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

Future trial lawyers, take heart

Listen Like a Lawyer will be delving into communication and writing in the next few posts. One reason this blog is generally dedicated to listening is that there are already many excellent legal-writing blogs available for the legal community. (For example: Forma Legalis, Lady Legal Writer, Law Prose, Legible,  and Ziff Blog, just to cite … Continue reading Future trial lawyers, take heart

Is attention personal or professional?

A law professor’s New York Times op-ed, “Leave Your Laptops at the Door to My Classroom,” prompted lots of discussion on blogs and Twitter. Should law students be told and required to close their screens and (to the extent this is even possible) pay attention in class?  Or should they have the freedom to decide … Continue reading Is attention personal or professional?

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

More on flow and listening

Feeling "flow" means being fully immersed in a challenging task, with a sense of energy and enjoyment. Lawyers might find flow when they have enough skilled experience to know what they're doing and encounter a new challenge using their skills, as previously mentioned in this post. The founder of flow theory, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, created a … Continue reading More on flow and listening

Listening for summer associates

A successful summer-associate experience means doing good work and creating good social impressions. Listening skills can help with both. The assignment and the work The most obvious place to talk about listening and work product is in the incredibly important meeting where the senior lawyer communicates the assignment.Here’s a checklist for listening while taking an … Continue reading Listening for summer associates

You should watch The People v. O.J. Simpson

To echo what many have said, I now know what I’ll be doing for the next ten Tuesday nights. The People v. O.J. Simpson: An American Crime Story (FX Networks) is as incredible as everyone is saying. For viewers who lived through the spectacle, it brings back memories (“Where was I the night of the … Continue reading You should watch The People v. O.J. Simpson

Do you know it when you hear it?

  When taking a deposition, can you immediately recognize the testimony you want to quote in a later dispositive motion? Do the words jump out at you like a “nugget” in a “treasure hunt”? Legal writing and nonfiction writing have a lot in common, as a recent New Yorker article by John McPhee suggested. I … Continue reading Do you know it when you hear it?

Speaking “business”

Listen Like a Lawyer is a fan of several lawyers who write and blog in ways that touch on listening skills, including but not limited to* Jeena Cho, Keith Lee, Lee Rosen, and Pam Woldow. Another highly, highly recommended blog resource on listening and lawyering is this six-part series from Mark Perlmutter on Trebuchet Legal. And then … Continue reading Speaking “business”

Two hemispheres of law practice

 Securities law and divorce law. Lawyers in these practice areas may not be from different planets, but they live in different “hemispheres,” according to sociological work being explored by Deborah Merritt at the Law School Café. Her first post is here and second post here. Merritt is revisiting the study Chicago Lawyers by sociologists John … Continue reading Two hemispheres of law practice