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Profiting From Experience

NCJ Number
ABA Journal Volume: 85 Dated: April 1999 Pages: 56-58
Steven Keeva
Date Published
3 pages
This article examines the relevance of common sense and personal life experience to the practice of law.
The article defines common sense as practical judgment that is sensitive to the context of a situation. To exercise common sense, lawyers must draw on many levels of experience and must realize that the legal issues that come into their offices are not abstract problems; they weigh on the hearts and minds of real people. One way to apply common sense is to look at a problem through the lens of another person’s experience. This may include thinking about how jurors experience trials, or trying to anticipate and deal with clients’ needs and concerns even when they may not have occurred to or been forgotten by clients themselves. Both creative and common sense solutions often come from looking at things from outside of one’s specialized field of expertise.


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