What is the alternative?
Imagine a world where lawyers are liked. They are valued for their insights and experience. One where they sell services and products that help the consumer manage and increase legal health and overall well-being.
Legal services that are about preparing for the bad times, but equally about creating a desired outcome and being prepared for opportunity.
This world does exist.
It’s an advice-based model that focuses on lifestyle.
What are you trying to achieve with your life? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do?
Let’s do everything we can do to prepare you to get there, but let’s also recognize that life isn’t just a series of positive growth – bad times and bad things will happen. We know that. No one avoids challenges in life, but astute people, who care about lifestyle and positive life experience, prepare for them and minimize the impact on their lives.
To paraphrase a line from a favourite movie in our house:
“Life is but a wheel. ‘Rise up on my spokes’ says the wheel, but don’t complain when you are cast back down into the depths. Good times pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it is also our hope. The worst of times, like the best, are always passing away.” – Boethius; 24 Hour Party People (2002)
It’s a model of positivity and opportunity. It encourages respectful relationships in our communities. It’s a model grounded in self-determination. Being informed and taking control of our lives to put us in the best position to succeed and be prepared for the inevitable challenges.
Victor, not victim.
If you had a lawyer to assist you with identifying opportunities to reach your goals and live your life while being prepared for challenges, would you like that lawyer? What if that lawyer challenged your assumptions about your life, your relationships, or your business for the purpose of helping you identify and understand the risks to your lifestyle. Would you like that lawyer?
Working with a lawyer to use the law to enhance your lifestyle; to live with purpose and protect what is most important (whatever that may be.) Going to the law to take positive action in advance to determine and control life instead of letting the law happen to us and dealing with the consequences.
Being educated and informed about what the options are and taking advantage of the knowledge of the successes and mistakes others have experienced.
NEWS FLASH: Lawyers are not inherently wiser than any other community member. However, lawyers gain insights into the human experience through our line of work because we deal with events and circumstances that most people will see 1-3 times in a lifetime where we will deal with these events and circumstances 1-3 a week! There are lessons to be learned!
The law is not just about problems and transactions. It’s about life. Your interactions with the law are not just events; they are ever-present and exist at all times. Every relationship you have and every decision about the things you own impacts your legal health and your overall well being and quality of life.
It’s recognizing that life is fragile, unpredictable, ever-changing, mysterious and inherently out of our control. We use the law and the systems within our society to give us as much control over mutability as possible. By doing that, we give ourselves the best shot at living our best, most purposeful life.
I think it’s a start. People need to open their minds to the possibility that there is much more to legal services than just conflict and transactions. There is lifestyle advice. There is life preparedness. Taking advantage of opportunities and preparing for challenges. If more lawyers sold these services and more people demanded them, we might finally start moving the perception needle and, more importantly, our communities would be healthier.
But using the law to promote health and wellness creates an environment where these societal scourges are not inevitable nor acceptable. We can make things better, we can change the trajectory of our communities, but we must take positive action and be open to doing things in a new and healthier way.
Conflict services and transaction services are always going to be needed. We will need litigators when no other solution can be found, or we end up dealing with a completely unreasonable party. But if the consuming public determined to reallocate their legal services dollars to more planning and advice-based services, and if lawyers were willing to work with people to advise on best practices and risk management, the impact on our communities would be positively disruptive.
Legal services designed to inform and empower. To take agency over one’s life for the benefit of the entire community. Legal services that provide certainty so that people have the freedom to dream.
There is a better way. We must have the courage to believe it will work.
“Intellectuals solve problems. Geniuses prevent them” – Albert Einstein