I’m Kate Dewhirst.

I’m a lawyer who writes about legal issues affecting healthcare in Canada

Kate Dewhirst Health Law - bringing the law to life. Meet Kate (in 13 seconds)

Legal Innovation – Unlocking your creativity

Posted by

The pressure to “innovate” is everywhere.

Even though the practice of law is not exactly renowned for being cutting edge, as lawyers we aspire to create new ways of practice that improve the outcomes for our clients, increase our revenues, free us up for fun, add sex-appeal to our party introduction “I’m a lawyer”, and generally avoid our being replaced by artificial intelligence.

So, what’s a follower of Richard Susskind to do? how do we innovate our practice? how do we change the practice of law?

One answer: We create.

Okay, good, right. Create. Perfect.

Ummmm…how do we add creativity to the legal to-do list?

Here are two ideas for unlocking your creativity …

Mindset: Take “innovation” and “creativity” off the pedestal and embrace your creative soul

Frankly, being innovative and creative sounds lofty.  You may be thinking – being creative is fine for the artists and tech giants of our world – but it’s not realistic for the average lawyer. Nope. Innovation and creativity are just words.  And as lawyers – we do words.

I just read the book “The Advertising Solution” by Craig Simpson and Brian Kurtz.  And in that book they write:

“New – in every discipline – means never joined before.”


To be innovative all you have to do, is connect things in a way they’ve never been connected before.

That’s what we do in law. We find connections. We look for themes. We find distinctions.  Law has its own inherent creativity.  Embrace that you are and have the capacity to be creative. It’s not frivolous to work on your creative soul. It’s a key component to being an excellent lawyer.

Action: It takes practice

We all want the muse of inspiration to descend upon us and whisper in our ear how to turn our daily grind into an iPhone app.

But unlocking your creativity takes practice.  Good old fashioned practice.  Lucky for us, lawyers are good at practice.

Inspired by Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, I’ve recently added some new practices to my life that have unlocked my creativity.

Daily pages:  Write. Write 3 pages a day. Of anything. It is really that simple – and that challenging.  It’s usually best done in the morning (but I have little kids who wake me up – so do it whenever you can).  Start with what you are thinking about. Write about how challenging the exercise is.  And you will see – after awhile – that you start writing some really cool stuff.  The daily pages aren’t for public consumption.  The practice of unfiltered creative writing as a discipline unlocks something in your mind and body that gets past your inner critic of what is “good enough”. That inner critic is holding you back from your best ideas. By-pass your inner critic by writing for fun.

Artist’s Date: One hour per week, I take myself on an artist’s date.  The rules: (1) I have to go alone (2) There can be no work interruptions (3) I have to record my observations.  Go to a park, an exhibit, take a class. The list is endless. Characterizing an hour a week of your life as an artist’s date changes your inner voice. This practice opens up how you see yourself in the world. I am an artist. I am creative. I am inspired. I have fun. I have stories. I am alive. I love my work.

Want some inspirational reading for the Summer?

Go forth. Be creative!

If you enjoyed this article please share it:

Previous and next posts from Kate:

Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Primary care webinars: Employment Law Update & Legal Issues for EDs and Board members

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our January program will address an employment law update for health leaders.
Full details of the 2021 webinar series and registration here.

Free healthcare privacy webinar - ask me anything!
the first Wednesday of every month

Free webinars - advance registration needed

Whether you're an experienced privacy officer or new in the field, pick Kate’s brain for free for an hour, in this live webinar. No charge, but you’ll need to register in advance.

Health Privacy Officer training
April 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24 2021

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organizations.

This course focuses on how to become a more confident privacy officer and gives you the tools to document your privacy program. Full details and registration here...

Osgoode Privacy and Information Management Course
Jan 18, 25, Feb 1, 8, 16,

Advanced privacy learning opportunity for lawyers, privacy officers and health leaders

Learn more about Canadian health privacy and information management More Details...

Advanced Health Privacy Officer training
June 2021

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organizations - now totally online

This course focuses on taking theory into practice and we do real life scenarios to build your Privacy Officer skills.
Full details and registration here.

Team Privacy Training Events
January 7, 8, 13, 26, 27, 29

For Primary Care clinics, Hospitals, Community Agencies, Schools, Police departments

Kate trains health professionals from many more health care organizations how being privacy-respectful can improve therapeutic relationships. More details...

Part X CYFSA Privacy Designate Course

For Privacy Designates in the child welfare sector including children's aid societies and indigenous children's well-being centres

We focus on how to implement Part X of the Child Youth and Family Services Act in your organization.
Full details and registration here.

Kate Dewhirst Health Law

Kate says:

My mission is bringing the law to life. I make legal theory understandable, accessible and fun! I’m available and love to work for all organizations in the healthcare sector across Ontario and beyond.

Subscribe to my mailing list and keep up to date with news:

Latest Tweets

Collective nouns ... so good. And to add my own ... a collective of Privacy Officers is a shush! Come join the shus… https://t.co/iQNziYPhlN

04:16 PM Feb 26th

contact details

P.O. Box 97010 Roncesvalles
Toronto Ontario M6R 3B3

(416) 855 9557