In Winter 2012, this course will be co-taught by Josh Compton, Senior Lecturer in Speech, and Paul Klaas, Adjunct Professor of Legal Rhetoric.
In this course, we will consider multiple forms of legal rhetoric—from Greek apologias through contemporary American jury trials—to explore the unique challenges of legal argumentation, the style and structure of judicial written opinions, and the types of legal/political speech that characterize lawmaking. Students will engage in theory-informed practice of both oral and written legal rhetoric: as trial counsel to Dr. Seuss characters accused, or accusing others, of wrongdoing; as appellate counsel or judges on the appeal of a medical malpractice verdict, and as legislators debating an environmental protection law. No prerequisites. Limited enrollment.
The overriding goal of the course is for you to develop a nuanced understanding of legal rhetoric through study, thinking, and informed practice. We’ll use writing and speaking to make these discoveries, so along the way, we’ll refine our communication too. To achieve this goal, we will aim for the following primary learning objectives:
To meet these primary objectives, we will help you to:
If you commit to this course, you will join a community of learners focused on developing a nuanced understanding of legal rhetoric, and you will develop skills in legal rhetoric, argument, and debate.
Last Updated: 11/1/11