STORYTELLING AND THE LAW

Storytelling is a powerful tool for presenting opening and closing arguments, using short teaching tales to help with mediation and developing oral communication skills important in legal counseling: honing your listening skills, making sure you understand your client's story and clearly articulating your client's options. Storytelling can also highlight the role of emotion and imagination in presenting your case and reading the hidden meaning behind any number of people involved in a case. Likewise legal writing can be improved from studying storytelling.

"As a law professor, I believe that the art of oral storytelling is an essential communicative skill for lawyers. Certainly, oral advocacy skills are important in the courtroom when presenting a client's case. However, storytelling is also an effective tool for conveying ideas, knowledge and values in transactional representations as well. In my seminar on entrepreneurship, we focus on helping the entrepreneur tell a good story about his or her venture or innovative idea which requires the ability to listen deeply to the client's story about his or her hopes and dreams. By understanding their stories, we can appropriately help them structure their business entity in a manner that reflects their values. Moreover, storytelling is one method of accessing the imagination and stimulating the creative visioning process necessary to bring an entrepreneurial venture into reality. Rona Leventhal's Storytelling Institute provides an excellent opportunity to stimulate your creativity and bring value to the work done for legal clients. She is an outstanding workshop leader who inspires and challenges her students to be fully present with their creative potentiality."

Steven H. Hobbs
Tom Bevill Chairholder of Law
University of Alabama School of Law.

"Story is at the heart of the entire legal process........every argument is a story, and every lawyer is a storyteller."

James McElhaney, Senior Editor, American Bar Association

"It is the story that has shaped our sense of cause and effect. It is the story that has formed our concepts of relevance and plausibility, even right and wrong. Without story, even the best case is little more than a bundle of unconnected facts that have lost their significance for want of a glue that could make them stick together."

James McElhaney, Senior Editor, American Bar Association

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