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
Last week’s allegations of sexual harassment against Judge Alex Kozinski brought a response by the judge: “I treat all of my employees as family and work very closely with most of them.” Invoking the family is not an entirely warm-and-fuzzy metaphor, as several have pointed out (hat tip to @gokpkd for pointing out this thread): … Continue reading Listening in the Family
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
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
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
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
Love Your Lawyer Day prompted the question: what makes clients love their lawyers? Client satisfaction is one way to gauge clients’ love. As addressed in an earlier post, client satisfaction depends on the lawyer’s competence and expertise. But client satisfaction is also intertwined with how the client experiences the process. The client’s desire for a satisfying … Continue reading Love your lawyer (part 2): Emotional labor of lawyers
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)
A friend asked whether Listen Like a Lawyer has ever blogged on this: Do men and women listen differently? That’s an interesting—and fraught—question. Some websites and popular books on communication skills propound appallingly simplistic statements with no research support. And the research on gender and listening that does exist has been described as “scarce and … Continue reading Do men and women listen differently?
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?