I have to be kidding right. Law and empathy go together like [think of your own improbable combination.]

But I am not kidding. Empathy, I think, comes from the heart. But empathy, as an emotional muscle, requires exercise and also the acquisition of technique.

Many words in legal vocabulary come from Latin. So, part of learning to think like a lawyer, is to learn Latin bits and pieces. One bit and piece is the idea of the “ee” and the “or.” For example, the person who initiates a contract is the offeror; the person to whom the contract is offered is the offeree.

How does this help me be empathetic? Well, it’s the parallelism. Someone is in the “ee” position; somebody is in the “or” position. Empathy is NOT being in either position and thinking about the last time you were in the other position. Empathy IS being in either position and thinking about how the person in the other position feels now.