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Teaching Transactional Lawyering


Over the years I have developed a habit. Whenever I meet a "deal lawyer" of some experience and the opportunity presents itself, I ask this question, "what makes a 'great' deal lawyer better than a simply 'average' one?" While my interlocutor is pondering his or her answer, I clarify my inquiry in two ways. First, I explain that I want to discount for experience. So in answering the question, I ask my interlocutor to have in mind two lawyers of roughly comparable vintage. Second, I ask him or her to keep in mind that my second question will be, whatever they identify as the critical components of this difference, are the components teachable?