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Lawyers feel more comfortable with words than with images

“Lawyers are generally not fond of images. Words are their trade. Attorneys’ antipathy toward visualization is confirmed in several psychological studies.” This quote comes from the J. of the Legal Writing Inst., Vol. 14, 2008 at 92, and the article footnotes two such studies described in an earlier article.

The blindness toward images among many in-house counsel makes it more difficult to present data visually, as many tools for data analysis draw on non-textual representations (See my post of May 7, 2008: methods to portray data with 9 references and 22 cited in one of them.).

The category images includes more than graphics produced by Excel, of course. Pictures and drawings and Venn diagrams are what most people think of when they use the term “images.” Representations other than text serve excellently to communicate and persuade; in-house counsel should learn to make effective use of images at appropriate times.

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