Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Creative Systems Theory and Creative Lawyering

For my Legal Analysis and Writing course I am reading about "Developing a Persuasive Theory" through the "six stages of the creative process". (Legal Reasoning and Legal Writing: Structure, Strategy, and Style by Richard K Neumann, Jr. Chapter 24 on pages 302 & 303).

I cannot help but notice the striking similarity between these six stages: Problem-identification, Gathering and evaluating information and raw materials, Solution-generation, Solution-evaluation, Decision, and Action, with the stages of the Creative Systems Theory: Pre-Axis, Early Axis, Middle Axis, Late Axis, and Integration. (See Charles M. Johnston MD work on the Creative Systems Theory).

The two are not completely analogous; there are not even the same number of steps/stages, but I find the underlying process compatible. In fact, the separation of Early Axis into two steps, Gathering and Solution-generation, is used as an example in the text (Neumann, pg 303) of how stages can overlap.

The biggest departure in my mind is the difference between Integration and Action. Action implies a destination, while Integration suggests the spiraling of previous stages into a better future. The production of a Memorandum or appellate brief seems so terminal, while Integration lasts a lifetime. And yet, the process of appellate advocacy can span a career (or more). Perhaps I am taking this microscopic example, the process of creating an appellate brief as the singular application of what should be a larger framework.

I will try to see this lesson as an inroad to a larger understanding, using these two creative processes to generate well reasoned thought on all levels. Creative Systems Theory is extremely relevant to every creative process. The wisdom of these truths transcends the language that is used to name and describe them.

So now I had better shut up and do it!

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