Cogent Legal

Improv for Attorneys: Theater-Based Skills for More Confidence, Quick Thinking and Creative Problem-Solving

I recently looked utterly ridiculous on stage in front of an audience of several dozen people. In the midst of an improv exercise called “Yes, let’s!” someone shouted, “Let’s climb a mountain!” On stage with no props, I reached skyward and lifted my legs to mime rock climbing. Then someone else shouted, “Let’s wash the dishes!” and I switched to acting as though I were standing in front a sink while scrubbing and rinsing.

You’re probably wondering what on earth this has to do with being a trial lawyer. I wondered at first, too, until I began to realize how effective these theater-based exercises can be in promoting characteristics that help attorneys and other professionals achieve success, including:

  • confidence
  • quick and innovative thinking
  • nimble and nuanced responses
  • creative troubleshooting
  • careful listening
  • the ability to recover from mistakes.

This post shares some of the main ideas and exercises I learned in this fun and thought-provoking workshop. (more…)

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