Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

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JDeezy
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Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

Postby JDeezy » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:51 pm

Based on what I've read on here, it seems that having good public speaking skills wouldn't be any more of an advantage to a law student or lawyer (at a firm) than any other random profession?

I imagine there are few instances where superior public speaking skills is a plus? Other than the fact that obviously it's good to be a good communicator in day to day life.

I think most have an idea that speaking/giving "speeches" is an integral part of being a lawyer, while it seems to me after research that it is not. Any thoughts on the matter?

Curious because I've always wanted to get better at public speaking and thought that if it would be worthwhile in law school/legal career in addition to its inherent worthwhile-ness it might help me get motivated for a class or something...

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kalvano
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Re: Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

Postby kalvano » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:55 pm

Unless you plan on being a DA or defense attorney, most things will never make it to trial. Being able to communicate well is useful, being able to enunciate to the back row is probably not.

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scifiguy
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Re: Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

Postby scifiguy » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:07 am

I was on my high school debate team. Would that also help?

Additionally, I am a philosohpy/English double major.

I feel I have good writing and argumentative skills with m background.

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dingbat
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Re: Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

Postby dingbat » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:12 am

scifiguy wrote:I was on my high school debate team. Would that also help?

Additionally, I am a philosohpy/English double major.

I feel I have good writing and argumentative skills with m background.

kalvano wrote:Unless you plan on being a DA or defense attorney, most things will never make it to trial. Being able to communicate well is useful, being able to enunciate to the back row is probably not.

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kwais
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Re: Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

Postby kwais » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:43 am

Good public speaking skills are a combination of self-confidence and the abilities to organize your thoughts, craft a narrative and understand your audience. These things are all important to a legal career regardless of whether you ever stand up in front of a jury. If you are thinking about developing these skills, just do it, without regard to its utility for law school.

TheGreatFish
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Re: Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

Postby TheGreatFish » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:38 am

scifiguy wrote:I was on my high school debate team. Would that also help?

Additionally, I am a philosohpy/English double major.

I feel I have good writing and argumentative skills with m background.


I found my English degree to be invaluable to my success in law school. Nearly every class in law school will consist of nothing but writing and close reading, which is basically all you do as an English major. I would guess it's about the same for a Philosophy major.

Public speaking skills are not quite as useful in law school. At least not for anything that counts for a grade. You're going to be graded almost entirely on your writing ability, but if you have any interest in joining Moot Court or competing, public speaking skills will probably be beneficial. Of course, the type of public speaking skills you possess matter. Being able to deliver a canned speech to a large audience might be useful for delivering an opening or closing argument, but it won't be that useful when you're getting hit with a barrage of unexpected questions from a professor or a judge.

jml8756
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Re: Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

Postby jml8756 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:15 pm

Echo those who said it's entirely dependent on what kind of lawyer you want to be. If you want to practice criminal litigation, you'll likely be in court most days. Other types of law will probably require the average speaking skills of most typical jobs.

The type of law you want to practice will also dictate the classes you take in law school. So if you want to do litigation, you'll take a lot of classes that require mock trials, speeches, and oral arguments. You might also participate in your school's mock trial or moot court teams. If you want to get better at public speaking, law school can be a good place to do it. It really is all about practice, building confidence, and getting up on your feet in front of an audience as often as possible.

Writing skills are also extremely useful in law school. I don't think I would be exaggerating when I say that for timed essay exams, being a good writer will probably increase your score by about one grade.

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dingbat
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Re: Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

Postby dingbat » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:07 am

jml8756 wrote: If you want to practice criminal litigation, you'll likely be in court most days..
No.

As a litigator you'll spend a good chunk of time in court, but that'll be a fraction of the time you spend working on cases, because if you don't know your facts in and out, you'll look like a fool and lose your cases

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pruufreadr
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Re: Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

Postby pruufreadr » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:20 am

I think that your public speaking experience would be helpful in recruiting clients and gaining name recognition through workshops and other public events. At least, that's what I'm hoping for myself.

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scifiguy
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Re: Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

Postby scifiguy » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:19 am

jml8756 wrote:Writing skills are also extremely useful in law school. I don't think I would be exaggerating when I say that for timed essay exams, being a good writer will probably increase your score by about one grade.


But the threads on TLS say writing skills in teh traditional sense aren't taht useful for exams. I've mostly read posts that say fast writing (even with grammatical msitakes) is what works best. Basically, I think it was speed + logical arguments. But things like style of writing and perfect grammar and all that are forgivable on exams.

Is that in agreement with what you're saying?

TheGreatFish
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Re: Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

Postby TheGreatFish » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:30 am

scifiguy wrote:But the threads on TLS say writing skills in teh traditional sense aren't taht useful for exams. I've mostly read posts that say fast writing (even with grammatical msitakes) is what works best. Basically, I think it was speed + logical arguments. But things like style of writing and perfect grammar and all that are forgivable on exams.

Is that in agreement with what you're saying?


I wouldn't agree with that. A few spelling errors are forgivable, but if your professor has to work to find answers buried in endless exposition and poor grammar when he still has a few hundred exams to read before the holidays, I doubt you're going to get a good grade.

The best score I ever received on an exam was an answer I hand wrote. My laptop crashed right before the exam started and I had to write out a 4 hour exam with a pen. I'm sure I wrote the least out of everyone in the class, but because I knew I couldn't easily correct my mistakes, I spent more time than usual organizing my answer and making sure I didn't leave any errors. Even though it was probably the shortest answer I ever turned in, I got the highest grade in the class.

Being able to write quickly is a great skill to have in law school, but you also want to be clear and concise.

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cinephile
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Re: Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

Postby cinephile » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:19 am

OP, if you want to get better at public speaking then start looking at open mic nights. What I mean is standup comedy is the perfect venue for you to get over your fears of public speaking. Put yourself on the spot in front of a crowd and you'll be surprised what you can do.

nebula666
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Re: Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

Postby nebula666 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:34 pm

all of this will go out the window the first time you get cold called

PRgradBYU
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Re: Public Speaking and Law School/Being a Lawyer

Postby PRgradBYU » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:57 am

nebula666 wrote:all of this will go out the window the first time you get cold called


:lol:




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