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Putting Storytelling into Practice: Narrativity in Five Sections of a Brief

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Document pages: 20 pages

Abstract: The rhetoric of visualization is critical to client-centered legal practice. Visualization through storytelling connects all subject areas in the law, and extends far beyond the law to disciplines as varied as cognitive studies, brain science, and rhetoric and persuasion. Visual rhetoric is a growing topic of discussion and scholarship in the legal writing academy, as scholars and practitioners explore the potential of images as cognitive, communicative, and persuasive devices. Narrativity and storytelling skills are critical to client-centered legal practice. Storytelling connects all subject areas in the law, and extends far beyond the law to disciplines as varied as cognitive studies, brain science, and rhetoric and persuasion. Lawyers use stories as framing devices, organizational schema, and persuasive rhetorical methods to communicate the context and meaning of a client’s situation and to improve the communication, reception, and understanding of legal argument with a given audience. Most legal writing and advocacy study has focused on the facts section for narrativity and storytelling. This summary presentation of a work in progress will examine the use of client-centered narrative reasoning in five sections of legal briefs: questions presented; introduction or summary of the argument; statement of facts or statement of the case; explanation sections of the argument; and application sections of the argument.

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