Review of Alan Alda’s If I Understood You

Thanks to Anne Ralph, Clinical Professor of Law at the Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law, for this guest post reviewing Alan Alda's new book on listening, If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?  Any lawyer who’s misunderstood (or been misunderstood by) a client, opposing counsel, or … Continue reading Review of Alan Alda’s If I Understood You

Law-school learning outcomes for communication

It’s that time of year when elementary and secondary students’ standardized test scores arrive in the mail. The scores should, ideally, correlate to the school’s stated learning outcomes. Elementary and secondary schools are veterans of the push for learning outcomes, and law schools are now required to determine their learning outcomes as well. Specifically, the … Continue reading Law-school learning outcomes for communication

Beyond formal rules of evidence

Last year the Wall Street Journal wrote about problems with sleeping jurors. Brooklyn law professor I. Bennett Capers’ new article Evidence Without Rules, forthcoming in the Notre Dame Law Review, points out a much more pervasive issue: all the information jurors take in when they are awake. The rules of evidence strictly limit what jurors … Continue reading Beyond formal rules of evidence

The hothouse of law school

The great law professor Larry Ribstein used to say that legal education has grown within a hothouse. Flora and fauna grow in different ways in a hothouse than in a natural environment. -William D. Henderson, quoted in Katrina Lee, The Legal Career: Knowing the Business, Thriving in Practice (2017) For sixteen years I’ve been teaching … Continue reading The hothouse of law school

New book: Litigation in Practice by Judge Curtis E. A. Karnow

What does a veteran trial judge have to say about . . . everything trial related? On my summer reading list was Litigation in Practice by Judge Curtis E. A. Karnow of the San Francisco Superior Court. It has some of the obvious—be nice to court staff; how to introduce documents into evidence—but also delves deeper … Continue reading New book: Litigation in Practice by Judge Curtis E. A. Karnow

Listening Skills in the Law School Classroom

This post is for law professors, educators, and anyone interested in listening-related skills training... Listening contributes to law students’ success in many ways. From participating in class discussion to doing good work in clinics to writing an exam that reflects what was discussed in class, students who listen effectively are in a better position to … Continue reading Listening Skills in the Law School Classroom

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

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     

Facilitating Dialogue Across Difference

Many thanks to Gail Silverstein, Clinical Professor of Law at the UC Hastings College of the Law, for this guest post about the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution's recent conference. Gail co-directs and co-teaches an Individual Representation Clinic and a Mediation Clinic at UC Hastings.   The 19th Annual Spring Conference of the ABA Section … Continue reading Facilitating Dialogue Across Difference

Postscript on “um”

Yesterday I had the pleasure of moderating a Facebook chat on Rutgers law professor Barbara Gotthelf's article The Lawyer's Guide to "Um." She published it in Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD (for which, full disclosure, I'm a social media editor.) The Facebook chat, available here in LC&R's ongoing Discussion Group, was a chance to explore … Continue reading Postscript on “um”