Persuasion. That’s what we do. The job of a trial lawyer is to persuade. A judge. A jury. An arbitrator. Opposing counsel. A potential witness. It does not matter who the audience is. . . The task is always the same. With all your knowledge, experience, common sense, guile, heart and soul, you need to persuade.
So of course they teach how to persuade in law school, right? Not so much. If you want to learn about the law, go to law school. If you want to learn how to persuade, practice, practice, practice. The opportunities to practice the art of persuasion are endless. Virtually every interaction you have with another human being is an opportunity to persuade, or to be persuaded. Pay attention to the tactics and stratagems that work. Refine them. Perfect them. Rinse and repeat.
When it comes to persuading a judge or jury, it helps to be versatile. The more strategies and tactics you have in your repertoire, the better your chances of success. Just like people’s taste in music varies, so too does their taste in arguments. If you are unable to vary your presentation to suit the taste of your audience, you will occasionally suffer a disconnect with your audience. Focusing on persuasion and practicing multiple approaches to reaching your desired result is the key breaking through as a trial lawyer.