Monday, 11 October 2010

In the Mix. Creative Law?

In my recent 22twts interview I was asked:

My advice was inspired by a quote attributed to Steve Jobs who, speaking at the Stanford University 2005 graduation ceremony, said "You can't join the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future".

You can find his full address here, but the point which fascinated me in this speech was that when Mr Jobs was at college, he actually dropped-out of the course allocated to him and instead chose to follow his intuition and curiosity and take up a calligraphy course of study, the learning of which bore no practical application in his life at all.  10 years later when working on the design of the first Macintosh computer, he recalled his calligraphy learnings and fed them into the creative design process which resulted in the development of the Apple Mac with its signature typefaces, typography and fonts. An example of magnificent creativity.

Simply put, the more broad your experience and interests, the more opportunities there are in your life to connect the dots and bring a fresh and creative perspective to the table.

Law is no different, and some would argue more in need of creative energy: the best patent attorneys usually have a background in science and chemistry and a passion for photography might fuel a leading copyright lawyer's quest to represent image right-holders.

For me personally, a 'mumpreneur' moment during my maternity leave back in 2005 led me to develop and optimise a website for pregnant women.  What is this to do with your legal blog, I hear you ask?

Well, 3 years later I found myself interviewing for the position of in-house lawyer at a digital marketing company quietly confident that I knew, more than any other candidate, my SEO from my PPC, and my back-links from my HTML.  What's more,  my experience during an 'off-track' year as a PSL responsible for training lawyers in a commercial law firm, rather than practicing law with them, continues to feed into that element of my present job responsible for managing the Training & Development at my company.  It all adds up.

In my view, its easy for lawyers to pigeon-hole themselves as specialists, one trick legal ponies; but I'd like to challenge your  specialism and encourage you to take your legal wisdom, add a pinch of a personal interest and pour out a creative contribution to your workplace.

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