ABA Journal


39 ABA Journal Storytelling articles.

Litigation is no laughing matter to your clients

Humor is the lubricant that enables us to slide through the obstacles life places in our way. That's why we say: "If I didn't laugh, I'd cry."

How social emotions can influence jury deliberations

I am driving to the law school where I work, listening to Sirius radio. The Bridge plays music from the 1960s and '70s. Carly Simon sings "You're so vain. I…

How trials are more like plot-driven movies than character-driven novels

Character is crucial in most popular storytelling practices. Most especially, it is at the core of the modern novel. The late literary critic and novelist John Gardner observed that at…

Savvy trial lawyers create sensory experiences to help jurors perceive witnesses’ stories

Last summer I attended an intensive, weeklong postgraduate writing workshop at Vermont College for Fine Arts given by the novelist and memoirist Andre Dubus III (House of Sand and Fog

Going beyond the evidence to spin a story for your jury

Trial storytelling is often highly creative and innovative. It is filled with aesthetic danger and strategic risk-taking—as are all forms of narrative art. But there is far more at stake…

How lawyers can craft a case narrative to spark jurists’ and jurors’ interest

Peter Brooks, the esteemed narrative theorist, tells an anecdote about a brilliant graduate student in his advanced narrative theory seminar at Yale.

Shaping Your Legal Storytelling

I've taught at five law schools for almost 30 years now. Here's one takeaway from the experience: Law schools tip the storytelling practitioner's factually complex, often indeterminate and ambiguous world…

Stealing stories from the movies