What law school ought to be.

OVERVIEW
MULTI-DIMENSIONAL LAWYER
PREVENTIVE LAW AND PROBLEM SOLVING: LAWYERING FOR THE FUTURE
ESSAYS
ASPECTS OF PRACTICE
CORPORATE COMPLIANCE
RULE OF LAW
CENTER FOR CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
OTHER LINKS
PREVENTIVE SUCCESS STORIES
FEEDBACK

 


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).