Bringing strategy tools into the practice of law
“A lawyer who has not studied economics… is very apt to become a public enemy”
– Brandeis J.
Law schools do not generally teach anything about business, as opposed to business law, so lawyers learn about business legal forms and contracts, but nothing about the non-legal imperatives of running a business, like corporate finance, marketing, or corporate strategy. And many lawyers resist engaging in any topic that goes beyond the four corners of their legal brief (“I only give legal advice”).
This is highly problematic for business, because every legal problem comes within a business context, and lawyers who are not willing or able to understand that context cannot give good advice.
Business clients want to know how much their case will cost, how long it will take, what the risks are, and the probable result. These four basic elements—cost, risk, time, and reward, are the foundation of the financial analysis of any business proposal, and there is no reason why lawyers cannot make reasonably reliable assessments of these — the law is no more uncertain than many projects undertaken by business, and in many cases is substantially more certain.
And in a litigation context the focus of lawyers should not just be on winning their client’s case but on solving the underlying business problems that were the reason clients came to them in the first place.Connect