Big Deal: Using Transactional Assignments to Teach Persuasion in the Legal Writing Curriculum

Motions. Briefs. Oral arguments. For students interested in a transactional career, a typical legal writing semester focused on persuasion sometimes feels like it is centered on inconsequential litigation-style assignments. What many students do not realize, however, is that many skills learned in a persuasive semester, including through the context of litigation-style assignments, are transferrable to transactional contexts and help students prepare for careers in transactional practices.

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.