Harry Potter, Ruby Slippers and Merlin: Telling the Client's Story Using the Characters and Paradigm of the Archetypal Hero's Journey

38 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2006 Last revised: 21 Apr 2010

Ruth Anne Robbins

Rutgers Law School

Abstract

This article focuses on the relationship of mythology and folklore heroes to everyday lawyering decisions regarding case theory when the audience is a judge or panel of judges rather than a jury. It proposes the thesis that because people respond - instinctively and intuitively - to certain recurring story patterns and character archetypes, lawyers should systematically and deliberately integrate into their storytelling the larger picture of their clients' goals by subtly portraying their individual clients as heroes on a particular life path. This strategy is not merely a device to make the story more interesting but provides a scaffold to influence the judge at the unconscious level by providing a metaphor for universal themes of struggle and growth.

Keywords: storytelling, narrative, legal writing, clinic, client, law & literature, Harry Potter

Suggested Citation

Robbins, Ruth Anne, Harry Potter, Ruby Slippers and Merlin: Telling the Client's Story Using the Characters and Paradigm of the Archetypal Hero's Journey. Seattle University Law Review, Vol. 29, No. 4, p. 767, Fall 2006; NYLS Clinical Research Institute Paper No. 09/10 #15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=931067

Ruth Anne Robbins (Contact Author)

Rutgers Law School ( email )

NJ
United States

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