by Ken Lopez
Not all lawyers are created equal. It's amazing how hard it is for those outside the legal industry to understand this.
Many people regrettably believe that those human aptitudes that require creativity and skill are binary. Either you can design a house or you can't. Either you can knit or you can't. Either you have a singing voice or you don’t. And in that same vein, either you're a lawyer or you're not.
This is the wrong way to look at it. In all these areas, there are variations and gradations of skills. This is never more true than for trial lawyers. The distance that separates the satisfactory from the great is vast. I have met very few people who are great trial lawyers.
The challenge with great trial lawyers is that they know they're great, and they charge accordingly. So what should a client or company do when they want to get great results at trial, but they only have the budget to pay a lawyer who is good but not great?
It is possible to do that – but it requires a new type of thinking and a new way of looking at the legal industry.
I've written before about the characteristics of great lawyers, the characteristics of great trial teams, and the challenge resulting from the fact that very few trial lawyers have much trial experience these days. There's just no substitute for experience. No one is that smart, that well-educated, or that well-mentored.
This solution is going to sound self-serving, but the longer I work in the litigation field, the more deeply I believe it. It goes like this: In the modern era, clients and lawyers simply must learn to rely on expert litigation consultants. They are the performance-enhancing drugs that make good trial lawyers great and great trial lawyers unbeatable.
To be clear, these litigation consultants are not trial techs or 20-something graphic artists. Those professionals are important too, but that's not who I'm talking about. Instead, these are trial-tested litigators or highly experienced Ph.D. consultants who routinely act as coaches to the best of the best trial lawyers. These are people who go to trial every month and operate with the best of the best.
They offer a kind of assistance that is relatively new in the industry. They work with counsel to develop a compelling narrative. They help develop an opening statement. They prepare just the right visuals using scientifically proven techniques that enhance persuasion.
These litigation consultants are not easy to find. I'd be happy to recommend someone who is the right fit for you.
Other A2L articles and resources related to litigation consulting, storytelling, and the use of litigation graphics to persuade include:
- Free Download: Why Work with A2L Consulting
- Why You Should Pressure-Test Your Trial Graphics Well Before Trial
- Free A2L Consulting Webinar: Persuasive Storytelling for Litigation
- 5 Reasons Why Jury Consulting Is Very Important
- 21 Reasons a Litigator Is Your Best Litigation Graphics Consultant
- 11 Things Your Colleagues Pay Litigation Consultants to Do
- Litigator & Litigation Consultant Value Added: A "Simple" Final Product
- 10 Types of Value Added by Litigation Graphics Consultants
- 9 Reasons Litigation Consultant is the Best Job Title in Litigation
- 7 Habits of Great Trial Teams
- 17 Trial Consulting and Jury Consulting Tips for Midsized Law Firms