The more lawyers become experts, possibly, the less cognitively flexible they become

A theory-based article in the Academy Mgt. Rev., Oct. 2010 at 579, analyzed studies on expertise and proposed an ”entrenchment perspective.” The author proposes “that a trade-off is associated with expertise. Specifically, as expertise is acquired, flexibility may be lost.” Harry Truman made a similar point acerbically, “An expert is someone who doesn’t want to learn anything new, because then he wouldn’t be an expert.”

Inside counsel dive deeply into certain areas of law. They live it, study it, spot its risks and frontiers everywhere – very proud of their mastery. That level of deep knowledge may close them off from some tests of mental flexibility. No one likes challenges to what they know so well.

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