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MARTIN LUTHER KING’S ADVOCACY SKILLS

None of the students in my Trial Advocacy class were alive at the time of the march on Washington. None of them had watched the Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in its entirety. So, Tuesday’s class was an opportunity to not only commemorate the march and the speech but also let them [...]

WINNING AT MOOT COURT

Handbook for Moot Court SuccessAn excellent handbook on how to win in moot court has been written by Judge Gerald Lebovits and his co-authors. Judge Lebovits knows his subject. As a law student, he won the moot court award for both best speaker and best brief. As a coach, his moot court teams have won [...]

THE CRITICAL LAWYERING SKILL

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONThis coming Tuesday Seattle University will introduce a new course that is designed to familiarize students with practical aspects of practicing law in order to prepare them to start work either in a firm, public employment, or in a solo practice. The intersession course (January 8 -10, 2013) is Essential Lawyering Skills: Persuasive Communication; [...]

CLINT EASTWOOD AND ADVOCACY

Halftime Pep Talk and Trial AdvocacySuper Bowl has come and gone. As have the ads. Much has been said and written about Eastwood’s halftime advertisement for Chrysler. Carl Rove attacked it, claiming that it was a payback to Obama for the bailout. Joe Klein in Time magazine mused over how Rove and the Republicans got [...]

VIDEO REVIEW: A SKILLS BUILDING TOOL

The Value of Video Jennifer Shapiro, pictured here, stands before a jury of her peers – students in her comprehensive trial advocacy class at Seattle University Law School. She delivers her first opening statement in the class. It’s not her first opening because she has competed in mock trials before.As she delivers the opening, a [...]

LAST SUMMER READING FOR TRIAL LAWYERS – IN THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE BY JOEL J. SEIDEMANN

Great Opening Statements and Closing ArgumentsThis last recommended summer read – In the Interest of Justice – Great Opening and Closing Arguments of the Last 100 Years, HarperCollins Publishers, 2004 – is a gift to trial lawyers. The gift to trial lawyers is given by author Joel J. Seidemann, who is a Manhattan Assistant District [...]

LAWYER LINCOLN’S LESSONS: SINCERITY & TRIAL ADVOCACY

Lesson 2 – Sincerity is What Matters in Trial AdvocacyThe keys to trial persuasion are to be sincere and to be able to project that sincerity. Sincerity, more than eloquence, a good appearance or any other attribute, is what really matters in trial advocacy. Sincerity in the trial context means that the lawyer believes the [...]

ORATORY – ADVOCACY LESSONS FROM OBAMA

MAKING A GOOD SPEECH TO THE JURY (OR TO ANY AUDIENCE)In his inaugural day Washington Post article entitled “Obama’s way with words,” Henry Allen states that “Obama is an orator, a rare thing in a time when educated people — a lot of them Obama supporters — have been taught to distrust old-fashioned eloquence.” Rare [...]