Practical Lawyering Skills
356: Advanced Courtroom Communication
This course is designed to train student lawyers in the art of persuasive presentation and storytelling. Training will focus on the goal of persuading juries and engaging witnesses by presenting complex material with the ease of a conversation. In the first segment, students will learn also how to use vocal inflection and body language to tell the story between the words, project confidence while remaining flexible, and how insight, point of view, clear language, and mental/emotional connection equal authenticity. Courtroom delivery is examined through principles that apply to all spoken interaction: use of space, use of visuals, use of time. The second segment of the course focuses on effective storytelling for litigation. Students will learn how to construct powerful stories that illustrate critical aspects of the case, and develop a practical understanding of theming and use of character point of view. The course focuses concepts drawn from great political orators, theatrical performance, and public speaking. Students learn the practical skills that apply to openings, closings, witness interrogation, and prospective client interviews. Each day includes both lecture and practical workshop components. Students will prepare and deliver an original opening statement on the third day.