Creativity and the Practice of Law

Is what lawyers do “creative”? Recently, I heard a speaker say,that what lawyers do is solve problems and problem solving is creative. Yeah, but maybe that just restates the question.creativity bulb

  • When a person identifies and restates the law applicable to a static set of facts, is that creative?
  • Is legal process management creative?
  • Is counseling clients about possible actions, tactics and strategies in developing circumstances creative?
  • Is advocacy creative?

Do the answers to these questions point to a possible approach to defining “the practice of law,” or at least to dividing lines among types of law practice?

The Art of Thought outlines 4 stages of creativity, which are described at Brain Pickings and also at  Farnam Street, recounted in The Creativity Question, and critiqued in Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights.

   Stages of creativity or not, they sound like a method of practice for certain types of legal work. The four stages are:

  1. Preparation
  2. Incubation
  3. Illumination
  4. Verification.

The ongoing process of disaggregating certain law work from what lawyers do and giving it to non-lawyers, raises the question: what functions are not susceptible to disaggregation? And also, disaggregation from what? Is a kind of creativity at the core of this?

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