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by Vault Law Editors | November 15, 2010


Managing the risks of clients is fundamental to being lawyer. Yet many lawyers are excessively risk averse in all personal matters, including career management. How does one translate risk calculations and related decision-making to benefit one’s career? That question was the subject of an interesting discussion led by consultant Karen Kahn at last week’s MCCA conference. Kahn began by positing three broad and interrelated reasons for lawyers’ difficulty with risk:

1.    Lawyers are measurably more pessimistic than other professions

2.    Ditto for “perfectionism”

3.    Young lawyers frequently find themselves in “low decision latitude” situations. (i.e., doc review does not necessarily cultivate independent thinking)

Lawyers may have to play against type. As noted in the presentation materials, “The easiest way to distinguish yourself from the huge pack of lawyers who are all talented and bright is by showing you have taken well considered, deliberate risks in your career or professional life.”

-posted by brian




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