Sunday, December 2, 2012
The most recent issue of The Law Teacher (see below too) includes an article that many skills profs will find helpful for the coming spring semester. Authored by Professors Debbie Borman and Dana Hill, both of Northwestern, Freeze! Using Theatre Improvisation Techniques to Practice Oral Argument offers fun and effective advice for teaching students to become better advocates. It's a short read but well worth your time. The cite is 19 Law Teacher 32 (Fall 2012) or you can check out the full issue here.
From the introduction:
Some law students are absolutely petrified of the concept of oral argument. While many law students might have prior public speaking experience, moot court is generally the first time students speak extemporaneously on legal issues before a panel of questioners who are inclined to interrupt them with potentially difficult and rapid-fire questions.
We prepare students for moot court not only to meet the challenge of a strong, clear, and well-reasoned argument, but also to alleviate the fear of making an oral argument, increasing students’ comfort level to achieve a good moot court experience, and, especially in a tight legal market, expand their legal career options.