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Trial Attorneys: The Power of Practicing the Fundamentals

October 14, 2013

Michigan Bar Journal, October 2013

Professional musicians still play the scales. Major league baseball players regularly hit baseballs off tees. Yet when trial lawyers think about “practice,” we generally associate it with full rehearsals of opening and closing statements, or as scrimmages staged for mock juries and focus groups. While doing a full-blown dry run is obviously a useful exercise, there is a more elementary type of practice that is also effective—both for the novice and the seasoned trial lawyer—which involves practicing the fundamentals. Not unlike playing the scales or hitting off the tee, practicing basic phrases, techniques, and key portions of presentations will create the muscle memory that will not only polish your performance but also help you think more quickly under fire.

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