With the internet, the first interview with a client can be like a tutorial on the subject of their legal issue. I find it very enlightening, but wish to return to the days when I gave insightful comments rather than just listening attentively and looking it up later.
I have known clients to painstakingly research the law on the internet only to find it had changed by the time that they got to my office. After spending hours trawling the internet, I believe clients have a better understanding of what we have had to put up with. They are relieved when I refuse to trot out the usual legal claptrap and instead focus on their issue.
I seldom use law at all, and rely on the Art of War by Sun Tzu, which is a manual on warfare written 2,500 years ago. It is a sort of Quentin Tarantino version of
The Art of War is extremely effective in planning strategies but combine its authority with the benefit of hindsight and you will once again find yourself offering sage, insightful comments to appreciative clients.
What clients do not want to hear that their previous lawyer had disastrously and expensively laid a prolonged siege rather than rushing forward to secure a quick victory, or had rushed forward rather than adopting safer ground until the time was right?
I first started to use the Art of War to convince trainee lawyers that everything was their fault as any discussion with them involving law always left me feeling that I was to blame.
Once you are known as an Art of War Practitioner other lawyers may no longer feel smug at your inaction as appearing to do nothing is the ultimate deception. You will feel a general euphoria that however bad things may appear a brilliant unfathomable plan is at work and will come to you eventually.
At thirteen chapters, the Art of War is a far easier read than the entire common law, and you will be pleased to know that there was no Latin in Ancient China.
Extract from - I'll have the law on you -selected letters of John Fytit to be published later this year.
(c) Paul Brennan 2014. All rights reserved.
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