Anticipated Application (Well, Observance) of Rhetorical Strategies

As I’ve seen from the client projects I’ve completed in PWR courses and working on various projects as a CUPID associate, the knowledge I’ve accumulated about professional writing and rhetoric through these experiences directly applies to a variety of situations. Therefore, I am expecting to not only see it applied and apply it myself when given the opportunity while shadowing attorneys this summer.

Law is one of the first and most obvious fields where rhetoric was and is practiced, especially in its traditional form. The persuasive techniques that are involved in lawyering are undeniable and inevitably constitute an application of Aristotle’s means of persuasion that I’ve grown especially comfortable with over the past few months. Between persuading their clients of their credibility in order to establish a trusting relationship and persuading a judge or jury that their arguments are true or that their opponents’ arguments are not, rhetoric is the string that ties all aspects of law together.

What I am particularly looking forward to is witnessing the use of these techniques in a variety of disciplines of law and the ways that people have incorporated their interests and knowledge into their work as attorneys. Throughout my shadowing experience, I will be exposed to patent attorneys, real estate attorneys, securities attorneys, and family law attorneys. Just as Robin Whitsell combined her love of science and writing in her career, these people have assumedly done the same thing in combining their love of the law (and potentially writing) and various disciplines of business or sociology or human services. I’m looking forward to hearing about their experiences in order to gain perspective on how one day I will decide which subcategory of law I am most interested in or perhaps already have more knowledge of than others, though I might not know it yet.

Considering I will only be shadowing the attorneys and therefore assume I will only be acting as a passive observer, I will probably not have many opportunities to apply rhetorical strategies to the situations I come across. I will however need to make a good impression on every one I meet and form positive relationships with them so if one day I would like to be considered for a position at one of their firms, they will have prior knowledge of my ethos and good character and will be swayed toward providing me with opportunities for employment.

I may not be applying the skills I’ve acquired working as a CUPID associate and taking PWR courses as directly as some of my peers who have more hands-on internships this summer, but I am still looking forward to being able to identify the application of rhetorical strategies and will be making mental notes of what skills will allow me to be as successful in the future as some of the people I am going to meet.


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