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Course Details

Public Speaking for Lawyers (Kiley)

Spring 2024   LAW 553-001  

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Sean Kiley

Lecturer in Law

Additional Information
Experiential Course


Skills Training
Drafting Legal Documents
Other Professional Skills:

100% Participation,
Other (Participation will include the completion of regular drafting assignments. )

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement



Class meets in person.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- Class sessions are regularly recorded. I will make these recordings routinely available on the course site to everyone in the class.

- I will make PowerPoint slides or other class materials routinely available on the course site to everyone in the class.

- When you are better, please make an appointment to meet with me and I will review/answer questions about what you missed.

Meeting Times/Location
TR 10:30AM - 11:30AM
Silverman Hall M28



Lawyers are communicators. And oral communication is a required skill, no matter the context in which the lawyer practices. But what does it take to create clear and compelling content? And what does it mean to deliver your ideas with confidence and conviction?

This course takes an interdisciplinary, hands-on approach to teaching oral communication and presentation skills. We investigate what we know about the way people take in information, learn and make decisions. We put our answers to use by designing and delivering effective presentations.

Classes will consist of lectures and seminars, as well as workshops where students will practice what they have learned in presentations, exercises, and small group activities. Course material will draw from a variety of fields including communication science, rhetoric, storytelling, visual communication, and theater. Presentations will involve a variety of settings in which students will address non-lawyer audiences.

Class attendance is essential. The direct goal of this course is to improve students’ oral presentations skills. But the methods and tools used in this course will improve communication in other contexts, including written and informal speaking.

Course Concentrations

Skills Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of the individual course skill; Demonstrate the ability to receive and implement feedback; Demonstrate an understanding of how and when the individual course skill is employed in practice.


"Better Presentations A Guide for Scholars, Researchers, and Wonks"" by Jonathan Schwabish
Edition: November 2016
Publisher: Columbia Univ Press, 2006
ISBN: 9780231175210

"If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: " by Alda, Alan
Edition: 2017
Publisher: Random
ISBN: 9780812989151

"Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Take Hold and Others Come Unstuck" by Heath, Chip
Edition: 2010
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781400064281

"The Articulate Advocate: Persuasive Skills for Lawyers in Trials, Appeals, Arbitrations, and Motions" by Marsha Hunter, Brian Johnson, Jami McKeon
Edition: Second edition (2016)
Publisher: Crown Business
ISBN: 9781939506030

"The Political Speechwriter's Companion A Guide for Writers and Speakers" by Robert A. Lehrman - American University, USA Eric Schnure -
Publisher: Sage
ISBN: 9781506387741

"Tongue-Tied America: Reviving the Art of Verbal Persuasion" " by Robert Sayler, Molly Bish
Edition: Third edition
Publisher: Aspen Pub
ISBN: 9781543802696