When did we learn that there is only black and white? When did we forget that shades of grey exist? Somewhere along the way between law school and the law firm we forget that law needs to be applied and it’s not just something theoretical that only we as lawyers need to understand.
As lawyers we learn to rely on legislation, on precedent, and on stare decisis to guide us. When a client asks a question we go to past cases and laws to give them guidance on whether they should or should not engage in a particular activity. But sometimes our guidance is rigid and difficult to comply with. We forget that our clients have real world problems and need practical legal solutions.
As General Counsel, I need to come up with real solutions to problems. I work for an innovative company, in a space where there are no rules, yet. I know the rules for old technologies and there are some pieces of legislation in my field but most of the time, I need to come up with realistic solutions. Nothing is black and white. A company cannot be innovative if it doesn't come up with new solutions to old problems and innovation results in grey areas of the law.
I must find ways to work within our legal boundaries and refrain from stifling creativity.
It’s time we all stopped saying it can’t be done. It’s time we all stopped looking through black and white lens. The law can be colourful; there are shades of grey. Let’s come up with realistic, applicable solutions to our client’s problems.