“The Persuasive Life” is a new blog that intends to address issues of persuasion, advocacy, lawyers, and the law. It reflects my interests, both personal and professional. Each individual life exists in a sea of relationships, and the attendant persuasion—understood in the broadest terms— the we exercise defines the quality of each life. From this very global, even metaphysical, perspective, I intend to range down into the particulars of the law in which I’ve practiced for over 34 years. I hope to cover all of the in-between as well. I intend this blog to benefit anyone who cares to read it, lawyer or not. It should benefit anyone because I believe that the quality of our lives arises from our ability to relate, to communicate, to persuade, and to be persuaded by, others.
The content of the blog will include both my writing as well as other sources that I find pertinent to these very broad topics. For those pieces that I import from elsewhere, such as from other blogs, I intend to write an introductory paragraph explaining why I think the information is useful. Indeed, I will be digging back to some of my older book reviews and blog posts to obtain material for this blog.
Since leaving the active practice of law about 14 months ago, I’ve had the time and the occasion to think about lawyering and legal advocacy. I was fortunate that in October 2012 Mind Merchants LPO of Jaipur India and I discovered each other. Consequently, I became involved in www.thelegaltaxi.com, a flat fee, pay-per-use legal research site. From the design of the website to the training of the staff to the production of actual research memos, I played an active role. I especially benefited from the opportunity to work with young Indian lawyers and train them in the ways of American lawyers. This gave me a lot of reason to think about legal writing, legal research, and persuasion in general. Indeed, my brief stint as a legal writing teacher for them (which I continue as a consultant and quality control manager for The Legal Taxi), spurred me to review and improve my own legal writing, teaching, and communication abilities.
For lawyers, I wish I could tell you I won every case and prevailed in every appeal. I didn’t. I can also tell you that now over a year of away from the active practice, during bouts of insomnia or jet lag, I don’t ponder the cases I won. I keep retrying and re-arguing the ones I lost. While this is futile in the obvious sense, there is some value in it. Such occasions prompt me to consider how I could’ve presented a better case and gained a favorable ruling. I tried not to take cases that I didn’t think my clients and I should and could win. (I consider representation a joint venture between lawyer and client.) In those cases when we weren’t successful, I believe I can benefit from contemplating what we could have done differently. I hope that through this blog and through my new venture to offer my legal writing and consulting services to other lawyers, I can bring some benefit to my fellow lawyers and other advocates that I have gained through my school of hard knocks and reflection.
I’m publishing this blog as a part of my work as a freelance lawyer for legal drafting and case preparation. I think of it as my personal CLE course, for which I can only receive credit from you, the reader. I hope that you share my enthusiasm.
I welcome your comments and suggestions for the blog. I read a lot, and my wife has chided me about sharing what I learn. My blogging career to date (here and here) has been an effort to respond to that challenge, as well as my Twitter account. This new blog, I hope, will further that project.
Without further do, then, let us explore and create the persuasive life.