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More on judgement

I was speaking to a top barrister (as in lawyer not coffee maker) and he mentioned that judgement was the key to success in the law- not brains, hard work and luck but judgement- this, in the long run was what counted to make a successful career. But he added an interesting point- though the law rests on the idea of producing convincing, well supported arguments, it pays you well to understand that even clever people don't actually think that way. Instead they (this means the judge) latch on early to a prism, a frame, a sound-bite-word-picture through which they tend to view all subsequent evidence and argument. To persuade the jury of your case is one thing. Everyone has seen the TV shows involving drama and emotional pleas. To persuade the judge, who will be immune to such tricks, a more subtle tack is required: cleverly suggest or allude to an attractive sound-bite-word-picture prism that will gently lead them to the desired conclusions. Better judgement, then, includes knowing how even clever people come to make their minds up about something.

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