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Advocating communicative confidence: empowering law students to be 'water-walkers'

McCarthy, Patricia (2006) Advocating communicative confidence: empowering law students to be 'water-walkers'. Australian Journal of Communication, 33(1), pp. 73-89.

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Abstract

This paper proposes that the secret to becoming a winning advocate is a confident communicator style (Norton, 1983; Moss Kanter, 2004). The paper explores strategies that may help a law student develop the essential communicative confidence to handle the 'Socratic Method' (Garner, 2000) and become a successful advocate. As so much of the law has to do with speaking, one such strategy is to give students an understanding of the principles of rhetoric, including the opportunity to work on the practice of their persuasive power: both verbal and non-verbal. The paper investigates a critique of the 'Socratic Method' (Garner, 2000), which dominates the tradition of the law in the western world. The question of the potential of the Socratic Method to be misogynistic (Garner, 2000) is investigated to show that Socratic teaching in legal education is a daunting prospect for many students. The case study used is an elective unit that prepares students for mooting and court work and that is currently taught at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Law School. This paper outlines aspects of the teaching approach and uses feedback from students to analyse its effectiveness in developing communicative confidence and overcoming the fear associated with Socratic courtroom processes.

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ID Code: 18870
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Communication, Legal Communication, Advocacy, Speech Communication, Rhetoric, HERN
ISSN: 0811-6202
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication and Media Studies not elsewhere classified (200199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING (190300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Australia and New Zealand Communication Association
Deposited On: 18 Mar 2009 15:58
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2014 14:57

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