Effectiveness Requires Listening: How to Assess and Improve Listening Skills
Neil W. Hamilton
University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)
Florida Coastal Law Review, Vol. 13, Forthcoming
U of St. Thomas Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-25
This article first explores the strong empirical evidence that listening is an important skill to be effective and successful in the study and practice of law, but legal education gives little attention to helping students develop listening skills. There is a great need for the required curriculum to include educational engagements to help students develop this critical skill, but no scholarship on what engagements might be effective.
The article outlines some criteria to assess which listening exercises might be most effective. It then proposes six exercises that meet the criteria.
This article builds on my series of articles on the virtues, capacities and skills of lawyers who demonstrate high professionalism. The virtue of empathy and the closely related skill of listening are important elements of professionalism and contribute strongly to both client and senior lawyer perceptions of effectiveness in the practice of law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
Keywords: legal education, professional responsibility, professionalism, listening, empathy, attorney-client, client relations, professional formation
Date posted: August 27, 2011 ; Last revised: December 31, 2012