Advocacy for Transactional Lawyers

Credit Hours: 1

The class focuses on teaching the oral communication skills needed to succeed in a transactional practice. Corporate and lawyers need to (i) deliver crisp, clear, organized, and practical explanations, (ii) create and present materials effectively, (iii) showcase business sense, (iv) modify messaging and details depending on the audience, and (v) speak with confidence and leadership in conversations, on the phone, and in meetings. In each class, students will hear lectures covering advanced techniques in preparation, voice and speech, body language, and emotion, which each participant can use to become a better communicator in the areas specific to corporate practice. Topics include: voice quality to convince and persuade more effectively; speech pattern to remove distracting vocal habits; audience connection to demonstrate competence and subject matter authority; pacing to craft the dynamic levels of a presentation; preparation and messaging techniques; and effective gestures and physical presence to maintain audience attention and animate individual presence.  During the course, students will deliver a total of three presentations to their colleagues in small group workshops to be held during class meeting time: a 1-2 minute professional introduction, and two of the following: (an update to colleagues on a current matter; summary of key due diligence findings; kick-off meeting with a client and/or opposing counsel on a new deal; summarizing key risk factors of a proposed transaction for a report to senior management at the client; or briefing a board on their fiduciary duties in considering a strategic M&A transaction). The substance of these presentations will be based on a developed casefile used during the course and reading material. Outside of class, students will (1) receive scheduled individual coaching, (2) be responsible for reading course materials, and (3) prepare and practice presentations. This course will be graded CR/NC. Grades will be based on writing assignments, class participation, and course presentations..