Friday, July 10, 2009
This article comes from Drexel Professor Karl Okamoto and can be found at 1 Drexel L. Rev. 69 (2009). From the introduction:
Over the years I have developed a habit. Whenever I meet a “deal lawyer” of some experience and the opportunity presents itself, I ask this question, “what makes a ‘great’ deal lawyer better than a simply ‘average’ one?” While my interlocutor is pondering his or her answer, I clarify my inquiry in two ways. First, I explain that I want to discount for experience. So in answering the question, I ask my interlocutor to have in mind two lawyers of roughly comparable vintage. Second, I ask him or her to keep in mind that my second question will be, whatever they identify as the critical components of this difference, are the components teachable?
I've been asking these questions for close to 25 years. In that time, I've expanded my sample from lawyers to business persons who frequently work with deal lawyers. In my own effort to become a better practitioner, as well as a better consumer of legal services, I've asked myself the same questions over and over. My opinion is that in order to begin to become better teachers of transactional lawyering, these are the questions with which we must begin.
I am the scholarship dude.