Legal Rebels

Feeling stuck? Give your creativity a boost with one of these Box-Breaking strategies

Posted Aug 26, 2013 8:08 PM CDT
By Ian Monroe

Each year the ABA Journal honors the most creative, forward-looking legal practitioners as Legal Rebels–those lawyers who are actively remaking the profession for the 21st century. These leaders are marked by the kind of creative thinking that highlights new approaches and novel ways of solving old problems.

One of the goals of the Legal Rebels project is to help more legal professionals find their own creative solutions to the problems they face every day, and to that end, this year we’re introducing a new component of the project: Box Breakers, inspired by the outside-the-box thinking collected in Oblique Strategies.

Oblique Strategies started out as a collaborative project between musician Brian Eno and artist Peter Schmidt. The original project was published in 1975 as a deck of cards, each one imprinted with a strategy or idea designed to help spur lateral thinking and overcome creative blocks. The idea behind it is that when artists are stuck, a random oblique strategy drawn from the deck would help them look at their work in a new light, and possibly yield new ways of looking at a problem that could then be incorporated into the work.

Find our Box Breakers strategies here as part of our 2013 Legal Rebels project.

What’s are Box Breakers? Here are a few examples from our Rebels alumni:

• How would John Stewart of the Daily Show handle this issue?
• What advice would you give your replacement to solve this?
• Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity
• The chief cause of problems is solutions

Strategies should be short—one sentence at most. They should be applicable to a wide range of problems. They need not be overly specific; in fact, some ambiguity makes them more useful to a wider audience.

Do you have some strategies that you’ve found useful which belong in our collection? Send them to us at BoxBreakers[at]abajournal[dot]com with the subject line Box Breakers. If you wish to be credited as the submitter, please include your full name and title, and indicate that you’d like attribution. Otherwise, we’ll treat your submission as anonymous.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

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