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Friday, October 21, 2011

A Storytelling Resource

As we all know, storytelling is an important part of good trial advocacy. In future posts, I intend to explore more thoroughly how to teach good storytelling to advocates. I feel this is an area in which we often fall short; I've long been frustrated with the standard "this case is about ________" formula we use so often in classes and at competitions. There's far more to good storytelling than a bumper sticker theme.

Recently, I was inspired by one of my trial ad students. Wanting to improve his advocacy skills, he enrolled in a Storytelling and Oral Tradition course at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He loved the course and felt that it helped him immensely. I am planning to reach out to the Speech Communication Department at the school to see what collaborative opportunities we might be able to develop with this course; the opportunity for cross-campus collaboration is one of the real advantages of teaching at a law school on the campus of a comprehensive research university.

But in the meantime, after reading an article in an in-flight magazine on a recent trip, I've learned about and become enamored with The Moth, a storytelling program that works on developing and preserving the great American tradition of storytelling. Their website is http://themoth.org/. You can download podcasts of stories or even stream some of them live. Their website is a marvelous resource. On top of that, the stories are exceptional. I highly recommend going to the site and listening to a few stories. You won't regret it.

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