Give your brain the reins, don’t canter to fit in if your head can gallop

A piece the ACC Docket, June 2010 at 18, strains a bit (pun intended) to compare weight lifting to practicing law in-house, but most of its points head in the right direction. Except one. The author says that athletes shouldn’t try to lift absolutely as much as they can, an egotistical effort that causes injury, so too lawyers should see themselves as “entering a brainpower contest.” Lawyers for corporations work as a team so “the in-house lawyer who flaunts her brainpower will be perceived as arrogant or condescending.”

Flaunting intelligence is wrong, because by definition it means you rub in you quickness, make sport of slower-witted people, taunt them about what they are not as good at, make them feel bad. You shouldn’t flaunt height or hair or good looks or accent or birthright or skinniness or shiny skin or anything the other person can’t match.

On the other brain, however, legal departments crave all the IQ they can muster, so if author’s advice is to toggle back with the grey matter, to dumb down and not stick out, to think in second gear, I disagree completely. You don’t have to be a boor if you lots between the ears and use it. It’s what lawyers ought to do and race with. Other people’s insecurities or inabilities deserve compassion but that doesn’t mean to handicap a thoroughbred mind.

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