Emotions in writing

Listening and speaking can be empathetic. Even reading (reading literary fiction, that is) is connected with empathy. But what about writing? And specifically, what about legal writing? The textbooks concur that writers are supposed to harness not only logos and ethos but also pathos in their appellate briefs and other persuasive writing. But what about the … Continue reading Emotions in writing

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

Kairos in 2017

Killing time has never been easier, with smartphone settings that feed constant data and the average smartphone user checking it 85 times a day. But what exactly is being killed? How do we describe these moments lost? One of the first books I read for this blog introduced me to the concepts of chronos and … Continue reading Kairos in 2017

Holiday listening

StoryCorps' Great Thanksgiving Listen of 2016 wraps up this weekend. StoryCorps is an oral history project with a mission to "preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections with people and create a more just and compassionate world." The Great Thanksgiving Listen of 2016  follows up on the first Great Thanksgiving Listen of 2015, … Continue reading Holiday listening

Loving your lawyer (part 1)

Last week once again America—or at least American lawyers—celebrated “Love Your Lawyer Day.” See also #loveyourlawyerday on Twitter. Beyond the marketing hype, there’s a good question: What makes people love their lawyers? The first answer is competence. A 2002 study of how the public perceives lawyers found the majority of consumer clients to be satisfied with their … Continue reading Loving your lawyer (part 1)

Inclusive Listening: Pushing Through Bias and Assumptions

Guest post by Katherine Silver Kelly, Associate Clinical Professor of Law and Director of Academic Support at the Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University Lawyers like to think we are excellent listeners. We do it all the time; it’s at the core of our profession. As with any skill, good listening requires ongoing practice … Continue reading Inclusive Listening: Pushing Through Bias and Assumptions

Cognitive bias and listening

Cognitive biases—such as believing information that confirms what you already believe—present a major challenge to the idea of the “rational actor.” Cognitive biases are being being studied in practically every field, including law. Bringing the research to a popular audience, Daniel Kahneman's book Thinking, Fast and Slow, is a challenging but accessible read. And I was … Continue reading Cognitive bias and listening

What do we hear when we hear vocal fry?

Tennessee professor Michael Higdon has followed up his 2009 Kansas Law Review piece on nonverbal persuasion with a thoughtful new essay,   "Oral Advocacy and Vocal Fry: The Unseemly, Sexist Side of Nonverbal Persuasion." If you're not familiar with vocal fry, check out this MSNBC video at minute 3:30 for an example drawn from law practice … Continue reading What do we hear when we hear vocal fry?