Main Image

About the Book

Your Client’s Story: Persuasive Legal Writing

Ruth Anne Robbins
Rutgers University School of Law–Camden

Steve Johansen
Lewis and Clark Law School

Ken Chestek
University of Wyoming College of Law

2012. Approx. 375 pages.  ISBN: 978-1-4548-0548-9.
With Teacher’s Manual.

About the Book

Unlike most document-centric first-year legal writing texts,  Your Client’s Story: Persuasive Legal Writing centers on the client, with a focus on ways to persuade the reader to grant the relief each client seeks. Organized to reflect the process, the text begins with meeting the client, moves to investigating the facts, and then provides guidance on analyzing and choosing the appropriate persuasive strategy. The material is rooted in concepts of brain science and cognitive psychology¯in an easy-to-read, conversational style¯and shows how classical rhetoric and modern persuasion theory provide the foundation for memorable legal writing. Persuasion and argument presentation cover both the trial and appellate levels. By focusing on the process of persuasion, Your Client’s Story: Persuasive Legal Writing creates strong connections between the first year objectives and the upper level skills and clinic courses.  Editable versions of the sample briefs appear in the appendices, so that professors can tailor to individual needs. 

The authors are all distinguished former Presidents of The Legal Writing Institute and have published significant articles about persuasive techniques in legal writing. Robbins and Johansen co-organize the Applied Legal Storytelling conferences, and Robbins is co-Editor-in-Chief of Legal Communications and Rhetoric: JALWD.

Features of Your Client’s Story: Persuasive Legal Writing:
  • client-centered¯rather than document-centric¯focusing on ways to persuade the reader to grant the relief each client seeks
  • organized to reflect the process
o meeting the client
o investigating the facts
o analyzing and choosing appropriate persuasive strategies
  • rooted in concepts of brain science and cognitive psychology, made accessible to first-year law students
  • engages classical rhetoric and modern persuasion theory as a foundation
  • conversational tone
  • covers persuasion and argument presentation at both the trial and appellate levels
  • creates strong connections between first year course objective and upper level skill-building curriculum
  • editable versions of sample briefs in the appendices, for professors to tailor as needed
  • stellar authors
o All are former Presidents of The Legal Writing Institute. 
o All have published significant articles on persuasive techniques in legal writing.
o Professor Robins is Editor-in-Chief of Legal Communications and Rhetoric: JALWD.
o Professors Robbins and Johansen co-organize Applied Legal Storytelling conferences. 
o Professor Chestek is Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Written Advocacy at the University of Wyoming College of Law.