Lessons from Ted Lasso’s Playbook for Lawyers

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By Omnizant Team
Law Firm Marketing Agency

Coaches and lawyers have a lot in common. To drive positive outcomes and get the best out of your people, here are some lessons for lawyers from Coach Ted Lasso’s playbook.

The hit TV show Ted Lasso came out in the summer of 2020. Most Americans were under some form of COVID restrictions, and tensions were at an all-time high ahead of the 2020 presidential election. In other words, when society felt dark, discouraging and cutthroat, Ted Lasso arrived full of humanity, humor, and openness.

Four years later, it’s 2024 and odds are you’re still feeling stressed about the future. Take heart—Ted Lasso may be a fictional character, but his playbook can work wonders for you in the real world of legal challenges. 

Here are five strategies from fictional coach Ted Lasso to help lawyers work and live better when things get tough.

Be curious, not judgemental.

This famous phrase encapsulates Ted Lasso’s life philosophy. 

Now, you may think a lawyer’s primary job is to make judgments. But snap judgments may not be accurate. First, force yourself to get curious—even just for 30 seconds.

Say you’re dealing with a difficult client. This person won’t give you straight answers or submit paperwork on time. Instead of snap judgments, ask yourself what other factors and nuances might be at play. They could be under additional family stress, or they might not want to admit they don’t understand how to sign digital documents.

What if it’s a prickly employee or insecure colleague who is getting on your nerves? Take a moment to ask questions rather than assume you know what’s going on. Approach the situation with an open mind and a genuine desire to understand.

Ted’s strategy of curiosity will help you cut to the heart of the issue, which will ultimately be more efficient and successful at getting your desired results while also preserving the relationship. 

By cultivating a curious mindset, lawyers can uncover innovative solutions and deliver superior outcomes for their clients. Encourage a culture of curiosity within your firm to nurture employee engagement, where everyone is encouraged to ask questions, challenge assumptions and explore new ideas.

Embrace innovation—and let time work its magic.

If you’ve seen the TV show, you’ll remember when star player Dani Rojas was injured and the teammates grappled with the idea of a “curse” on the treatment room. 

One of Ted Lasso’s most endearing (and effective) qualities is his willingness to think outside the box. Whether it’s implementing unconventional coaching methods or embracing new technologies, Ted is always open to innovation. 

To solve the “curse,” Coach Lasso listened carefully to the players’ concerns. Then, he organized an unusual all-team meeting at the local pub to learn the history behind the myth. This is followed by a clever ceremony where everyone contributes a meaningful item to a burn barrel, raising camaraderie and working with the story rather than against it. Ted also allowed time to work its magic, secretly knowing that Dani’s ankle was completely recovered and orchestrating the player’s return at the end of the ceremony. 

For lawyers, innovation may look like embracing new technologies and approaches to legal representation. But it may also be as simple as choosing to do things differently in the interest of growing your firm, supporting your team, and accomplishing your clients’ goals.

Innovation takes courage. Invest in new approaches to help differentiate yourself in a competitive market and deliver greater value for your clients.

Resilience and friendliness yield dividends.

Remember the local fans who initially booed Ted Lasso, the unfriendly man in the street who swore at Ted every time and even the press and players who gruffly rejected Ted at every turn? 

Winning hearts can help you win cases, but it’s certainly not a short-term task.

Ted Lasso faced so many setbacks and challenges—including personal hardships—and he met them all with resilience. Not only did his resilience help him get through tough times, but Ted’s unwavering optimism was actually contagious. 

You are guaranteed to encounter obstacles. You’ll face unfavorable rulings and unexpected legal hurdles. So take a note from Ted, and focus on what you can control. 

Treat challenges like opportunities for growth and learning. Work with your team to learn strategies for resilience and grit, so they have the skills and mindset to navigate setbacks as temporary roadblocks. Persevere with a positive attitude, and over time you’ll reap the rewards like Ted.

Teamwork makes the dream work.

In Ted Lasso’s world, success isn’t just about individual skill—it’s about teamwork. 

He understands that he needs Coach Beard, Rebecca, Higgins and even the local fans in order to accomplish his aims. 

Because he knows that players must learn to work together to perform at their best, Ted comes up with exercises to build up the team’s awareness and collaboration (see the terrifying and amusing string exercise).

You won’t get far in a silo, even as a solo lawyer leading your own firm.

See everyone as a valuable collaborator. Customize the way you work to get the best out of every person, like Ted’s strategy when he tells Sam to “be a goldfish” when he’s struggling with frustration after bad performance on the pitch.

Fostering a team-oriented culture can take time, but it’s the key to tackling complex cases effectively and delivering superior results for your clients. Try implementing regular team meetings in the spirit of collaboration and openness. 

Emotional intelligence matters, especially how you treat yourself.

This TV show is truly a masterclass in emotional intelligence, but the heart of the show reveals itself in the way Ted learns to ask for and accept help for himself. 

Emotional intelligence is one of the most undervalued skills for lawyers. 

It’s how you perceive, express and regulate your emotions. In high-stress careers like law, it’s easy to get swept away or swamped by your emotions. It’s even easier to turn your focus outward on your team or your clients instead of your own work-life balance.

Cultivating awareness and regulation of your own emotions will help you be a better lawyer. If you don’t know where to start, try journaling, meditation, asking for feedback and empathy exercises. We also recommend building a website built on empathy.

Review and next steps

TV shows and movies are full of valuable lessons for attorneys. Fictional characters like Ted Lasso can offer an inspiring template for how to be a leader, even if you’re not planning to go overseas to coach a sport you’ve never played. 

Ultimately, humanity, empathy, and curiosity are the lessons of Ted Lasso. These aren’t just fluffy tropes—they’re valuable and effective strategies that can help your firm stand out from its competitors and deliver better results.  

If you’re looking for a trustworthy partner in your legal marketing, consider us the Coach Beard to your Ted Lasso. Book a consultation with the experts at Omnizant, and we’ll set you up for success with all the digital assets and support you need to grow your firm to the next level.

About the Author
Since 2006, Omnizant's team of digital marketing experts, designers, developers and writers has helped over 2,000 law firms develop powerful websites that drive business growth.