Role play as a training technique (plus, it’s fun!)

It is a useful training device for a law department to engage in role play. Offsites and retreats are the best stage, such as for a session on negotiations with outside counsel over billing arrangements or on how to deal with difficult clients. Those who devise the roles have to think through what the issues are and how to present them. Those who watch the role playing and take part in it learn naturalistically from it.

Karen Cottle, the general counsel of Adobe, interviewed in inform: Life Law, & Business, Issue 1 at 10 spun out the idea that role-playing can help change an in-house “problem spotter” into a “problem solver.” Along with customer surveys and feedback, says Cottle, “[e]ven role-playing as a ‘client’ is useful in specific situations.” Feel their clients’ pain, and the misguided lawyer may shift modes.

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