At Tips for Lawyers we (OK – I) like to occasionally celebrate the fact that complete and total nerds are pretty prevalent in the legal profession.
Sure, there’s a few people that think they’re too cool to celebrate Star Wars Day (ie – May the Fourth).
But to you I say:
May the Fourth be With You
Today I’m capitalizing on Star Wars Day by doing a blatant and occasionally tenuous analysis of the 5 best Jedi skills and lessons from the Star Wars movies that lawyers need to learn
The Jedi Mind Trick – These aren’t the Claims you’re Looking For
First and foremost is the Jedi mind trick. In legal circles this can take a few different forms, but in short it involves a swift and occasionally brutal take down of unwanted attention.
Perhaps it’s where a claimant has mis-named a party and you are calling them on it.
Perhaps they have stuffed up a simple process and you’re applying to strike it out.
Maybe someone’s trying to arrest your droids.
Maybe you are calling a blatant bluff.
No matter how you play it – the Jedi Mind Trick for lawyers involves a bit of bravado, a lot of confidence, and sometimes a massive amount of optimism.
Occasionally, of course, you come across a bit of a Jabba the Hut, and your mind tricks don’t work. But that’s OK, you’ve got plenty more in your arsenal.
Doing Things with your Eyes Closed
Luke Skywalker might have been fending off a little laser, but for lawyers it takes on a more brutal reality.
Here’s the truth: clients never give you all the information – at least, not at first.
Doing it well will get you the respect and honour you crave.
Doing it badly will get you
dead in trouble.
So you feel your way around, hoping that you won’t get burned, asking a lot of questions and having a bit of faith in your abilities – and hopefully you get out the other side without being shot.
Full Circle – the Student Becomes the Master
OK so the days of articles of clerkship are all but gone.
But it does happen – there’s a tipping point. Over time you realise that for all of the skill, experience and bravado that your supervisor has – they no longer kept up to date with the latest in
light-saber technology Court Rules.
Gradually they fade into a ghost like figure existing only in your memory, and you become the new master.
I’ve Got a Bad Feeling About This
We can be a little cynical as lawyers.
But your gut can get you a long way. If you think something sounds wrong, there’s a good chance it is.
Trust your training, trust your staff, and trust your instincts. They don’t always help you avoid getting crushed in a garbage disposal, but they’ll certainly give you a heads up when it’s about to happen.
Even Jedi Need a Good Team
Let’s say that your estranged father-turn-dark-jedi has just cut off your hand and you’re falling down a giant hole in cloud city.
Or perhaps you’ve just had a bad day – you lost a case, hit a wall, didn’t get much done.
Being surrounded by a good team will keep you on the right path. Sure, they might not all be
jedi knights trained lawyers like you, but they play critical roles in the development of the republic firm.
So don’t forget your team – you might need them to catch you one day.
In the meantime – May the Fourth Be With You!