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A lawyer’s ability to listen, understand, and respond appropriately and effectively with clients, colleagues, judges, witnesses, and opposing counsel is an important skill. And listening is a crucial element of the Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4 requirement to communicate and reasonably consult with clients about their cases. Though listening is necessary for most legal work, lawyers are rarely taught how to do it well. There are exceptions: trial lawyers are taught to listen to interrupt (e.g., objections) and to listen to respond (e.g., oral argument), but trial work is only a small slice of most lawyers’ time—even for litigators.
The legal profession tends to mix response-focused listening – get ready to interrupt! – with different interactions involving clients, colleagues, judges, witnesses, and opposing counsel. But listening strategically involves much more than preparing to interrupt or respond. This program will teach lawyers how to incorporate strategic listening into their practices.
Why you should participate
This program is an engaging experience to help lawyers improve their strategic listening skills. The focus is on the most common listening contexts lawyers encounter (other than trial procedure): client conversations, opposing counsel negotiations, and shared casework with colleagues. The program will highlight the concrete actions attorneys should take for strategic listening without sacrificing zealous advocacy and credibility assessments.
What You Will Learn
After completing the program, participants will be able to:
- Describe why strategic listening is important for lawyers to learn and master.
- List and explain the benefits of strategic listening for lawyers.
- Describe the fundamental aspects of strategic listening for lawyers.
- List and explain the three modes of strategic listening for lawyers:
- Listening to Discover
- Listening to Partner
- Listening to Advocate
- Describe the downside of interrupting during Listening to Discover mode.
- Explain how a lawyer must balance the three listening modes while managing interactions with clients, colleagues, judges, witnesses, and opposing counsel.
Who Should Attend
This program is intended for lawyers who are interested in learning to listen, understand, and respond appropriately and effectively with clients, colleagues, judges, witnesses, and opposing counsel, and any others they interact with in the course of their legal work.