In a recent episode of the television show “Better Call Saul,” the titular lawyer who has scrambled and struggled to earn a living decides to call it quits with the law right after being offered the best opportunity of his life with a prestigious firm. He thought that was his dream, until it came true. His friend reminded him of how hard he worked to pass the bar exam and then asked a pivotal question: Why abandon practicing law after working so hard to get established? He responds by explaining the fallacy of the sunk cost. “It’s what gamblers do,” he says. “They throw good money after bad, thinking they can turn their luck around.” Recognizing, perhaps for the first time, that he doesn’t fit in as a lawyer, he tells her that his talents “are better suited elsewhere.”

Hearing those words uttered by a fictional attorney on a TV show was like a thunderbolt, because, in my practice as a coach, I have seen many clients utterly derailed by considerations of what they have already invested, and can never recover, when making decisions about the future. Simply being aware of this fallacy and its applications is helpful in making good decisions based on future opportunities and preferences rather than past costs.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]