Friday, December 14, 2012
Storytelling for Lawyers, a recent article by Jonathan K. Van Patten of South Dakota, stresses the value of telling a coherent story in order to persuade. “Storytelling is primal,” Van Patten argues. “We all grew up with stories.” In a legal argument, he says, persuasion should be “built from the bottom up. People should not be told what to think. They will reach the conclusion on their own and will hold on to it more firmly if they can relate it to their own life story.” The article offers twenty-five guidelines for effective storytelling. Among them are that a story is not just a collection of facts, but must have a theme, and that the theme is usually more effective if it is not stated explicitly. Read the article at 57 S.D. L. Rev. 239 (2012).