albanach wrote:North wrote:Was coming here to ask about the oral advocacy prep courses, so this is solid timing
I suck at making oral presentations (I get super nervous and blank, terrible at thinking on my feet, etc.) but really need to get better.
What is the credited way of doing that without tanking my GPA? The J-term one with all the other lawyers?
Other than that there's regular Trial Advocacy, Oral Presentations In & Out of the Courtroom, Hallmarks of Distinguished Advocacy, and the Rhetoric Seminar.
What should I take?
If you want to get better, and are willing to work at it, I'd recommend Hallmarks of Distinguished Advocacy. In fact if you have trouble with public speaking, it's almost a must, since that's a skill you're going to use for the rest of your life, even if you're not going to be a litigator. Some of the class is fun, sometimes it's embarrassing, but it's all is geared at making you a better speaker. There's homework almost every week, and there's a heavy B+ curve.
I felt confident going in and improved a lot during the semester. Importantly, so did everyone else in the class - there was a quite substantial improvement, even from those that had been doing public drama performances since they were knee high to a grasshopper.
All the classes are video taped, and you will be given personal guidance during each class asked to watch your videos at home. Do not be afraid of being terrible in week one, since I believe much of the assessment is upon your degree of improvement rather than your final performance. That makes the playing ground more level, given there will likely be some excellent speakers in the class.
Trial college (while you learn alongside lawyers in the lectures) is with students in the practical bits. There's a slim chance if you get an odd number of students that you could be paired with a practicing lawyer for the final trial. You're not going to get as much help with your public speaking skills in the Trial College, as there really isn't the time for it.
If you really need help with public speaking, I'd take Hallmarks first, and then do the trial college afterward to reinforce. If someone is comfortable with public speaking but would like to improve then the other way around might put you in better shape to grab one of the few A- grades on offer in Hallmarks, or just take a regular trial ad course if you really want to reinforce trial specific stuff and some public speaking at the same time (though trial ad is probably more work and the class is smaller so less chance of scoring the A-).
TY for this excellent response. Hallmarks it is. TY brother!