Better Lawyering Through Better Listening

What are your key strengths and weaknesses as a listener? How can you, as a lawyer or legal professional, actually become a better listener? What listening techniques can lawyers use to be more effective with clients, witnesses, judges and mediators, and others (perhaps loved ones)?

I’m pleased to be collaborating on a CLE workshop that will help attendees explore these questions and gain a better understanding of listening skills for lawyering.The workshop will take place in Tucson, Arizona, on March 10 in conjunction with the International Listening Association‘s annual convention.

Jennie Grau
Jennie Grau

Presenters Jennie Grau and Anita Dorczak will facilitate the session in person, and I am working on video contributions right now. One fun project has been working with several wonderful colleagues and students at my law school on video demonstrations of “bad” and “good” listening skills in legal settings. I must confess it was easier to write and create the bad examples. I’ve also been rounding up a variety of statistics related to listening and lawyering. (Blog post coming soon.) There’s a lot of great research out there, but also several widely accepted yet unsupported urban myths of listening.

Anita is a Canadian family lawyer and mediator, and Jennie is a communications consultant and speaker. Collaborating with these presenters has been a wonderful experience because they are not only smart and creative and talented speakers but also—not surprisingly—such skillful listeners. Arizona lawyers who attend the session are in for a unique experience including role-plays and the opportunity to take an individual “listening inventory.” Boring PowerPoint and lecture, this is not.

Anita Dorczak
Anita Dorczak

The International Listening Association is an eclectic group with connections to many disciplines such as health care, business, spirituality, cultural studies, teaching, and research.

Lawyers, mediators, and other legal professionals are invited to attend the conference for a one-day rate (4 hours of CLE). The full information can be found here. Fees for the session go to the International Listening Association. This is a labor of love for the presenters—which is actually the theme of the whole convention, Listening: A Labor of Love.

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