Categories: Legal Profession Law Practice Skills

Instructor(s) Plum, Christina

Course objectives:

The content of this course focuses on developing those core communication skills that all lawyers need and use in their practice. In this course you will work on:
• Developing and projecting self-confidence;
• Intentionally designing the content and structure of presentations; and
• Developing, through practice and observation, a reliable capacity to perform well in a variety of speaking situations.

This course will teach students strategies for effective public speaking to large and small audiences and individuals. Specific exercises include introducing a speaker to an audience, providing a research report to a supervising attorney, responding to questions, speaking extemporaneously, persuasive and impactful speaking, and explaining legal concepts to an audience.

This two-credit course is offered pass/fail only. All students will meet in a plenary session on Mondays from 4:35-5:30 p.m. that will feature lectures on a variety of oral communication topics (e.g., composition, performance, rhetorical power). On Wednesdays or Thursdays, the students will meet in small groups to perform a variety of in-class exercises featuring individualized critique.

This course meets only the first ten weeks of the semester. Each student is expected to attend all ten plenary sessions and all ten small group sessions. If a student must miss class due to illness or other conflict, make-up classes may be arranged. Passage requires active participation in class. There is no final exam.

The instructors are Professor Ralph Cagle and Adjunct Professors James Peterson and Christina Plum, all of whom have previously taught a one-credit oral communications course at the UW Law School. For more information, please email them.
Professor Cagle:
James Peterson:
Christina Plum:

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