Lawyers are, above all, communicators. In your legal career, you will advocate for your clients by communicating with long, type-written documents like legal briefs and memoranda. Plan on it. But communicators need more than written words—now more than ever. The world in which you will practice communicates in a manner foreign to most lawyers, using a wide array of sensory tools geared to persuade, clarify, entertain, and enthrall. This course is designed to train you to use what may be the most important non-written tool a communicator can possess: the doctrine of visual design.
In this course, we will review:
- the principles of visual design,
- the fundamental skills of graphic design,
- the design cycle process, and
- the application of these principles to the legal practice.
This course will cover specific strategies for visualizing legal arguments and concepts, including the creation of case organization tools, argumentative graphics, and trial demonstratives. Class assignments will entail drafting and revising the types of documents that you might be asked to create in practice. We will also explore the theory and impact of visual advocacy by questioning judges and first-chair lawyers on the most valuable and persuasive use of visual design.
We expect you will learn that visual advocacy is not about making boring things look pretty. Rather, it provides a process for enhancing legal communication by improving comprehension and engagement.