Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling Book Summary - Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling Book explained in key points
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Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling summary

Jonathan Shapiro

Using Stories to Advocate, Influence, and Persuade

3.9 (119 ratings)
13 mins

Brief summary

"Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling" by Jonathan Shapiro explores the power of storytelling in the legal profession. It provides insight into the tactics lawyers use to persuade juries, along with cautionary tales of how this power can be abused.

Table of Contents

    Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling
    Summary of 6 key ideas

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    Storytelling, though not taught in law school, is one of the most important skills a lawyer can have.

    To be an effective lawyer, you need to be able to convince a judge or jury to see things the way you see them. The best lawyers do this by crafting a compelling narrative, thereby winning over jurors and judges and helping to establish trust with their clients.

    But crafting a stellar narrative requires good storytelling skills. So, let’s look at how a lawyer can transform their case into a great story.

    Let’s start at the beginning: When a lawyer first takes a case, it is her responsibility to study, analyze and understand every piece of evidence she can get her hands on. These pieces are the building blocks of the narrative.

    The details of the evidence supply the characters, motivations, actions and conflict that form the plot and lead to a resolution.

    Furthermore, having a solid understanding of storytelling won’t just benefit the delivery of your argument in court; it can also help you acquire clients and even convince your boss to give you a promotion.

    Despite its manifest benefits, the art of storytelling gets short shrift in law schools. In fact, there isn’t one course in today’s curriculum that teaches anything about storytelling.

    Instead, students learn about legal writing and research skills – dry, technical tasks that require no creativity.

    In short, it’s usually up to the lawyers themselves to supplement their law school education and learn about the skills that will allow them to weave compelling stories.

    The blinks ahead will explore these skills, starting with a look at the genesis of the ancient art of storytelling.

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    What is Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling about?

    Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling (2016) reveals the unexpected relationship between screenwriting and the art of presenting a legal case. These are two disciplines that both rely on great storytelling skills and effective rhetoric. So with the aid of real-life examples and tips people in television and film, you’ll find out how you can use the art of storytelling to craft compelling cases that will keep the courtroom riveted.

    This is a Blinkist staff pick

    “I love all the quirks and oddities of human behavior showcased in these blinks, they make for great conversation!”

    – Ben H, Head of Editorial at Blinkist

    Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling Review

    Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling (2014) explores the power of storytelling in the legal field and why it matters. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It reveals the strategic techniques used by lawyers to shape narratives and influence juries, providing fascinating insights into the art of persuasion.
    • With real-life case studies and courtroom stories, the book offers a compelling look into the world of law, making it an interesting read for both legal professionals and non-lawyers.
    • The author's deep understanding of storytelling and the law creates a unique perspective that challenges conventional thinking and stimulates critical thought.

    Who should read Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling?

    • Lawyers looking to up their storytelling game
    • Anyone wanting to uncover how successful lawyers win cases
    • Budding public speakers interested in the art of rhetoric

    About the Author

    Jonathan Shapiro, Hollywood screenwriter, journalist and practicing attorney, is a jack of many trades. His writing credits for television include many popular legal shows such as The Blacklist, Boston Legal and The Practice.

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    Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling FAQs 

    What is the main message of Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling?

    The main message of Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling is that storytelling is a powerful tool for lawyers to win cases.

    How long does it take to read Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling?

    The reading time for Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling varies. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling is a worthwhile read. It provides valuable insights on the art of storytelling for lawyers.

    Who is the author of Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling?

    The author of Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling is Jonathan Shapiro.