Question of the Week

What do you ask or tell yourself to clear your mind and get a fresh perspective to solve a problem?


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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 this week, we’d like to ask you: What do you ask or tell yourself to clear your mind and get a fresh perspective to solve a problem?

Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to see examples of what we’re talking about. And answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: What words or phrases do you think should be avoided in front of a jury?

Featured answer:

Posted by Paul the Magyar:Proximate. No juror has ever heard the word proximate. Every juror has heard the word approximate. No juror understands that proximate is a real word that is the opposite of approximate. Every juror assumes that proximate is to approximate as possum is to oppossum.”

Do you have an idea for a future question of the week? If so, contact us.

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