Box Breakers

The Legal Rebels project is the way the ABA Journal celebrates the most creative, forward-looking legal practitioners—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. When the user is 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.

So if you find yourself stuck in a rut regarding how to approach a legal problem, if you’re looking for a new way to frame an argument, or if you’re simply searching for a new way of looking at a problem, we invite you to consider this randomly-selected strategy to break out of the box:


Keep your ego in check. It's about the client, not you.




Got a Box Breaker you think belongs in our collection? Send it to us at BoxBreakers[at]abajournal[dot]com!