Paul L. Caron

Thursday, February 21, 2019

BYU To Host First National Storytelling Competition For Law Students

BYU (2016), BYU Law to Host First National Storytelling Competition for Law Students:

Got a good story to tell about your life and the law?

The Brigham Young University J. Rueben Clark Law School wants to hear from you. The school is launching the first-ever national storytelling competition for law students, with 10 finalists getting an all-expense-paid trip to Utah in March where they will take the stage to share their stories.

Law schools have dabbled with incorporating storytelling into their curricula or as an extracurricular activity, according to BYU law dean Gordon Smith. But he said his school’s new storytelling initiative, dubbed BYU LawStories on the Mainstage, is the most formal attempt yet to get law students to embrace storytelling as a way not only to be better lawyers, but to explore their personal relationship with the law.

“We want to get the students to connect emotionally to the law,” Smith said. “We think if they do, it will inspire them to work harder to be good lawyers.”

Most people immediately think of trial lawyers when they consider the value of storytelling in the law, but the skill translates well beyond the courtroom, Smith said. He recalled his former days as a transactional lawyer, where stories also played a part in his day-to-day work.

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