I had a confounding call with a past client and litigator recently. He had worked with A2L nearly ten years ago early in his career on a related matter. He called to engage A2L and work with one of our graphic designers. On its face, it's a sensible ask. After all, in addition to our jury consulting work and our hot-seat/trial technology work, A2L is undoubtedly a, if not the premier litigation graphics consultancy.
The reason I found this call surprising is that asking to work with an individual graphic designer on our team misses the entire value proposition of why a firm like ours exists in the first place.
If all a trial lawyer had to do was hire a graphic designer to help prepare opening/closing powerpoint presentations and work with testifying experts to help simplify their message, law firms would be teeming with millennial-aged graphic designers ready to spring into action in advance of trial. Lawyers might even do the work themselves. But that's not how serious trial-focused firms work, and many have gone full circle to figure this out - from adding internal graphic designers to eliminating them entirely.
Serious trial-focused law firms do not insource litigation graphics work because it simply doesn't work over the long term. Logically, it should, but it just doesn't, and I've spent 25 years in the industry learning why. The articles linked below offer dozens of reasons why this is true.
For serious cases, top trial law firms hire firms like ours who are expert in simplifying complex information, visual persuasion, the psychology of visual arts, and perhaps most important of all, storytelling - both visual and rhetorical.
I've written about these topics in a variety of ways over the past ten years and have been discussing the same throughout A2L's nearly 25-year history, If you are at all skeptical about the need for experts in litigation graphics to help with your next trial, please read any or all of these articles:
- 13 Reasons Law Firm Litigation Graphics Departments Have Bad Luck
- 17 Reasons Why Litigation Consultants Are Better at Graphics Than Law Firms
- 21 Reasons a Litigator Is Your Best Litigation Graphics Consultant
- 12 Reasons Litigation Graphics are More Complicated Than You Think
- With So Few Trials, Where Do You Find Trial Experience Now?
- 16 PowerPoint Litigation Graphics You Won't Believe Are PowerPoint
- 3 Types of Litigation Graphics Consultants
- Ten Ways to Maximize Persuasive Courtroom Storytelling (Part One)
- Trial Lawyers: Only Do What Only You Can Do
A firm like A2L frees up a trial lawyer to focus on winning. Focusing on powerpoint is not winning. Second only to bringing creativity and communications expertise to the trial team, allowing a trial attorney to focus on winning (see Planning For Courtroom Persuasion? Use a Two-Track Trial Strategy) is the most important reason we are hired.
For even the most patient trial lawyer, explaining the factual and legal complexities to a graphic designer will be frustrating, time-consuming, cost-inefficient, and energy-draining in the march toward trial. Doing slides on your own is a lot like representing yourself at trial or cutting your own hair. These are all well-known bad ideas.
A firm like ours solves for these problems by instead having trial lawyers and jury experts interface alongside our litigation graphics team with the trial team. It allows us to add value even when not under the moment-by-moment direction of trial counsel. It helps a trial lawyer feel like they have one less thing to worry about. I believe these are the reasons why we get hired by the best firms on their hardest cases.
No one graphic designer and no trial lawyer can be an expert, or even pretty good, at all of the intricacies of visual persuasion. A review of the many articles linked above and below help explain that if you have a serious case, you owe it to the client and to yourself to engage a high-end litigation graphics firm. It takes a firm who does this surprisingly complex work every day to do it well. Why would you want anything less? If your client understood these dynamics (many in-house clients read this blog), they would demand that the work to be done right too.
Other free articles from A2L Consulting focused on litigation graphics consultants, demonstrative evidence and trial graphics include:
- One Demonstrative Exhibit, One Concept
- How I Used Litigation Graphics as a Litigator and How You Could Too
- Do Professionally Designed PowerPoint Slides Get Better Results?
- 10 Types of Value Added by Litigation Graphics Consultants
- Why Trial Tech ≠ Litigation Graphics
- 5 Things You Lose When You Don’t Have a Litigation Graphic Artist on Site
- Could Surprise Be One of Your Best Visual Persuasion Tools?
- 5 Valuable Lessons From Some Horrible Infographics
- 12 Ways to SUCCESSFULLY Combine Oral and Visual Presentations
- Working in Parallel vs. Series with Trial Presentation Consultants
- Your Coach Is Not Better Than You – in the Courtroom or Elsewhere
- Don't Use PowerPoint as a Crutch in Trial or Anywhere
- How Valuable is Your Time vs. Litigation Support's Time?
- 5 Demonstrative Evidence Tricks and Cheats to Watch Out For
- Litigator & Litigation Consultant Value Added: A "Simple" Final Product
- 5 Rules for How Simple a Trial Presentation Should Be
- What Does A Case-Winning Trial Graphic Look Like?
- Still Think Persuasion is About Talking While Showing Bullet Points?
- 12 Reasons Bullet Points Are Bad (in Trial Graphics or Anywhere)
- The 12 Worst PowerPoint Mistakes Litigators Make
- Free Webinar: PowerPoint Litigation Graphics - Winning by Design™
- 6 Studies That Support Litigation Graphics in Courtroom Presentations
- Litigation Graphics: Timelines Can Persuade Judges and Juries
- Litigation Graphics: It's Not a Beauty Contest
- 5 Problems with Trial Graphics
- 25 Things In-House Counsel Should Insist Outside Litigation Counsel Do
- The 13 Biggest Reasons to Avoid Last-Minute Trial Preparation
- Why Lawyers and Litigation Graphic Artists Need to Work Together
- 5 Tips for Using TrialDirector and Trial Technicians Effectively
- FREE DOWNLOAD: Storytelling for Litigators: Building a Great Narrative for Judge & Jury
- FREE WEBINAR: Storytelling as a Persuasion Tool
- Explaining a Complicated Process Using Trial Graphics
- Free Guidebook: Why Should I Work with A2L Consulting?