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How To Think Like A (Good) Lawyer

How To Think Like A (Good) Lawyer

Do you wish that you could think like a lawyer? It doesn’t matter how educated you are or how high your IQ is; anyone can learn to think like a lawyer. There is a way of thinking that lawyers apply to cases which anyone can learn themselves. With some practice, you can perfect the art of thinking like a lawyer too.

If you want to alter your way of thinking so that you think like a good lawyer, check out the 6 steps below.

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1. Be able to see both sides of the argument

Some people think it is insincere to be able to see both sides of the argument, but it doesn’t mean that lawyers don’t have a side. It simply means they understand that both sides may have valid points. Seeing both sides of the argument will increase your tolerance and allow you to solve problems quickly.

2. Approach the problem from every angle

Seeing the argument from both sides is the first step, but great lawyers go even further. Seeing all possible angles of the argument will allow you to predict any issues that may arise before they do.

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For instance, if you see a woman injure herself in a restaurant because of a puddle without a sign next to it, you will be able to see things from her viewpoint. A good lawyer will then see the situation through the viewpoint of the restaurant, the other staff working, the manager, the cleaner, the other customers and even the owner of the building. This allows the lawyer to see the whole picture.

3. Don’t become emotionally invested

The phrase ‘blinded by emotion’ is very accurate; when you are emotionally involved your feelings can be irrational or biased. This can stop you from seeing important facts, and you may place too much importance on little details. To think like a good lawyer you must have no personal interest so that you can focus solely on the facts. This will help you to see what is important or relevant (and what isn’t) so that you can draw an unbiased conclusion.

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4. Avoid making assumptions

All good lawyers avoid making assumptions. Much like emotions, assumptions can stop you from seeing the whole picture. Realize that something is only a fact if there is evidence. If you assume something, focus on finding some evidence so that the assumption can become a fact. This will help you to create an airtight argument that is difficult to pick apart.

5. Use syllogisms

A syllogism is a type of deductive reasoning that is often used by lawyers. There are three parts to a syllogism; a general statement, a particular statement and then a conclusion that draws the first two together.

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For instance, for a general statement you could say ‘it is unhygienic to serve food on unclean plates, and it shows negligence.’ This statement is universally applicable, and it would be very difficult to argue against. The particular statement is more specific. For instance you could say ‘the food in this restaurant is served on unclean plates. The conclusion ties the other two points together to create an airtight argument, such as ‘This restaurant is unhygienic and shows negligence.’

6. Ask “Why?”

We have all spent time around a child who is continuously asking ‘why?’ This may be a little annoying at the time, but a good lawyer thinks the same way. Every law exists for a reason and the policy behind each law covers the reason why the law exists. Knowing the policy can help you to apply different situations to certain laws, helping you to build a solid argument and reach a logical conclusion.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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