You're probably reading this because you're one of the many aspiring lawyers who want to know if public speaking is required in law school. The simple answer is yes; public speaking is required in law school. Becoming a lawyer is a tough profession, and getting there should be extraordinarily challenging.
Entering law school requires a great deal of courage and dedication to your goals. It is an excellent place for honing your public speaking, critical thinking, and reading comprehension skills.
When you ask someone how it feels to become a lawyer, they almost always compare it to a walk into Jurassic Park due to its ordeal. Others may say it is extremely difficult, while others may say it is simple. But the truth is that you cannot believe in something you have not yet experienced. Regardless of your impressions of law school, you should never be discouraged from studying the law.
You will be exposed to a range of new ideas, concepts, and activities during your time in law school. Aside from gaining a better understanding and application of the relevant laws, you will be involved in various activities that require public speaking. To give you more ideas about what these are, here are the things to expect in law school.
Things To Expect In Law School
1. Cold Calling
This is a common activity that most law professors will employ. Law school is completely different, unlike in high school, where you were told what topics would be assigned to you before you discuss them in front of the class. When your professor enters the classroom, you must be fully prepared because he will select someone to discuss the assigned materials. They'll start calling your name, asking you to explain what you've learned, and asking you questions.
On some days in law school, your professors will not use the entire period for lesson discussion. They will only do this after being assigned the extensive reading materials the following day. The class can then be dismissed.
Do you find it frightening? It is frightening, but you should not be discouraged. Always think that your professors are acting in your best interests. Do not see it as a punishment but rather as a guide to the right path in your career. You simply must be fully prepared the night before the class begins. It will be difficult at first, but trust me when I say that it will get a lot easier day by day!
2. Oral Arguments
This is yet another difficult but interesting activity in law school. If you've seen how lawyers argue in court in television portrayals, now's your chance to do it in front of your professor. While you will not personally appear before a judge, this activity will prepare you for how it feels to present to a judge.
You will be given a problem to solve. Your task will be to present your argument in front of a panel of community judges. The goal of this activity is to practice speaking with confidence, authority, and persuasion!
The difficulty of oral arguments should never discourage you from continuing; this is an excellent opportunity to practice arguing without feeling pressed. Furthermore, oral arguments will teach you how to think quickly on the spot.
The benefits of oral arguments do not only end in law school, but it helps you in many ways. Your life will be radically easier when you can think quickly and reasonably.
3. Extracurricular Activities
Students in law will be encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities such as a mock trial, moot court, and law review. The mock trial and moot court require a great deal of public speaking.
Students will be assigned to groups to write a problem and present it in opening arguments, cross-examination, eliciting witness testimony, and closing statements during the mock trial. Doing a mock trial can be similar to the job of a litigation lawyer, where public speaking is a daily occurrence. It also provides students with a broad understanding of trial procedures!
Students will have the opportunity to improve their writing and research skills through a moot court. They will be given problems to solve and will be required to write briefs on them. They will present their arguments and oral advocacy in front of a panel of peers, including answering questions and providing rebuttals. The team deemed to have the strongest students for the competitions will represent the school in international and national moot court competitions.
4. Public Speaking In Law School Clinics
This activity will occur during your second and third years of law school. Students will be chosen to participate in law school clinics to interact with real clients who have real cases and conflicts. Don't be afraid; your professor will be with you every step of the way to ensure that nothing goes wrong.
This is, without a doubt, one of the most effective ways for a law student to gain confidence in providing legal advice and developing relationships with real clients. This activity will undoubtedly give you a taste of how a lawyer handles cases. Public Speaking In Law School Clinics may be one of the challenging things to expect in law school, but the satisfying feeling once you know you helped someone is absolutely priceless!
5. Socratic Method In Oral Recitations
Oral recitations should not be overlooked when discussing what to expect in law school. In conducting oral recitations, law schools have developed the Socratic Method. They will ask specific students to provide a brief background of the case.
They will ask numerous questions to ensure that the student understands what he or she is talking about. Whether your initial response is correct or incorrect, the professor will not stop questioning you until he is satisfied that you understand the lesson.
This activity is tough because you will be speaking inside the classroom, and every response you enunciate will affect your grade. The Socratic Method in oral recitations will help you develop your ability to thoroughly understand the issues and lessons assigned to you and your litigation and critical thinking skills.
This is just another activity that should not discourage you from pursuing your dreams of becoming a lawyer and understanding the law. Always keep in mind that law school is your future training ground!
Should I Go To Law School If I Hate Public Speaking?
Absolutely, yes! You should not continue to despise public speaking, especially if it is crucial to achieving your goals. Law schools do not exist to punish you; rather, they exist to test your patience and determination in overcoming your aversion to public speaking.
Regardless of what you like or dislike, you can always enter law school if you are determined enough to overcome the obstacles. Suppose you despise public speaking but want to go to law school. In that case, you have two choices: abandon your ambitions or enroll in law school to overcome the challenges.
When you first start law school, you should believe that it is the ideal environment to love public speaking. Although not all lawyers are required to speak in court, your aversion to public speaking can seriously hinder your success in law school.
You will be under constant pressure, and you will have little to no chance of understanding legal principles and concepts. Also, if you despise public speaking, you may develop anxiety in law school. It becomes difficult for you to engage with classmates, professors, and substantive material. Remember, everything you see in law school can help you; don't be discouraged by their worth!
Overcome Your Public Speaking Anxiety!
This article neither undermines nor invalidates your speaking anxiety, we do acknowledge that you have valid reasons as to why you do not like public speaking. But if public speaking discourages you from entering law school, here are effective ways for you to overcome it!
1. Mindful Approach
Being mindful entails being aware of your thoughts but not sitting with them. What does this imply? It is always appropriate to admit that you have public speaking anxiety rather than pretend it does not exist. It takes time to let go of your anxiety and recognizing it is the first step.
You can be mindful of your public speaking anxiety by looking at possible historical causes; recognizing and observing response mechanisms when speaking in public, whether physical or mental; thinking of new strategic approaches that could allow you to appropriately respond to what triggers your anxiety, and encouraging yourself to speak in public by developing a plan where you can have exposure opportunities.
2. Let Go Of The Root Causes Of Your Public Speaking Anxiety
After reflecting on and being mindful of your public speaking anxiety, it's time to let it go as you begin law school. You must first identify the underlying causes of your anxiety and motivate yourself that they no longer apply to you during your adolescence and early adulthood.
If a person fears public speaking, it can be due to previous experience. You must accept that your life has changed and that it is never wrong to let go of what causes you anxiety. Why would you let these things prevent you from pursuing your dreams? Let go of whatever causes your anxiety in public speaking, whether environmental factors or a single event.
3. Observe How You Respond In Public Speaking Scenarios
When you observe your response mechanism in various public speaking scenarios, you will better understand yourself. You should be aware of the nature of these responses and always keep in mind that they are not permanent.
For example, if you notice your knees shaking while speaking in public, pay attention to it and consider what you can do to reduce or eliminate it. Getting rid of them completely does not happen on your next public speaking engagement. As a result, you must be patient and remember that they are not permanent, even if it will take a long time to get rid of them completely. You can gradually get rid of them by minimizing them whenever you have a public speaking activity.
4. Acquire Public Speaking Skills
Public Speaking is not a skill that only the gifted possess, nor is it a skill that is inborn. Public speaking can be learned with the right amount of practice and knowledge regarding the tools and techniques of the craft.
Why not learn about other individuals who honed their speaking skills despite fear of public speaking? Or yet, learn about the art of public speaking in order to deliver a powerful closing argument for the entire court to hear. Amazon has a top-shelf collection of books that can help. The more proficient you are in speaking, the more confidence you will have.
Entering law school is extremely difficult, but you can effectively address all of the challenges with enough patience and determination. Aside from having good critical thinking skills, you should also be aware of effective methods for overcoming public speaking anxiety.
Public speaking is very important in law school. If you can develop it effectively, it can bring you many benefits throughout your entire law school experience. Always keep an eye on everything, including yourself.
Remember that acknowledging yourself is the first step toward overcoming your public speaking phobia. The article 'Public Speaking: Inborn Talent or Skill' will help you understand that public speaking is not an inborn talent, but rather a skill. Hence, everybody can be an effective public speaker!
For more resources to develop your public speaking skills while you are in the comforts of your own home, please check out the article ‘Online Resources for Public Speaking'.