Creativity Begets Competitiveness
Perhaps the most widely accepted definition of creativity is the capacity to create new ideas based on learned information. Although creativity is inherent to the human mind, it is true that there are those with more-developed creative sides than others. The difference does not lie in creative capacity, but in the individual ability to remove oneself from logical or conventional thought, identifying and resolving problems from that outside perspective. In other words, the key is to opt for a distinct, different, divergent, or novel path. Creativity has undoubtedly played a fundamental role in humanity’s evolution, and today, its perceived value is only increasing. This is more true than ever in today’s world, where technological developments, such as artificial intelligence, test individuals’ productivity and problem solving capabilities.
Creativity has traditionally been associated with artistic disciplines, but in fact, it is present across all disciplines and facets of professional life. The law is no exception to this reality. In fact, the element of creativity has always been present in the field of law, and as time goes by, its importance only increases, particularly in the realm of professional services.
A creative lawyer is one who is able to remove themself from traditional spheres and combine all their knowledge, experience, and common sense to innovate for their client’s benefit.
Law as a discipline ultimately seeks social order. Laws are (or should be) the result of social consensus on how we want to or should behave across all human relations, from the most basic to most complex.
For this reason, lawyers receive legal training that teaches them to identify, analyze, and resolve problems using their knowledge of the legal system, a method they call “legal reasoning.”
Now, when we apply this somewhat abstract description to highly complex situations, such as the provision of legal services in a business setting, legal reasoning alone is often not enough. The complexity of financial transactions, business mergers, corporate conflicts, and strategic approaches, among others, requires lawyers to push beyond the limits of knowledge and logic to identify, analyze, and resolve problems. This process is further complemented by other attributes, such as intuition, experience, and, obviously, creativity.
A creative lawyer is one who is able to identify and assess unapparent risks, propose novel approaches to problem solving and risk management, and develop defense strategies in an innovative fashion. A creative lawyer is one who is able to remove themself from traditional spheres and combine all their knowledge, experience, and common sense to innovate for their client’s benefit.
The legal advisory world (encompassing different kinds of law firms, known as estudios, despachos and firmas in Spanish) has become increasingly competitive due not only to today’s increasingly sophisticated array of legal services, but also the development of artificial intelligence and other technological tools. The legal services market tends to reward those who add value to their organizations and offer a real return on investments (namely, legal fees). In contrast, the market tends not to outsource services with low added value, increasingly seeking to invest in technology to replace those man-hours.
Indeed, the presence of technological developments and artificial intelligence tools in the legal world are challenging the traditional provision of legal services while obliging law firms to rethink their competitive strategies. Just like human beings, artificial intelligence has its own limitations, so we should not see it as a threat but as an opportunity.
In the near future, the most valuable demographic of the legal services market will be those able to adequately combine the tools artificial intelligence provides with creative human talent, synthesizing information and statistics to create innovative solutions.
Our race is not against technology, but with technology. We should seek a so-called “Cognitive Collaboration” in which human beings and machines work together. In this new paradigm, machines provide information, collate statistics, identify errors, predict judicial rulings, and much more, while lawyers use these tools to create innovative solutions and tread new paths. In the near future, the most valuable demographic of the legal services market will be those able to adequately combine the tools artificial intelligence provides with creative human talent, synthesizing information and statistics to create innovative solutions. The most important point of competition among legal services lies in the search for creative talent able to benefit clients in ways that artificial intelligence cannot.