As you may know, lawyers are required to continue their education through classes called MCLE’s. While some of these include pure education on the law, others are designed to help lawyers increase their communication skills so they can work towards resolution or fine tune their persuasive skills. The recent training I attended was the latter.
You may find it interesting to learn that the skills required to be a good lawyer have been passed down from Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Alexander the Great. As I was reminded in this wonderful training, the core curriculum for an attorney dates back to ancient Greece. Back then it was all about educating young men in the Trivium or “Three-Way Road” and the Quadrivium or “Four-Way Road.”
For Attorneys it is the Trivium that is of most value including: Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric. A little refresher on the basic principles of these key areas can help your lawyer to become more efficient and more effective for you.
In addition to learning about the history of Logical Persuasion this training was designed to highlight Emotional Persuasion. While you may believe that many lawyers are cold robots or hot blooded instigators, the truth is that we have the same brains you do! In this training we were asked to reflect on our own emotional responses, those of others and how to best respond to different personality types. Sometimes this is quite simple but there is actually a bit of science involved.
In many cases resolution is possible and ideal. It can save you money and help you move on with your life. To come to resolution attorneys must be able to work well together and also be sensitive to their clients. In this training we learned how to help our clients separate their emotional and personal problems with the other party from the facts and goals that are legally significant. Sometimes these overlap but remember, you hired a lawyer to help you put your best foot forward and sometimes it hurts your case to put too much attention on every problem you have ever had with the other party.
In some cases a resolution is just not possible. Still, attorneys need to have a good balance between noticing everyone’s emotions or hostilities and staying calmly focused on what they need to do to best represent you in front of the Judge. Additionally, there is still much room for compromise and agreement even when some issues must go to trial.
Thank you to Ronald S. Granberg for presenting such a thoughtful training. When local attorneys attend training like this it helps strengthen our relationships with one another and increase the level of professionalism we bring to court. This can only benefit our clients who hire us with the hope that it will reduce some of their anxiety about whatever legal issues they are facing.
-Leah S. Samuels, Senior Attorney
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