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Six storytelling do’s and don’ts for lawyers (and court leaders)

Storytelling is critical to how people process information. It’s how we see and make sense of the world around us.

Only in the context of a story are facts memorable, understandable and impactful. Only with stories can we appeal to the whole person—the intuitive and emotional sides as well as the logical. To become better storytellers, lawyers need to leave the insulated world of legal practitioners and study what makes other professional storytellers—like novelists, journalists, advertisers and filmmakers—effective.

The Power of Small Gestures

The secret to showing appreciation for employees sincerity. Appreciation should involve effort: a handwritten note is better than an email, which is better than an algorithm. It should feel personal, not part of a program cooked up by the human resources department. And it should be sufficiently rare to register as meaningful; thanking everybody for everything turns gratitude into a commodity. Individual court leaders can harness the power of small gestures to make a real difference in those they lead.

Exonerations in America have risen, and their pattern is revealing

In the autumn of 2006, two teenage girls were sexually assaulted in Detroit. Within weeks, the police had their man. Terance Calhoun, a local 19-year-old, was spotted in a liquor store nearby and appeared to match the composite sketch the police had produced. He pleaded no-contest in February 2007 and was dispatched to prison. There was just one problem: he didn’t do it. A follow-up investigation in 2019 found a litany of red flags in how the case was handled, including an unrecorded police interrogation and the fact that Mr. Calhoun, who was found to be cognitively deficient, had been questioned without a lawyer present. On April 27th, after 15 years behind bars, he was exonerated.

After the Smartphone… What’s Next?

Fifteen years ago, Steve Jobs announced three new products: a music player, a mobile phone, and an internet communicator. As Apple’s then-boss gave his presentation, his audience slowly realized that the three products were in fact a single gadget: the iPhone. Cue applause, cue Apple’s renaissance, and cue a new era in technology as the smartphone overtook the desktop PC as the center of personal computing.

U.S. Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Likely to Impact the Future of Courts

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) passed by Congress and signed by the President in November 2021, provides $550 billion in new funding to rebuild core infrastructure in the US. It’s a once-in-a-generation investment in the nation’s public services that will also have a huge, long-term impact on the way courts function and deliver services to their customers in the future.

Ten lessons from the first two years of COVID-19

Two years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that COVID-19 was a pandemic. Since then, more than six million lives around the world have been lost to the disease, and daily life has been upended in countless ways. Some countries are now regaining a degree of normality, though the threat of another variant-induced wave of disease remains. On this second anniversary, we reflect on ten things the world has learned through the course of the pandemic.