How To Argue Like a Lawyer

A persuasive statement backed by reasons constitutes an argument, and logic forms the foundation of all arguments.

In various fields, from English literature to nuclear physics, arguments are present.

Legal arguments, a specialized form, involve conclusions supported by laws and encompass ethical, religious, economic, and political motives.

A legal argument’s elements include facts, issues, rules, analysis, and conclusions (FIRAC), which are also essential for constructing a brief.

Building a compelling case requires practical tactics beyond formal legal education.

How to argue like a lawyer/ attorney
How to argue like a lawyer/ an attorney: Photo source (Lawyers.com)

9 Tips to Think, Win and Argue Like a Good Lawyer

Identify the problem and do not stray from it

Identify and adhere to the central point under discussion to help you think and argue like a lawyer.

When challenges arise to our beliefs, our natural inclination is to safeguard them by presenting all possible evidence.

Your mind can generate diverse, unrelated alternatives to support your argument, especially in contentious issues like immigration detention centers, people smuggling, human rights, climate change, environmental challenges, the Federal Budget, or marriage equality.

The main risk is veering off-topic, hindering progress with irrelevant discussions. Stay focused to avoid getting lost in unrelated subjects.

Emotions should be checked

Emotions hinder winning disputes. Strong feelings, rooted in personal experiences, shape opinions.

When challenges arise to beliefs, emotional reactions such as anger or defensiveness arise, impeding logical thinking.

Seeking proof becomes a defensive tactic, risking a yelling war.

Emotional overwhelm weakens persuasive arguments, as negative body language wastes mental energy and fortifies the opponent’s barriers.

Emotion deafens us to opposing views, rendering debates and negotiations ineffective.

Even in legal settings, emotions provide adversaries with ammunition, diverting focus and hindering success.

Shifting Dialogues Should Be Avoided

Dodging the main issue by introducing tangential topics is a common tactic for those lacking strong arguments.

Politicians often employ this strategy to avoid addressing questions directly, leading to endless debates without resolution.

Shifting the conversation to a more favorable subject is an attempt to put the opponent at ease and gain an advantage.

Try To Keep it simple

Strong assertions may create the impression of complexity, but ironically, the audience is less likely to take a cluttered argument with irrelevant material seriously.

Avoid unnecessary fillers

Using linguistic fillers such as “uh,” “um,” “like,” and “you know” can harm your credibility.

To break this habit, replace fillers with intentional pauses, which may require effort but enhances your appearance of intelligence, confidence, and composure.

Question everything and everyone, including yourself

A good lawyer questions everything, including their own stance, seeking evidence and understanding the basis of beliefs, uncovering weaknesses in opposing arguments.

Always ask, “Why?” to delve into the foundations of perspectives.

Before opening your mouth, open your ears first

Listen to opposing views,” urged Steve Scandura, a seasoned attorney.

Ignoring diverse perspectives is a betrayal of your own reasoning.

People tend to focus on what they’ll say,” remarked Scandura.

Mold a tiny sphere from your ego and cast it aside; life improves when one realizes no one is infallible.

If you have nothing to offer, don’t try to bargain

Rumors suggest that you can negotiate a grade only when you find yourself in the right.

If you know the grade is undeserved, avoid seeking leniency from your professor on the final day of the semester; it wastes both your time and theirs.

However, if you have a valid reason for missing points, don’t hesitate to articulate it.

Make use of their strength to your advantage

The utilization of magic serves as a deceptive tactic, steering focus away from the central argument.

According to Jim Wagstaff, a legal professional and lecturer on media ethics, judo involves assimilating the opposing strength and making it one’s own.

Listen closely to the opposing view to employ this strategy.

Use critical analysis to turn their apparent strength into your advantage.

Conclusion

To win an argument, a lawyer can distill their effectiveness into two fundamental abilities: organizing thoughts and effectively conveying them.

Ensure the coherence of your debates by having a clear understanding of the subject matter.

Regardless of the strategies employed by your adversary to divert, intimidate, confuse, or shift the conversational terrain, consistently steer back to the core issue.