Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Law & Film. Legal Skills. Practice of law and the legal profession


Kelly Lynn Anders
Advocacy to zealousness: learning lawyering skills from classic films
Carolina Academic Press, Durham, N.C., 2012, xviii + 218 pp.
ISBN: 9781594607981

Advocacy to Zealousness: Learning Lawyering Skills from Classic Films includes 26 skills, listed in alphabetical order and appearing in separate chapters, which should ideally be in every lawyer s toolbox. Each is an example of professionalism, and all are possible for every current or future lawyer to attain or sharpen. They also speak to our needs in the legal profession in the new millennium. Interspersed throughout the text are subtle references to diversity, both in the practice of law, as well as in various film references and storylines.
Each chapter includes a discussion of the skill and its use for lawyers, a synopsis of the film associated with the skill, film discussion questions, and brief exercises for improvement. The format encourages readers to either methodically review each chapter in alphabetical order, or skip around as needs and interests dictate. The book concludes with a comprehensive index.
Images, be they positive or negative, are powerful and long lasting. Those found in popular films are often our only points of reference until we meet the real thing -- or assume the role ourselves. Many professors already use film clips in their classes, but, until Advocacy to Zealousness, there was no singular point of reference for films selected solely for the purpose of fostering and sharpening lawyering skills Legal skills training needn’t be dry or cumbersome. With creativity and planning, it can instead be educational, memorable, and enjoyable -while also remaining comprehensive and relevant- thereby enhancing the practice of law and the legal profession as a whole.
Anders spent more than three years sharpening the list of lawyering skills, and she researched and analyzed 327 films to select the 26 that are included in the book. Every film selected was released before the adoption of the modern film rating system in 1968, which facilitates showing them in a variety of classroom settings because they lack the expletives, nudity, and graphic violence frequently found in modern films. Additionally, each film is available in DVD format, and most feature diverse characters in leading or supporting roles.

Contents
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xiii
1 • The Skill of Advocacy 3
Advocacy in Action: Anatomy of a Murder 5
Film Discussion Questions 8
Exercises for Improvement 9
2 • The Skill of Balance 11
Benefitting from Balance: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit 14
Film Discussion Questions 16
Exercises for Improvement 17
3 • The Skill of Compassion 19
Conveying Compassion: To Kill a Mockingbird 21
Film Discussion Questions 24
Exercises for Improvement 25
4 • The Skill of Dependability 27
Demonstrating Dependability: Pinky 29
Film Discussion Questions 32
Exercises for Improvement 33
5 • The Skill of Empathy 35
Empathy Exemplified: Gentleman’s Agreement 37
Film Discussion Questions 40
Exercises for Improvement 41
6 • The Skill of Flexibility 43
Focusing on Flexibility: The Talk of the Town 44
Film Discussion Questions 48
Exercises for Improvement 49
7 • The Skill of Guidance 51
Giving and Getting Guidance: The Bachelor and
the Bobby-Soxer 53
Film Discussion Questions 56
Exercises for Improvement 57
8 • The Skill of Honesty 59
Honesty in Hiding: The Fortune Cookie 61
Film Discussion Questions 63
Exercises for Improvement 64
9 • The Skill of Investigation 65
Incorrect Investigation: The Wrong Man 68
Film Discussion Questions 70
Exercises for Improvement 71
10 • The Skill of Judgment 73
Judges and Judgments on Trial: Judgment at Nuremberg 75
Film Discussion Questions 77
Exercises for Improvement 78
11 • The Skill of a Keen Sense of Timing 79
Timing Atwitter: Witness for the Prosecution 82
Film Discussion Questions 84
Exercises for Improvement 85
12 • The Skill of Loyalty 87
Misaligned Loyalties: The Paradine Case 89
Film Discussion Questions 91
Exercises for Improvement 92
13 • The Skill of Marketing 93
Marketing in Motion: Salesman 96
Film Discussion Questions 98
Exercises for Improvement 99
14 • The Skill of Negotiation 101
Negotiation in a Nutshell: 12 Angry Men 104
Film Discussion Questions 106
Exercises for Improvement 107
15 • The Skill of Organization 109
Occupational Organization: Desk Set 113
Film Discussion Questions 115
Exercises for Improvement 116
16 • The Skill of Persuasion 117
Perilous Persuasion: A Face in the Crowd 120
Film Discussion Questions 122
Exercises for Improvement 123
17 • The Skill of Questioning 125
A Questionable Quandary: Inherit the Wind 128
Film Discussion Questions 130
Exercises for Improvement 131
18 • The Skill of Responsibility 133
Enriching Responsibility: The Man Who Shot
Liberty Valance 135
Film Discussion Questions 137
Exercises for Improvement 138
19 • The Skill of Sincerity 139
Successful Sincerity: Executive Suite 141
Film Discussion Questions 143
Exercises for Improvement 144
20 • The Skill of Tact 145
Taking on Tact: Sweet Smell of Success 148
Film Discussion Questions 150
Exercises for Improvement 151
21 • The Skill of Universal Etiquette 153
Universal Etiquette in Training: Born Yesterday 156
Film Discussion Questions 158
Exercises for Improvement 159
22 • The Skill of Versatility 161
Veritable Versatility: All the King’s Men 163
Film Discussion Questions 165
Exercises for Improvement 166
23 • The Skill of Willpower 167
Wayward Willpower: Days of Wine and Roses 170
Film Discussion Questions 172
Exercises for Improvement 173
24 • The Skill of X-Ray Vision 175
X-Ray Vision Examined: Compulsion 177
Film Discussion Questions 180
Exercises for Improvement 181
25 • The Skill of Yielding to Authority 183
A Bountiful Yielding to Authority: Blackboard Jungle 186
Film Discussion Questions 189
Exercises for Improvement 190
26 • The Skill of Zealousness 191
The Zenith of Zealousness: Adam’s Rib 194
Film Discussion Questions 196
Exercises for Improvement 197
Index 199

Kelly Lynn Anders is an associate professor at Savannah Law School. She has taught courses at the Art Institute of Colorado, University of Denver College of Law, McGeorge Law School, Washburn University School of Law, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Creighton University School of Law. Before beginning her career in law, Anders was a journalist and film reviewer for the Omaha World-Herald. Her research focuses on social media ethics, professionalism, and film theory.

XXX---XXX
Luego de que a los pedagogos se les llenara la boca entera con infantiles apelaciones a 'competencias y habilidades' como panacea de la reforma de estudios universitarios, y no pareciendo que su apelación al universal remedio haya tenido demasiada acogida, recogo aquí un ejemplo significativo de cómo hacer las cosas con menos prosa poética y más contacto con la realidad, que es un sano pragmatismo al que no conviene recnunciar por principio.
Book Review de Paul Bergman (University of California School of Law) disponible en:

J.C.G.

No comments: