Lawyering and Social Intelligence


Course Code:
LAW 639
Law Mandatory P/R/F


Building a successful legal career or practice involves both technical expertise as well as relational skills. Becoming a trusted advisor or effective advocate is essentially an interpersonal process that relies upon social and emotional skills, such as listening in ways that gain client trust and engagement or delivering tough messages in ways that reduce defensiveness and increase mutual problem solving. These skills can be learned. Unlike conceptual knowledge, they are acquired through practicing new behaviors that expand skills or undo old habits. Adult learning is strengthened through experiencing the concept in action, reflecting upon the experience and practicing it. I will construct such exercises for use in class as well as in workgroups outside of class. This course will introduce students to simple frameworks that raise awareness and understanding of social intelligence and expose them to a process of learning they can employ in their everyday interactions for continued growth and development.nSpecial Instructions: This course develops student skills and not simply conceptual knowledge. Learning will come from consistent class attendance and a willingness to participate actively – not only in occasional role plays but primarily as one's self, practicing new behaviors that build skill sets. Written assignments will be brief weekly reflections on personal learning. Since I will establish workgroups following the first day of class, all students who are interested in taking this course (whether enrolled or on the wait-list) need to be present for the first class. (Students who are not present will be dropped from the class or waiting list unless they have made previous arrangements with the professor.) Add-drop decisions need to be made at the conclusion of the first class; no drops will be permitted thereafter as learning will depend upon intact workgroups throughout the quarter. Once you commit to the class, you must complete it or receive a failing grade. Exceptions to this rule will be made by petition only. nElements used in grading: Class participation, attendance, written assignments.

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