I love The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving & Getting Advice Successfully by Gerald M. Weinberg. This book is witty and wise. I like to go back to it to and re-read its memorable laws. Here are some of my favorites. I think they can teach us a few things about thinking like a lawyer:
The Law of the Hammer:
“The child who receives a hammer for Christmas will discover that everything needs pounding.”
The following is my version for legal professionals:
"A student who learns to think like a lawyer will discover that anything can be turned into an argument." On a more serious note, this law reminds me that specialists sometimes suffer from the tunnel vision that prevents them from seeing out-of-the-box solutions.
“If you can’t think of three things that might go wrong with your plans, then there’s something wrong with your thinking.”
When you think like a lawyer, you look for anything that can go wrong.
Prescott’s Pickle Principle:
“Cucumbers get more pickled than brine gets cucumbered.”
This principle is about ethics and autonomy. It tells us that it can be challenging to preserve independent thinking when you deal with a large and important client. Recent corporate scandals show that even legal counsels can get “pickled” in the corporate "brine."
“What you don’t know may not hurt you, but what you don’t remember always does.”
This principle highlights the importance of setting reminders, or triggers, for yourself and your clients of all things that you need to remember. Do you have a system for that?