Lord of the Rings and lawyering

Lawyering

โ€œ๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ, ๐˜ช๐˜ง ๐˜ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฌ?’ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜Ž๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ง ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ.

๐˜›๐˜ฐ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ข๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ,’ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ.

๐˜ˆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฌ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ?’

๐˜“๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ,’ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ.โ€

I have always liked the exchange above between Thorin and Gandalf from J.R.R. Tolkienโ€™s โ€œThe Hobbitโ€.

Somehow I found myself thinking about it recently while reviewing some tedious documents for ongoing corporate exercises.

Whenever I have to review a document which I find tedious, I will look at the number of pages of the document. I will scroll to the last page to see the extent of comments from the relevant parties- whether the track changes are few in between or whether the entire document is heavily marked up. Thatโ€™s my โ€˜looking aheadโ€™.

I will then scroll back to the first page and start my review. Thatโ€™s my โ€˜looking backโ€™.

There are always two computer screens in front of me when I work- one screen to display the compared Word document that shows the amendments made by other parties and another screen for the version which I work on. Paranoid as it may appear, I always compare the version that I sent out and the version that came back with other partiesโ€™ comments.

After I have reviewed 25% of the document, I will look forward to reaching the middle of the document.

After I have reached the middle of the document, I will have more momentum to keep going to reach the last quarter and finally to finish reviewing the document.

M&A and other corporate exercises could be draining and require a lot of emotional (and sometimes physical) labour.

I enjoy the work when there are moments of enlightenment, when the people are pleasant to work with or when I find my work meaningful. That doesnโ€™t happen all the time. Thatโ€™s when I have to dig deeper, learn the nuances and keep going.

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This post was first posted on Linkedin on 26 November 2022.

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