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While recently renewing my kid's paperwork, I came to know that renewing the Disability Card via the UAE Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) is now a proactive service, and that his card will be automatically renewed upon its expiry date. His card is to be automatically renewed! This brought tears to my eyes, despite how simple this may sound to many others. And it triggered so many personal and professional thoughts.

Needless complexity

Personally, it is great to see something simplified in an already complex diagnosis, and that someone took the step to make our lives even 1 percent easier. I want to say to that person and authority, THANK YOU! 

As a caregiver to a kid with visible and invisible disability, I am used to complexity being part of my day-to-day life and having to spend few hours of my weekend every month gathering proof that my medically complex kid, who has a diagnosis list as long as my arm, is "disabled enough" to receive approvals for his regular treatment by insurance or authority or any medical system.


Why spend unnecessary resources navigating needless complexity?
Artwork by idraw /

Although it’s a permanent diagnosis, I still must prove his disability. Although, it is unlikely that they even read “all” these stacked pages worth of medical records and documents. All this is doing is just creating extra work and unnecessary hurdles for an already burdened working family. And that burden isn't there because of the child. It's there because it was created by a broken system. A medical system where if you aren't "disabled enough," then you are invisible, and you must go to battle and fight for necessary medications, equipment, services, and medical care. A medical system where people with visible disabilities are frequently asked to prove their ability, and people with invisible disabilities are frequently asked to prove their need. The premise of both is flawed. Need and capability are not opposites. They are two separate parts of a human. So yes, my child isn't the burden. The medical system still is.

Keep it simple! 

Professionally and as an in-house lawyer, the KISS (“keep it simple, stupid”) principle hit too close to home after the card renewal experience, as we often needlessly complicate things, to the despair of our clients. There’s no disputing that many legal issues are complicated and hard for even us to explain. But that doesn’t abdicate our responsibility to explain them to the client in a way that the client can and will understand. After all, it is the client’s matter, not ours, and it’s hard to make good decisions when a client doesn’t understand the underlying premises on which the issue is based.

It's hard to make good decisions when a client doesn’t understand the underlying premises on which the issue is based.

A few years ago, it has not always seemed like the practice of law had anything to do with simplification, work-life balance, and enthusiasm toward helping others succeed in the field. Fortunately, that is changing, and those who meaningfully simplify the lives of others stand out in an era of ever-growing complexity. People don’t read instructions or pay attention when things get too long, drawn-out, or complex. None of us want to waste our time wading through excess junk if we don’t have to.

Those who meaningfully simplify the lives of others stand out in an era of ever-growing complexity.

Legal advice, legal processes, policies, and systems in business should be as simple as humanly possible. Legal mumbo-jumbo is how we’ve gotten to where we are. We need to simplify what we do and how we do it. Making the necessary changes the profession needs to stay competitive and avoid having all our meals eaten by upstart innovators is what In-House lawyers, Biglaw, small law, solos, and every firm in between must do.  It really is a matter of KISS. "Less is more in every business, regardless of the industry!"

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