Finding Your Voice in Law School: Mastering Classroom Cold Calls, Job Interviews, and Other Verbal Challenges


Molly Bishop Shadel (Author)



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Drawn from interviews with students and attorneys from leading law schools and firms, Finding Your Voice in Law School delivers winning strategies for succeeding in law school and beyond.

Many college graduates aren’t prepared for the new challenges they will face in law school. Intense classroom discussion, mock trials and moot courts, learning the language of law, and impressing potential employers in a range of interview situations—it sounds intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Finding Your Voice in Law School offers a step-by-step guide to the most difficult tests you will confront as a law student, from making a speech in front of a room full of lawyers to arguing before a judge and jury. Author Molly Shadel, a former Justice Department attorney and Columbia law graduate who now teaches advocacy at the University of Virginia School of Law, also explains how to lay a strong foundation for your professional reputation.

Communicating effectively—with professors, at social gatherings, with supervisors and colleagues at summer jobs, and as a leader of a student organization—can have a lasting impact on your legal career. Building the skills (and attitude) you need to shine among a sea of qualified students has never been more important. Finding Your Voice in Law School shows what it takes to become the lawyer you want to be.

“Law school—with its emphasis on classroom discussion and public speaking—can be intimidating. This useful and highly readable book demystifies the law school experience by giving concrete guidance on answering questions in class, mock trials and moot courts, what to say during a job interview, and how to interact with professors and legal professionals. It will not only help you be a better law student, it will help you become a better lawyer.” — David M. Schizer, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law and the Harvey R. Miller Professor of Law and Economics at Columbia Law School

“From preparing effectively for class, to succeeding in mock trial and moot court, to making persuasive presentations, to shining at job interviews, Finding Your Voice in Law School provides step-by-step guidance on how to be a better speaker (and, in turn, a better student) in a whole range of contexts. Professor Shadel not only shows students how to be skillful communicators, but she also inspires them to have the confidence in themselves necessary to excel. With sound advice, easy-to-understand anecdotes, and insightful tips, the book is a gem. If you’re a law student or planning to go to law school—whether a natural public speaker or someone horrified at the thought of it—this book is for you.” — Austen Parrish, Interim Dean and Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School

“There are many books about the written side of law school, but this is the first to stress the myriad ways in which getting the most out of the law school experience requires mastering a range of in-class and out-of-class oral skills. Although focused on the law student who wishes to excel in classroom performance, moot court, interviews, and many other oral experiences, it will serve as a valuable guide for the new and not-so-new practitioner as well.” — Frederick Schauer, David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia, and author of Thinking Like a Lawyer

“This is a book that all incoming law students should read. And if they want to get (and keep) the best possible jobs, they should read it again before their interviews start.” — Kevin M. Donovan, Senior Assistant Dean for Career Services, University of Virginia School of Law


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