Steven Keeva, Lose the Box (Sept. 12, 2004, 11:46 AM CST), A.B.A. J.
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Mr. Keeva explores the loss of creativity in law school. He observes that when law students’ motivations shift from internal to external ones — a well-documented process in the first year of law school — they often lose their creativity at the same time.
The California Western Law School’s focus on solving legal problems is a valuable shift in sustaining the creative juices for law students. Thomas Barton, who teaches creative problem-solving and preventative law at Cal Western, believes our communities require well-solved problems. In addition “doing creative work feels great.”
Two of the most common steps for effective problem solving are to expand the context and build skills for preventing and resolving problems.
Even though in the short run, when lawyers solve problems quickly and creatively, they might lose the ability to bill more hours, Mr. Keeva suggests that the value added is the lawyer’s reputation for saving clients money and heartache and that this can result in more client referrals.