Shuffleboard is a classic game in which two players compete to accumulate the most points by sliding weighted pucks down aboard. This game might look simple and easy to play, but don’t be fooled! This game requires strategy and critical thinking – the same soft skills lawyers would need! If you are a lawyer, a law student or just simply interested, take a look at the following to find out what playing shuffleboard can teach lawyers!
- A lawyer is taught to play to your opponents’ weaknesses. By turning what they are weak at into your strength, you’ll gain the upper hand and dominance. Is your opponent weak in doing angled shots? Then block your opponent’s pathway. The same concept can be applied in a court of law, if the opposing council has a little bit of trouble with nervousness, subtly add more pressure and exploit it for you and your client’s advantage. It’s not a dirty play, it’s just smart play!
2) Know your game. Don’t go in without knowing the game, your opponent and your surrounding. Do you know the rules of the game? Do you know what your opponent’s strengths are? Is there anything in your surrounding that might affect how you play? Blind entering without prior planning or thinking can lead you to a short and bitter game – much like a case! Lawyers are taught to know a case cover-to-cover, and analyzing all possibilities of the case. And added bonus is to know who you are up against, is he well-known for his persuasion skills? Look up your opposing counsel and see how you can be better What about the surrounding juries? Do they look compassionate, easily persuaded or indifferent?
3) Defend, defend and defend! In a classic game of shuffleboard, you can spread out your pucks to protect one puck that is in the high-scoring area Or you can even corner your opponent’s pucks from advancing to the higher-scoring areas. This might look trivial, but it can be used in a court of law as well Build up your defense for your case by relying on multiple strategies; witnesses’ credibility, denial of guilt, or a plea bargain. But you have to be careful in defending, much like if you protect your pucks too close, you might hit your own puck – defending your own case with unreliable defenses will be counter-intuitive! So find the perfect balance to gain sympathy from the judge and juries.
4) Learn something new to help your gam. Do you play and use the same strategy over and over again? After a while, you will be predictable and your shots can easily be countered. You have to learn new techniques such as spinning or a side wheeling shot. When you produce unpredictable moves like these, your opponent will have a harder time attacking you Same goes for lawyers as wen, if you keep on using the same litigation techniques, your opposing counsel will see you as predictable and come up with defenses and leave you taken aback. Learn new strategies such as psychological strategies or negotiation strategies and give your client a better chance at winning!
In the end, there are a lot of parallels between playing shuffleboard and being a lawyer. You just have to apply the same logic and concept and be metaphorical. By improving your shuffleboard play, you might find yourself having better skills as a lawyer as well!