The Advocacy Gym

Simon Coath Consultancy

The Advocacy Gym - Information


Gym Philosophy and Coaching Method

Our workshop methodology gives delegates an opportunity to identify their advocacy strengths and weaknesses. They leave the workshop more confident and with clear insights and ideas that they will be able to exploit in actual Court hearings.

Each workshop has clearly defined objectives that are achieved by adherence to our distinct philosophy and proven coaching method. Full details of our philosophy and approach are included in our comprehensive pre-course joining instructions and notes. Our philosophy shapes and defines our approach to the training exercise. We believe that:

Gym Philosophy

  • There is no such thing as a "Model Advocate"
  • Advocacy requires Judgement
  • Advocates should take responsibility and have "No Fear"
  • Advocates must play to their strengths and work on their weaknesses
  • No one is starting from Scratch
  • Advocacy is best learnt (and learning is a continuous process requiring experimentation and reflection)
  • Confidence and Competence go hand in hand
  • Advocacy is a generic skill
  • Legal Advocacy is about argument
  • Advocates should KIS ("Keep it Simple")

Coaching Method

We have been training solicitors and barristers in advocacy skills for many years.

Our approach and method is tried and tested and pedagogically sound.

(Copies of a paper - "Cognitive Advocacy Training" - describing our approach in depth are available from the our office on request)

Put simply our philosophy requires us to concentrate on getting the best out of each individual; not trying to shoehorn advocates into any particular "house style" that reflects our ideas as to how advocacy should be done.

That is not to say that we won't be critical. We will! However, our feedback will be constructive and will focus on strengths as well as on apparent weaknesses. So far as the latter are concerned we will identify things that in our judgment the delegate can put right immediately as well as those that will require further work. Delegates will be videoed so as to assist in identifying matters and for further reflection prior to their hearings.

Although we critique presentational and style aspects we do so in the context of their effect upon the delivery of the argument. Our central focus is in ensuring that delegates can engage the Court and argue effectively. Surprisingly this is something that is often neglected by traditional advocacy trainers who focus more on form than content, and style over substance.

Delegates will leave the Workshop with specific pointers and feeling more confident and better equipped to face the real challenge of Court hearings.

Proof in the Pudding - a selection of delegates typical comments:

"An excellent session - entertaining and effective"

"Enjoyable session, useful feedback was given"

"Brilliant, funny, well presented, interesting, simple, easy to follow technique"

"I always had problems with witnesses but Simon made it all seem easy - excellent feedback and very useful pointers"

"Very able speaker with plenty of informative anecdotes"

"Very good"

"Simon is a good lively speaker who holds the audience's attention well"

"This was a good practical exercise in an area where solicitors do not get much formal training"

"Very helpful"

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