Dr. King, Bull Connor, and Persuasive Narratives

15 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2008

See all articles by Shaun B. Spencer

Shaun B. Spencer

University of Massachusetts School of Law - Dartmouth


This article describes an in-class exercise that illustrates the use of persuasive narrative techniques in a U.S. Supreme Court decision. The article first describes the background to the Supreme Court's decision in Walker v. City of Birmingham. Next, the article examines persuasive narrative techniques through the lens of an in-class exercise in which students identify the Justices' narrative devices and consider how those devices preview the Justices' legal arguments. Finally, the article describes why the Walker case and the exercise are valuable not only to teach persuasive narratives, but also to raise broader issues of lawyering and social justice.

Keywords: persuasion, narrative, persuasive narrative

Suggested Citation

Spencer, Shaun B., Dr. King, Bull Connor, and Persuasive Narratives. Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors, Vol. 2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1089671

Shaun B. Spencer (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts School of Law - Dartmouth ( email )

333 Faunce Corner Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747-1252
United States
508-985-1192 (Phone)

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