In Personal Injury Marketing Minute Podcast #46, Lindsey Busfield makes the case for embracing the things which make you unique.
This episode was inspired by The Good Doctor episode “The Good Lawyer” Season 6, Episode 16, “The Good Lawyer” which aired in March 2023.
We hope “The Good Lawyer” becomes a successful ABC TV series soon! We’ll be watching!
See all episodes or subscribe to the Personal Injury Marketing Minute here: https://optimizemyfirm.com/podcasts/.
Welcome to the Personal Injury Marketing Minute where we quickly cover the hot topics in the legal marketing world.
The mark of a good movie or TV show is that it leaves you thinking, questioning what you know about life and finding connections to add value to your personal reality.
I just finished watching the latest episode of The Good Doctor that aired on March 13th. The episode was called The Good Lawyer. Naturally, I watched through a different lens than some viewers due to my daily interactions with lawyers. As such, there is some skepticism about the timeline and likelihood of the events taking place.
Setting aside those details with a nod to creative license, I found something relatable in the show’s message that is worth sharing with you: You’re weird. Some people won’t like you. And that’s OK.
Without giving away too many spoilers, the episode centers around a legal issue that arose after Dr. Shaun Murphy amputates a man’s hand while trying to save his life after an accident. The victim sues Dr. Murphy, claiming that the amputation wasn’t medically necessary. Dr. Murphy turns to a young lawyer, Joni DeGroot who has obsessive compulsive disorder (or OCD).
Joni is characterized by her compulsive ticks and rituals, namely tapping on things three times, covering spaces with plastic wrap, changing clothing, and other rituals that are initially dismissed by her colleagues as being weird, distracting, debilitating, and just plain unlikable.
As such, she is forced to be hidden away in a closet and pigeonholed as a good researcher and walking database, but told that she could never be a good lawyer because of her idiosyncratic behaviors.
Upon initial thought, yeah – those rituals could be incredibly debilitating in a jury trial. When you need a jury to like you and your client, it would be distracting to have to tap on thing or be caught off guard by unexpected noises. The jury might be so distracted by your behaviors that they get sidetracked and miss your point.
At least, that was the line that she had bought into and accepted as her fate resulting from her neurodivergence.
But what she realizes, and what we all need to realize is that we all have problems. We all make people feel uncomfortable – especially in the legal industry where we deal with uncomfortable topics on a daily basis. But if we spend too much emotional energy worrying about whether people like us, we would never get anything done.
Now, that doesn’t mean to go out and be a total ass. But embrace your quirks.
You are weird. You think differently than others – at least, I hope you do. If I need to hire a lawyer, I want the weirdo who can look at a situation with a different perspective and find the creative solution that someone else would miss.
With that weirdness, you are going to have hits and misses. Some people won’t understand your way of thinking. Some people won’t like your bow tie. Some people might focus more on your height, weight, stutter, or other factor that you are insecure of. But more likely than not, you are giving that personal difference way more thought than anyone else would. Some people just won’t like you because they don’t get you.
But that is OK. Your quirks are more likely than not what makes you a good lawyer. Just as Joni’s OCD came with some behavioral ticks, it also gave her incredible attention to detail and a unique perspective that ultimately – spoiler alert – leads to her being recognized as a Good Lawyer.
So, embrace your weird. Trust yourself. Surround yourself with mentors who will see your potential while challenging you to be better every day. Show your clients that you will harness the power of your weird to knock their case out of the park.