A new book, Law and Rhetoric: A Primer, co-authored by law professor Julie Oseid proposes that rhetoric, a technique used by authors and public speakers to persuade readers and listeners, should also be embraced by law students and lawyers. The book shares persuasive techniques drawn from classical rhetoric and contemporary rhetorical theories relating to argumentation, metaphor, analogy and storytelling, and applies them to current legal problems.
Oseid, who has published articles and presented about the use of storytelling in law for many years, contributed a chapter to the new book on the topic of narrative. She previously wrote a book about the writing styles of American presidents, Communicators-in-Chief: Lessons in Persuasion from Five Eloquent American Presidents.
“We hope that attorneys and students in advanced legal writing courses and advanced rhetoric courses will use the book to better understand how the disciplines of rhetoric and law are intertwined,” Oseid said. “My favorite part of writing my chapter was finding examples of the law-rhetoric connection in judicial opinions, jury instructions and other legal documents. My personal hope is that the examples I included will spark creativity in lawyers.”
Additional authors for Law and Rhetoric: A Primer include Delia B. Conti, Linda L. Berger, Michael J. Cedrone, Mark A. Hannah and Melissa E. Love Koenig. The book was published by Carolina Academic Press.