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

“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

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

Love your lawyer (part 2): Emotional labor of lawyers

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

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)

Do men and women listen differently?

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?

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?

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