Welcome to Listen Like a Lawyer. This blog will explore the theory and practice of effective listening, and how lawyers, law students, and just about everyone involved in the practice of law can benefit from working on their listening. Effective listening provides a distinct advantage to anyone whose job involves communication—a description that certainly fits lawyers.
The motivation for this project is twofold.
1. Good listening makes good lawyering
First, good listening is a necessary component of good lawyering. Lawyers who are powerful listeners can negotiate more effectively, answer judges’ questions more responsively, communicate more completely with clients, and otherwise enhance their relationships and effectiveness in almost all aspects of their practice.
2. Listening is in jeopardy
Second, I have a sense—and don’t think I’m alone in perceiving—that listening skills are deteriorating among lawyers and the general public. Distractions and the dominance of visual media and written communication are sapping our attention and our strength at gleaning auditory information. The foundation for these beliefs, as well as challenges and counter-arguments, will be topics explored during the life of the blog.
Who this blog is for
The intended audience is anyone interested in effective communication by lawyers. I think this group includes, at a minimum, lawyers, law students, in-house counsel and others who regularly work with lawyers, judges and mediators, law professors (particularly clinicians and those who teach communication- and skills-based courses), and other professionals in the legal industry. I hope to draw on a variety of source from academic to practical to totally outside the box.
This is a conversation about listening and lawyering
The benefit of the blog format is that it permits and encourages a flexible, responsive flow of ideas. Please make constructive comments, and e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to comment privately or discuss possibilities for guest blogging. Thank you, and enjoy the blog’s journey exploring what it means to listen like a (really good) lawyer.