A few weeks ago I received a call from a really outstanding lawyer I coached eleven years ago in 2010 and the call reminded me about what made him outstanding.

When I was working with his group, I was caught in an east coast snow storm. It was so intense that there were only a few cars on the streets.

When I went to breakfast I asked the two women who greeted me if they had spent the night. They told me they had gotten up at 3 AM and shoveled for a couple of hours to be able to get to work. Clearly they went the extra mile to be at the hotel to serve guests.

Snow scene

While I was caught in the storm, I received an email from the lawyer. He was excited that a court had bought his theory in a case meaning he was going to trial for his client with the chance of a nine digit recovery.  Many other plaintiffs had settled their cases for substantially less because their lawyers had not thought of the theory.

The email made me think what separates the best lawyers. In a nutshell they see their clients’ problems and opportunities other lawyers do not see. They also see creative solutions to those problems and strategies for achieving the opportunities that other lawyers do not see.

Part of this skill is God given, just being smart and intuitive helps. I believe the majority of this skill is being far more curious than other lawyers.

Being curious is right brain focused, so you might be interested in the book The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: A Course in Enhancing Creativity and Artistic Confidence by Betty Edwards.

I learned of it reading Daniel Pink’s book: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. To get the idea read this blog post: Nature Study and Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by HollyAnne Dobbins.

While nature study has little or nothing to do with practicing law, you will still get the idea of how learning to draw will make you a better lawyer.