so vulgar.’” In reflecting on the conversation, Robinson highlighted the vulgarity of society itself, including the twenty thousand murders that take place per year, the two hundred thousand that take place in a decade and the two million that take place over the course of a century. The exchanged highlighted the hypocrisy of a society that picks and chooses the vulgarity it accepts, but also Robinson’s courage to be vulgar in protest of society and despite in condemnation. Robinson is the quintessential creative lawyer because he has the courage to be able to step outside of the law and judge it. He is not held captive by the law, nor is it enamored by its facade. He’s a critic who is constantly judging it, indicting it, reproving it and testing its limits. To be around crime and criminals, Robinson notes, is to be close to the essence of civilization. To Robinson, the criminal law is civilizations pathology and in practicing it he is “never far from evil.” He does not indict the criminal, his creative approach to lawyering wouldn’t allow him to. He indicts civilization. His courage emboldens him to see things as they are and not as they appear to be to the untrained eye. He doesn’t simply see what everyone else sees. He sees into and pass what everyone else sees and gives it breath and dimension. When he sees the young man sitting in the park wearing a Harvard sweatshirt, he sees him as he is. When asked about murderers he calls them insane and when describing the ambitious lady D.A., he pears into her like a book and describes to his friend her greatest assets and liabilities. Another important quality that is essential to creative lawyering is competence. In Robinson’s Metamorphosis the narrator identified, in part, what made Robinson stand out from the crowd while attending law school. He notes, “While everyone was arguing about this or that, Robinson would wave his hand in dismissal…It’s really quite simple. A real lawyer knows how to take care of a legal problem.” Creativity is not an excuse to be incompetent because true creativity can only manifest itself after a degree of competency has been attained. Creativity rides on the wave of competence and as a lawyer enhances the circumference of their competence, they enhance the circumference of their creative capacity. At a certain point, the two began to grow with each other. Robinson is extremely creative because he is extremely competent, if not in fact, at least in his own mind. Some might argue, that if you have competence, you don’t need creativity because with competence, the job can be completed. However, creativity is not acquired and developed to complete a job. To be a creative lawyer is not to complete jobs. To be a creative lawyer is to stand out from the crowd, like Robinson, and dismiss the job as small, conquerable and almost irrelevant. By assuming this posture, the creative lawyer reframes the task so that he no longer serves it, but it serves him. To be a creative lawyer is to be financially independent. A creative lawyer knows how to make the money needed to finance his creativity and a lawyer who is not financially independent is a slave to whoever he depends on for a salary. A dependent lawyer’s activity will be controlled. His productivity will be regulated and ultimately his creativity will be thwarted. Robinson understands this and provides insight into how he handles the issue of compensation and his take on financial independence. “As a rule I shy away from clients with money enough to put me on retainer… its simple.” he say, “I don’t like being beholden to anyone.” Robinson’s character is dangerous because he is in control of his own life, work and destiny. He answers to no one and he dictates the terms of his existence and the scope of his work. Robinson shows us that creative lawyering is no mystery. In order for it to work and be harnessed for productive purposes, it needs to be independently financed and fueled by courage, competence and an unyielding will to be free.

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r2 - 29 Feb 2020 - 02:28:27 - JalilMuhammad
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