By: Raymond P. Wendolowski, Esq.
One of my favorite hobbies is playing fantasy football. For those of you not familiar with fantasy football, it is a game in which participants essentially act as NFL general managers. They draft players from the pool of current NFL players to create a team, and then each team competes against each other based on how well the players they drafted perform in any given week of the NFL season. Fantasy football can be a lot of fun to play, but I bet you did not realize that it shares some characteristics that overlap with practicing law as an attorney.
One of the interesting parallels between fantasy football and the practice of law is that there is a lot of negotiating and evaluation involved in both. In fantasy football, you have to evaluate each player you intend to draft and determine whether they will succeed during the NFL season based on the limited public information on each player. This is similar to how attorneys help clients to evaluate their legal claims, and the likelihood of whether those claims will be successful, based on the limited information a client provides. In both cases you need to weigh whether to eliminate risks or take chances based on what you know. With careful evaluation, the process typically works out well in both fantasy football and the practice of law.
The other similarity between fantasy football and the law is that you need to be a good negotiator to perform effectively in either. In fantasy football, you need to be able to convince other owners to trade you their players in order to make your team stronger. When handling a legal claim, you also need to be able to negotiate in order to convince your opponent to give your client what they need or want. If you can negotiate effectively you can make your team better or help your clients to obtain a favorable result.
So can all those who are successful at fantasy football become lawyers? Probably not. But it is interesting to compare the skills that are required to do well in fantasy football that are also needed to succeed in the practice of law. So who will you be rooting for on Sunday?