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How to Hone Your Persuasion Techniques and Tactics

From memos to moot court, law school students are trained in the art of persuasion. Unfortunately, much of that art goes to seed upon graduation, or is reserved only for the biggest case filings or court appearances. While some attorneys will find the argument in anything, many more lawyers think the only time they need to be persuasive is in front of a judge or jury.

As it turns out, you may need your powers of persuasion in your everyday practice, and there are ways to be more effective in your interactions with clients, opposing counsel, judges, mediators, arbitrators, regulators, and others and therefore be more successful in your legal practice. Here’s how.

Try to See It My Way

There are simple things we can do every day to be more persuasive attorneys. Picking our battles (before they choose us), listening to the other party (whether it be your client or opposing counsel), and searching for common ground (even if it is not immediately recognizable) are all valuable lessons to carry into our legal practice. One of the best ways to perfect these techniques is to employ them in every interaction we have. Waiting until the lights and the pressure are on virtually guarantees that you won’t be ready in that moment.

And who better to teach which persuasive techniques are effective than someone whom others are constantly trying to persuade? Say, a California Supreme Court Justice? Lucky for you, Justice Ming Chin will be leading an interactive program designed to provide attorneys valuable persuasive techniques and tactics, provided by The Rutter Group. (Disclosure: The Rutter Group is FindLaw’s sister company.)

We Can Work It Out

Perhaps titled after the Beatles’ 1965 classic, “Try to See It My Way: Persuasion Techniques for Lawyers” is the first program in The Rutter Group’s series “designed to arm lawyers at all levels of practice with the knowledge and skills needed to steer clear of rough waters.” Justice Chin will moderate a panel made up of William E. Wegner of Davies Wegner Law & Brown Wegner McNamara LLP, Perlette M. Jura of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and Loyola Law School Clinical Professor Robert D. Brain.

The panel will be discussing persuasion at trial, in negotiation, and on paper (in the form of motions and briefs), as well as techniques for persuading regulators, city council members, and other non-lawyer decision makers. The interactive program will be live in San Francisco on June 15 and in Los Angeles on June 22, and participants will receive three hours of CA MCLE and have the option to purchase related The Rutter Group’s California Practice Guide: Civil Trials and Evidence and Practice Guide: Federal Civil Trials and Evidence at half price. California practitioners looking to up their persuasive game can enroll here.

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