Deliberate practice and lawyering skills

This past weekend, the Legal Writing Institute hosted its second Biennial Moot Court Conference at John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Several of the talks touched on listening-related themes. Kent Streseman of the Chicago-Kent College of Law explored the concept of “deliberate practice” for moot court competitors. His summary of the tenets of deliberate practice … Continue reading Deliberate practice and lawyering skills

Judge like a judge, please

  The Georgia Supreme Court recently held arguments on site at the law school where I teach. This was an excellent service for legal education. In class discussion afterwards, my students truly could not contain their enthusiasm for what they observed. All of the advocates brought different strengths to the podium. One stood out for … Continue reading Judge like a judge, please

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

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?

The 4 T’s of Listening

One of Listen Like a Lawyer’s most enduringly popular posts is "A Model of Listening." The honest truth about why it’s so popular appears to be that students enrolled in listening classes are doing searches like these: models of listening model of listening HURIER model HURIER model of listening One clue that these are college … Continue reading The 4 T’s of Listening

Teaching Success > Analyzing Failure

Why blog about listening? It drew me in because it's different than legal writing—which I honestly love, and love to teach, but sometimes tire of, with its skirmishes in broader linguistic debates about two spaces after a period, commas outside quotation marks, and the indefinite singular pronoun, as well as the temptation to go negative. Listening is among the … Continue reading Teaching Success > Analyzing Failure

Yes, I’m listening to Serial. Aren’t you?

The podcast Serial has, in the past few months, become the most popular podcast ever. As a dedicated bibliophile and not much of an audiobook fan, I've been surprised to become so engrossed. Serial reinvestigates the murder of Hae Min Lee, a high-school student from Baltimore who was killed in 1999. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was … Continue reading Yes, I’m listening to Serial. Aren’t you?

Second-chair listening

The role of a good second-chair lawyer at trial is strategically crucial. Yet the second chair's contribution can be difficult to see, compared with that of the lead lawyer starring in the show. Two major components of the second chair's contribution are preparation (before trial) and listening (at trial). The preparation gives the second chair … Continue reading Second-chair listening

Listening at Trial

United States District Judge Mark Bennett (N.D. Iowa) has published a great article on the "Eight Traits of Great Trial Lawyers: A Federal Judge's View on How to Shed the Moniker 'I Am a Litigator.'" Studying the entire article would be an excellent use of time for any litigator trial lawyer. Judge Bennett's coverage of being a great listener -- Roman numeral … Continue reading Listening at Trial

Not thinking like a lawyer

I went to meet the listening professors (Debra Worthington and Margaret Fitch-Hauser) expecting deep theory. And they did give some, using words like "psychometric" and reflecting on the history of the listening field. But their practical work in trial consulting was where our experiences and vocabularies overlapped a lot more, and where our most interesting … Continue reading Not thinking like a lawyer