[Classical] Lawyers As [Digital] Public Speakers: Classical Rhetoric and Lawyer Digital Public Commentary
Stetson University College of Law Research Paper No. 2020-2
41 Pages Posted: 10 May 2020 Last revised: 23 Oct 2020
Date Written: 2020
Arguably the contexts of speaking and writing for lawyers of ancient Greece and Rome and lawyers of today could not be more different. But, classical rhetorical theory, developed 2,000 years ago for face-to-face interactions in public squares and courtrooms, can be productively applied to improve our understanding of modern lawyers’ digital communication practices. This article first argues that lawyers have an ethical responsibility to write as “citizen lawyers” and provide legal commentary in the digital public sphere. Then, applying classical rhetorical theory, this article explores the problems and possibilities of lawyers’ digital rhetoric. The article is not a handbook of rhetorical techniques; rather it offers lawyers a rhetorical perspective on public commentary in a digital environment.
Keywords: classical rhetorical theory, digital rhetoric, legal rhetoric, rhetoric, legal communication, digital communication, communication
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation