Law 650 - Art and Science of Rhetoric and Advocacy
J.D. Boston College, 1982
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the mechanics of speaking, presentation and persuasion, framed by the classical principles of rhetoric. The course will feature an in-depth examination of the history of rhetoric drawing from the relevant Greek and Roman traditions, highlighting Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian. Among the areas to be addressed are; formulation of arguments, arrangement of materials, style and delivery. The class will then consider some relevant contemporary legal scholarship including the receptivity of audiences to particular arguments as well as addressing rhetorical issues in the context of two areas; client relations and dialogue with professional colleagues.
The class will also analyze and discuss a series of great speeches through history, followed by a short written analysis of one of those speeches by each of the students using the classical rhetorical framework.
The course will conclude with a series of ten-minute presentations, one by each student on a legal topic of their choice, which will be preceded by the submission of a written outline of that talk.