May 21, 2021

Written By Robert Greene

How can I demonstrate I have the potential to become an O Shaped Lawyer?

May 21, 2021

Written By Robert Greene

Being an O Shaped Lawyer means being more than a legal expert. It means being a well-rounded lawyer that is emotionally intelligent and puts people first. In this article, we will look at the profile of an O Shaped Lawyer and how you can show your potential to become one.

O Shaped Lawyer Framework

The concept of the O Shaped Lawyer is based on empirical research that shows that General Counsels (GCs) in FTSE 350 companies are looking for a different type of lawyer, not one that is purely focused on the law. They are looking for well-rounded, ‘O’ lawyers.

The founders of the O Shaped Lawyer Programme are striving to fundamentally reimagine the training and development of lawyers to make the legal industry better for everyone involved.

Their work is guided by the O Shaped Framework, a set of mindsets and behaviours that have been identified as integral to an O Shaped Lawyer. The five so-called O Shaped Attributes are:

- Optimism

- Ownership

- Open-minded

- Opportunistic

- Original

By developing these O Shaped Attributes, you can demonstrate that you have the potential to become an O Shaped Lawyer.


Lawyers are sometimes perceived as “business blockers”. They find reasons why a transaction should not proceed.

The O Shaped Lawyer, by contrast, is a business partner. They adopt a positive outlook. They see the silver lining in a crisis and look for ways to overcome challenges, rather than avoid them.

Their positive energy is infectious and enhances their reputation as a great business partner to work with.

In the long run, their optimism helps them become more resilient in the face of challenges.

You can demonstrate your potential to become an O Shaped Lawyer by adopting a glass-half-full approach to situations. Instead of zoning in on the risks or the setbacks, seek out the opportunities or the positives.


Lawyers are often tasked with finding fault in an opposing party’s argument. But the blame game can be destructive when it comes to a lawyer taking responsibility for their own work.

O Shaped Lawyers step outside their comfort zones, taking ownership of both legal and non-legal work. They are not black-letter-law practitioners, they are business partners. They provide contextualised legal and commercial advice. O Shaped Lawyers also hold themselves accountable for the outcomes of their work, both legal and non-legal.

You can demonstrate your potential to become an O Shaped Lawyer by seeking out new experiences outside your comfort zone and holding yourself accountable for the outcome of those experiences. When things go wrong, look in the mirror not out the window.

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The legal sector is often perceived as being conservative and risk averse. The O Shaped Lawyer, on the other hand, adopts an open, growth mindset.

They are risk takers and welcome change to traditional ways of working. They invite feedback and embrace continuous learning.

O Shaped Lawyers are also open about the “emotional” aspects of their job. They share their feelings with other people and take an interest in other people’s well-being. Being open with your emotions is seen as a strength, not a weakness.

You can demonstrate your potential to become an O Shaped Lawyer by opening up to your colleagues about how you feel and being a listening ear. You can also actively seek out feedback from other people about your work.



Lawyers are taught to see situations through a risk-avoidance lens. This means they can often be blindsided by the risks, failing to spot the opportunities. O Shaped Lawyers, by contrast, seek out and exploit new opportunities.

They are not afraid of change and see it as an opportunity to learn and develop.

You can demonstrate your potential to become an O Shaped Lawyer by using your networks to collaborate with different people and create new opportunities. Seek out situations that make you uncomfortable and use them as an opportunity to learn and grow.


The law is anchored in tradition and precedent. This can stifle original ways of thinking. However, the commercial challenges of 21st century businesses require creative and innovative approaches to solving problems.

O Shaped Lawyers are creative, innovative, and adaptative. They pursue original ways of thinking, rather than sticking to tried-and-tested solutions. This originality generates real value for their clients, beyond excellent legal analysis.

You can demonstrate your potential to become an O Shaped Lawyer by challenging the status-quo. Pitch ideas that have not been done before, embrace new ways of doing things, and seek out opportunities to learn.


O Shaped Lawyer