Preparing to listen

Preparing to write means adopting some kind of routine or even a ritual: get coffee, gather some pads and paper, sit down at the computer, procrastinate a little bit online, and then get to it. Preparing to speak means making notes, practicing to a friendly audience, maybe putting on a lucky piece of jewelry or a … Continue reading Preparing to listen

Stereotype threat

Before a math test, women test-takers reminded of their gender did worse on the test than a control group who took the same test without the reminder. This experiment forms a classic example of stereotype threat, which Professor Susie Salmon from Arizona Law spoke about at the recent Moot Court Advisors’ Conference held by the … Continue reading Stereotype threat

Summer-associate advice

When I speak to summer associates, I always tell them they have two jobs: do great work and gain as many opportunities as possible within the employer’s organization, should they end up working there; and study the employer, lawyers and staff, and the overall culture to discern if it’s a good fit for them. Listening … Continue reading Summer-associate advice

Habit-forming classrooms     

How much time do law students spend in class? I’ve been thinking about the behavioral implications of so much time in front of laptop screens. I look forward to reading but don’t actually need to read Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked to know that looking at a … Continue reading Habit-forming classrooms     

Wellness for lawyers…even in Australia

Thanks to Jerome Doraisamy for this guest post. Jerome is a 29-year-old lawyer and writer from Sydney, New South Wales. He left legal practice after stints in commercial firms, academia and research, and a major federal government inquiry, to publish his first book, The Wellness Doctrines for Law Students and Young Lawyers. He currently works as … Continue reading Wellness for lawyers…even in Australia

“Um” and its discontents

Umm, hi everyone. Umm, does anyone want to join the Facebook discussion I'll be moderating on Thursday, April 6 at 3 p.m. Eastern? (Note this time is corrected from some earlier messages.)? The topic is the article "The Lawyer's Guide to Um" by professor Barbara Gotthelf in Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD. Professor Barbara Gotthelf will be joining … Continue reading “Um” and its discontents

International Women’s Day: A Small Contribution

Almost exactly four years ago I started writing posts for Listen Like a Lawyer, working on posts for several months before launching in August 2013. My main motivation was to write about listening as an underappreciated part of law practice and legal education. I believed then—and believe now even more strongly—that effective listening is a … Continue reading International Women’s Day: A Small Contribution

Judge like a judge, please

  The Georgia Supreme Court recently held arguments on site at the law school where I teach. This was an excellent service for legal education. In class discussion afterwards, my students truly could not contain their enthusiasm for what they observed. All of the advocates brought different strengths to the podium. One stood out for … Continue reading Judge like a judge, please

Soft rock didn’t work

It’s that time of year when I spend hour upon hour upon hour reading and commenting on law students’ draft briefs. To do this, it’s necessary to have a personal “culture of commenting.” I’m borrowing that phrase from a wonderful writing book, Hilton Obenzinger’s How We Write: The Varieties of Writing Experiences (2015). In the … Continue reading Soft rock didn’t work

Lawyers as heroes

Some clients are heroes—or plausibly can be portrayed as heroes in legal briefs. The lawyers remain in the background, telling the story without inserting themselves into it. Another type of legal writing I study and teach is legal blogging. What I’ve noticed in reading lots and lots of legal blogs is that some lawyers portray themselves … Continue reading Lawyers as heroes