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A Whole New Mind: Symphony

Pink characterizes Symphony as the ability to see relationships between seemingly disparate things. By using metaphor and analogy, one can make connections to different ideas, thus, creating a big picture outlook.

Developing Symphony can have many benefits to the field of law. When you’re writing a brief, you extract different laws from cases and statutes. The trick is finding a way to synthesize all these rules into one overall rule. Developing your sense of symphony can help. Additionally, when an attorney writes a brief or memo, they often can’t find any cases that are on point to their issue. This is where analogizing becomes a necessity. Analogizing comes when one takes a step back and looks at the big picture. Often when you’re researching law, you get tunnel vision and fail to see the connection between different cases.

How can you develop your sense of Symphony? Here’s what Pink suggests

1. Listen to great symphonies. You can get free music on Pandora. Open Culture has links to several podcasts that offer free classical music.
2. Hit the newsstand. Go to Borders and pick out 10 magazines that you would never read. Sit down, go through them, and take notes. I did this other day and came away with a whole bunch of new ideas for my blog and my legal writing class.
3. Draw. Drawing requires one to be able to see the big picture. Every line connects is a part of the whole.
4. Keep a metaphor log. You’d be surprised how pervasive metaphors are in our lives. I tried doing this last week, but had some trouble at first because I would miss common phrases that we say that are actually metaphors. The exercise made me much more aware of the nuances of language.
5. Create an inspiration board. Fashion designers do this. Whenever they find a design or material that they like they tack it on a board. After awhile they start to see connections and are able to create something completely new. If you’re working on case or a law school memo, create a place where you can just throw information or ideas so that you can take a step back and make connections. Mind Maps are a perfect way to do this. Check out bubbl.us to make free mind maps. Although, I haven’t tried it yet, Backpack seems like it would be a good way to collect and view information.