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“PREPARATION AND CONFIDENCE REALLY SHOW”: COURTROOM LESSON #4

Observing Pretrial Motions and Jury SelectionStudents in my semester-long Comprehensive Trial Advocacy course go to court, watch a day of trial and write a report about what they saw and learned. The students select from federal, state or municipal court, and they can choose either a civil or criminal share their observations. This article is [...]

CLIENT AS A WITNESS: COURTROOM LESSON #3

“Our client was a complete disaster!”Sir John Mortimer’s fictitious Old Bailey barrister Horace Rumpole dreaded putting his client on the stand because somehow the client would manage to ruin the case. But, what about when the other side calls your supposedly thoroughly prepared client?Students in my semester-long Comprehensive Trial Advocacy course go to court, watch [...]

WRITING SKILLS FOR LAW STUDENTS

At Least Don’t Teach Bad Writing HabitsLaw schools should focus on producing professional communicators – lawyers who are effective writers and speakers. Bryan A. Garner’s column for this month’s ABA Journal is entitled, “Why Lawyers Can’t Write” with the subtitle: “Science has something to do with it, and law schools are partly to blame.” Garner’s [...]

PRETRIAL AND TRIAL ON THE ROAD

This is Seattle University Law School’s Comprehensive Pretrial class learning the importance of going to the scene – the Garage Tavern where the shooting took place. For more about the case and the scene visit the case website here.Here is my co-author Marilyn Berger and her husband Albert currently on a trip.

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; [...]

HOW TO BECOME A GREAT TRIAL LAWYER

Courtroom ObservationsThe best way to learn how to become a great trial lawyer is to second chair for a great trial lawyer. That way you learn from the best not only what it takes to prepare but also how to perform in trial. The second best way is to watch trial lawyers in court. Law [...]

BEYOND “THINK LIKE A LAWYER”

The “Featured Story” in the Wolter Kluwers website entitled “Becoming a Lawyer” is my article on what law schools should require students to learn in addition to “how to think like a lawyer.” The article discusses the communication skills that law schools should teach students so that they will be well prepared to practice law. [...]

VISITING THE CRIME SCENE

Law Students Visit the Scene of the ShootingFor our summer Pretrial Advocacy class, we visit the scene of the shooting at the Garage Tavern. The shooting leads to both a criminal prosecution and a civil wrongful death case, which are the cases that we work with during the course.This is a field trip designed to [...]

DON’T BOTCH LAYING THE FOUNDATION FOR AN EXHIBIT

Predicate Questions for AdmissibilitySeeing is believing and understanding. My students who take Seattle University Law School’s Comprehensive Trial Advocacy course are required to spend a day watching a trial and write a report on what they observed and learned. The students went to different courts – federal, state and municipal. They reported on the skillfulness [...]

NEW WEBSITE FOR LAW STUDENTS

Becoming a LawyerA new website for law students has just been launched. Wolters Kluwer (our publisher and creator of the new website entitled “Becoming a Lawyer”) describes the site’s content as follows:“Becoming a Lawyer is a community website and blog for law students that includes a wide range of different content topics related to the [...]