A lawyer who can communicate not simply in a cerebrally persuasive way, but in an emotionally gripping way, has an enormous strategic advantage. Judges, jurors, clients are all human beings and know what it means to be captivated by a narrative. This course teaches how to tell an engaging story and then how to apply those skills to a variety of legal situations. The first part of the course will cover the art of storytelling on both a theoretical and a practical track. On the theoretical track we will study story drive; structure; beginnings, middles, and endings; openings; plot and character; and transitions. We will have a healthy amount of assigned reading and viewing before each class in order to analyze each of these components in literature, drama, and film. On the practical track students will go through a series of writing exercises that parallel the theoretical discussion, to help develop storytelling muscles. The second part of the course will apply the newly-acquired storytelling skills to various legal situations: A criminal case. An appellate case. A legislative proposal. A labor negotiation. A p.r. crisis. We will have "in-class" discussion of real cases, along with assigned writing exercises.
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