If lawyers won’t help non-lawyers tell their stories better, they should at least try to tell their own stories better.
My book does not purport to be the last word on the subject. (but you should still read it)
The subject of storytelling is far from an empty field, but it remains an open one.
There are many types of stories lawyers tell in their work. The most effective ones are built with the legs of Aristotle’s marvelous triangle in mind.
They are stories told to potential clients to get hired, presented to finders of fact to establish credibility, all shared, in one way or another, in the service of ethos.
There are also puzzle stories; narratives that lawyers present to convince a client, colleague, or fact finder to decide something in the lawyer’s favor, or to persuade a client to take the lawyer’s advice.
Reason— logos—is at the heart of puzzle stories.
There are lawyer stories designed to appeal to the brain and touch the heart.
If you don’t care truly, deeply, and passionately about the case, the client, or the issue, you cannot elicit those feelings in others.
Emotion in storytelling matters as much as the other two legs. It is also the one that is the most problematic.
But regardless of the type of story, the reason why lawyers tell stories never changes.
Lawyers tell stories to persuade.
What good stories have you heard a lawyer tell? Please comment.