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Thoughts on Thinking: A Strange Title About Practicing Law

Mar 8, 2021 | MAD News, NYS Workers Compensation

Listening to the news earlier today, I heard a talking-head explain she was a member of a law firm which she also described as a “Think Tank.”  Now, this lawyer’s firm had strong political ties as well as, I’m sure, a practice focused on cases with political import.  I wondered, however, why she took the time to identify her law firm as a Think Tank – all good law firms should be Think Tanks, right?

By its most basic definition, a Think Tank is a body of experts providing advice and ideas on a specific topic or topics – a law firm takes that concept a step further where we provide advice and ideas and, frequently, bring those to fruition in the courtroom, or in written agreements, or through negotiations.  Law Firms – lawyers generally – have been operating under that definition since before the term “Think Tank” was coined.  Maybe because Think Tanks are have evolved from a political ideology we don’t connect them to other professional ventures.  In reality, aren’t most of the large, well-established consulting practices Think Tanks?  Is it because we expect only advice, and not action, that law firms aren’t offered up in comparison?

The funny part is, the term “Think Tank” is packed with undertones of scholarship – the phrase literally includes the work “think”!  In that limited sense, Law Firms should be assessed by their clients in this way – does a  lawyer demonstrate the kind of thoughtfulness, wisdom and scholarship that is evoked by merely uttering the phrase “Think Tank.”

Rhetorical questions aside, the Think Tank concept throws light on what we feel is the most important part of a law practice:  expertise, advice and ideas.  LOMAD’s philosophy is embodied in the “5 C’s” – collaboration, current, creative, comprehensive and candor – elements that establish a deeper client relationship and better communication.  No lawyer can guarantee a result, but they can provide the very best, very latest and most thoughtful approach to practice available there is scholarship to law, and thinking critically is not just reserved for Think Tanks!

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