Using Prominent Criminal Jury Trials to Teach Theme

  1. Introduction

Theme is vitally important in persuasive advocacy, whether written or oral. It took me several jury trials and a few seasons coaching high school mock trial to feel like I understood how to persuasively use a theme as a lawyer. Thus, I wanted to develop an exercise that helped first-year law students begin to grasp the idea of using a theme to advocate for their client. I created an exercise using opening statements from prominent criminal jury trials.