Establishing the Mindset of Practicing Preventively (1)
by Michael Goldblatt, Robert Hardaway, and Robert Scranton
Practicing preventive law requires a lawyer to reorient his mindset from crisis management to crisis prevention. Although it is a simple concept, it is often difficult to implement. A lawyer's education is geared toward crisis management, rather than crisis prevention. Most law schools educate students to become litigators, which follows the traditional lawyer role.
Practicing preventive law requires a lawyer to take leadership in a role that is foreign to many lawyers, and to inspire others to integrate that role in their own practice. Deitel & Lynch set forth the nine qualities of the required mindset based on Nathaniel Branden's book Taking Responsibility: (2)
· Being pro-active rather than reactive
· Manifesting a high level of consciousness, focus and purpose
· Taking responsibility for every choice, decision and action without blaming or finding alibis
· Being fully accountable for all promises and commitments made
· Being clear on what is and is not within his or her power
· Being task-focused rather than turf-protecting
· Being able to bounce back from defeat, setbacks or adversity and continue moving toward goals rather than surrendering to despair, and
· Demonstrating an unmistakable commitment to facing reality, whether pleasant or unpleasant.
1. Excerpted from Section 1.07, Michael Goldblatt, Robert Hardaway, and Robert Scranton, Preventive Law in Corporate Practice LEXIS Publishing (2000). See companion Preventive Law Web site created by Mr. Scranton, http://www.preventivelaw.org, for links to preventive law resources.
2. Nathaniel Branden, Taking Responsibility Self-Reliance and the Accountable Life, Simon & Schuster 1996).