Law professor Kim Wehle is used to helping her students begin to think like lawyers. But the methodology behind making tough decisions as a legal professional can also benefit the general public. It’s why How To Think Like A Lawyer—and Why: A Common-Sense Guide to Everyday Dilemmas was a natural follow-up to her two previous books, How to Read the Constitution—and Why and What You Need to Know About Voting—and Why.
Wehle’s previous books attempted to fill in civics education gaps for the general public. With her newest book, Wehle is hoping to give the general public alternatives to kneejerk or strictly partisan decision-making by encouraging a more methodical approach. In How to Think Like a Lawyer—and Why, Wehle shares what she calls the B-I-C-A-T Method. The five steps to the B-I-C-A-T Method are:
1. Break the problem down.
2. Identify your values and your aim.
3. Collect lots of information.
4. Argue both sides of each point.
5. Tolerate the fact that people may disagree with your choice and that you might feel conflicted about your decision.
In this episode of the Modern Law Library, Wehle and the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles discuss how she chose the five different spheres of life highlighted in her book as areas where a lawyerly mind could be particularly useful: work, family life decisions, civic life, health care and when it’s time to hire an actual lawyer. They also take the B-I-C-A-T Method for a spin in a hypothetical situation that’s a real-life dilemma for many parents around the world: How to approach masking in school.
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