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Author Topic: Public Speaking in LS  (Read 1868 times)

perezr8

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Public Speaking in LS
« on: July 02, 2009, 01:15:12 AM »
I know as a lawyer I will have to give oral arguments in court. However, I really don't have much experience in public speaking and I am not too confident in my ability. My question is how much emphasise is place on public speaking in LS. Also, are there courses that law schools offer that may help improve students specifically in this area.

As many people do, I often feel anxious when giving speeches or when speaking in front of large crowds. I wish to overcome this and become a great orator. I know that Law School may not be the best place to practice this but,I am determind to overcome this obstacle.
 

Contrary to what you may think by reading this, I am not really a shy person. As an undergrad I was "that guy" who always asked questions and gave his opinions in class. I guess since I don't know what to expect and since I don't know much about law I don't want to look like a dumbass while giving an oral arugment. I suppose the better prepared you are the less nervous you will be right?

I was wondering if there are any others who feel the same way?


observationalist

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Re: Public Speaking in LS
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2009, 02:45:54 AM »
I know as a lawyer I will have to give oral arguments in court. However, I really don't have much experience in public speaking and I am not too confident in my ability. My question is how much emphasise is place on public speaking in LS. Also, are there courses that law schools offer that may help improve students specifically in this area.

As many people do, I often feel anxious when giving speeches or when speaking in front of large crowds. I wish to overcome this and become a great orator. I know that Law School may not be the best place to practice this but,I am determind to overcome this obstacle.

I need to prove to my self that I can do this. 

Contrary to what you may think by reading this, I am not really a shy person. As an undergrad I was "that guy" who always asked questions and gave his opinions in class. I guess since I don't know what to expect and since I don't know much about law I don't want to look like a dumbass while giving an oral arugment. I suppose the better prepared you are the less nervous you will be right?

I was wondering if there are any others who feel the same way?



I'll hop on, but you will probably find much greater traffic over at toplawschools these days.  I just signed off from there after touching base with some folks and figured I'd check this one too before I call it a night.  Happened to see this on the front page and so I hopped on, but otherwise I guarantee I never would've seen this.

I started complaining about how my public speaking ability has dropped off at school somewhere in the middle of 2L year.  You basically sit in class, or read, or write for most of the time you're at school.  The exceptions at Vanderbilt would be if you're introducing speakers at lunch events or in classes where the professor accepts random participation. Contrast that with business schools, where pretty much all they do is prepare and give powerpoint presentations (I'm simplifying, but not really).  We have a colloquoy club, so you could start one of those up or join the one you have.  I would also suggest attending all the speaking events at the school, since they are fairly common.  Also, see if you can audit public speaking courses at the undergrad or other schools at the university you'll be at.  I intend on doing that this year and trying to get non-law P/F credits for it.  If not, I'll likely just audit something.

In short, yes: focusing most of your time on listening, typing and reading will mean your public speaking ability should either not improve or actually drop off.  Make a concerted effort for that not to happen, join some clubs, and you'll be fine.  Being able to introduce someone to an audience of a few hundred is a great way to build your confidence.

Also, I joined our a cappella group with no professional singing experience whatsoever, and I sing karaoke frequently.  If you really want to be comfortable speaking in front of people, embarrassing yourself repeatedly in front of crowds is a good way to do that.  G'luck.
Vanderbilt University Law School Class of '10