The received wisdom is that lawyers are by personality, training, or position quite cautious. In two words, they are risk averse (See my post of April 12, 2006: risk aversion and personality styles; Nov. 22, 2007: research findings about lawyer styles; Oct. 18, 2005: generally on lawyer on risk aversion; Dec. 9, 2005 #1: SWOT review of large legal department discloses risk aversion; and Dec. 2, 2007: contradictory messages to in-house counsel about mistakes.).
Pronounced risk aversion has significant drawbacks, such as on client satisfaction, decision-making, creativity, and trust (See my post of March 30, 2008: flip side of innovation is risk aversion; March 31, 2007: client satisfaction surveys often disclose criticisms of risk aversion; April 12, 2006: hard to develop leaders from the risk averse; Dec. 17, 2006: decision-making and Type I and Type II errors; Oct. 18, 2005: scheissenbedaurn; and Jan. 16, 2006 on risk aversion and the principle-agent problem.).