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

Postscript on “um”

Yesterday I had the pleasure of moderating a Facebook chat on Rutgers law professor Barbara Gotthelf's article The Lawyer's Guide to "Um." She published it in Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD (for which, full disclosure, I'm a social media editor.) The Facebook chat, available here in LC&R's ongoing Discussion Group, was a chance to explore … Continue reading Postscript on “um”

“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

Best Practices for Law Schools and Student Organizations when Inviting Guest Speakers

This post is formatted as a draft policy on best practices for law schools and law-student organizations when they invite guests to speak to or interact with their law school community. This policy errs on the side of formality and specificity, attempting to spell out specific steps for inviting guests and planning events. Feedback is welcome, … Continue reading Best Practices for Law Schools and Student Organizations when Inviting Guest Speakers

Talking means making mistakes (and that’s okay)

Sherry Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age has been on my reading list for a while now. I’m in the process of reading it and was stopped cold by something on page 54. Turkle is talking about “the flight from conversation.” The flight from conversation basically means kids these days—and … Continue reading Talking means making mistakes (and that’s okay)

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?

New proof about “sounding smart”

Every time a lawyer communications, that lawyer must choose not only what to say but how to say it—in person, phone, e-mail, or something else. Speaking and listening obviously take longer and may seem inefficient. Writing (such as e-mail) can reach a group of people instantly and allow them to access the information at a … Continue reading New proof about “sounding smart”

A myth about listening and learning

Listening is a loser, at least according to the widely circulated Pyramid of Learning: I've been hearing about the Pyramid of Learning -- also known Dale's Cone of Learning -- since I was a child. Yet it has a problem. Specifically, a lot of credible people believe it to be "zombie learning theory that refuses to die." … Continue reading A myth about listening and learning

Coaching listening

One way to become a better listener is to work with a coach. Just Google “listening coach” and you may be surprised by how many resources there are. One coach who reached out to me is Laurie Schloff, Senior Coaching Partner with the Speech Improvement Company. She has worked with professionals including attorneys for more than 25 … Continue reading Coaching listening