You’ve got to be a little abnormal


In Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein asks Igor whose brain he gave him, which brain he had just transplanted into a very large and very agitated Gorilla.

Dr. Frankenstein: Whose brain was it?
Igor: Abby someone
Dr. Frankenstein: Abby someone. Abby who?
Igor: Abby. . . Normal

I’ll bet that’s how some people think lawyers are created.

Okay, no. Most lawyers are normal. Ridiculously normal. Bland and boring normal. And generally, that’s a good thing.

Society doesn’t want weird lawyers or crazy lawyers. We don’t want overly flamboyant lawyers or lawyers who say or do things that make us want to run and hide.

We may embrace the crazy in our celebrities, but not in our professionals.

And yet, a little bit of Abby Normal is a good thing in a lawyer.

It’s true.

If you don’t have something that makes you stand out, well then, you won’t stand out. And standing out is critical because if you don’t stand out, you don’t get chosen.

George Bernard Shaw said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

(Maybe we need to re-think this “reasonable man” thingy.)

Anyway, if you want to stand out, be unreasonable about some things. Not big things. Little things, like wearing bow ties, taking up an unusual hobby, or publicly advocating a controversial cause.

Find something that makes people see you as different. And then make the world adapt to you.

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