The Terrible Truth About Lawyers - The Care And Feeding Of Lawyers

The care and feeding of lawyers is a delicate process. After all, "most sharks are carnivorous and efficient predators, although some others feed on plankton." Oops, wrong kind of shark!

Seriously, to get the most out of working with a lawyer, it helps to understand lawyers. Knowing plenty of lawyers - and being one myself - there are some common characteristics to keep in mind.

First, lawyers are risk-averse. Lawyers are trained to spot the shadows in otherwise sunny days. Charles Dickens concluded his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, with this valediction:

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. 
Some men, like bats or owls, havebetter eyes for the darkness than for the light. We,who have no such optical powers, are better pleased to take our last parting look at the visionary companions of many solitary hours, when the brief sunshine of the worldis blazing full upon them.

Your lawyer is worried. When he or she is not worried, the worry is that he/she ought to be worried. 

What does this mean for you? Worried lawyers crave safety. That is likely the main cause of "can't do lawyering." "Can't do lawyering" may lead you to miss an opportunity (that you never knew you had), but your lawyer will sleep better. You don't want "can't do lawyering."

What to do about it? You want good judgment.  Worry interferes with good judgment.  Reduce your lawyer's worry while maintaining expectations.  Express confidence in your lawyer's judgment. Show that you understanding that life is uncertain. Your lawyer will still be worried. but doing this will free the creative juices and generate more options for solving your problems.

In short, a lawyer helps you respond to reality as advantageously, but can't change it..  Look for good judgment and reward it. You'll get more of it.