Simon Coath Consultancy

In-House PSC: Advocacy & Communication Skills

Trainees approach this PSC Core course with trepidation.

They realise that they will have to practise advocacy and presentation skills on their feet and many feel anxious that they will not "measure up" to the standard that is expected.

Our primary task therefore is to instil confidence into the trainees and we do this by spending some time on looking at the generic nature of advocacy and how we "advocate" each time we plan, argue, teach, or joke with each other. Further, we encourage trainees to recognise and applaud the diversity of advocacy style. We charge trainees with the responsibility of identifying both their strengths and weaknesses as advocates. By looking at a wide range of advocates - politicians, thespians, business leaders, television personalities, religious leaders, poets and lawyers we demonstrate that advocacy is a skill that can be practised continuously and not just in the Courtroom!

Our approach enables trainees to become aware of concepts that are central to effective presentation and argument. This recognition enables them to put the concepts into practise on any occasion that they are required to influence, engage, and persuade third parties. As a consequence trainees feel that the lessons learned are relevant to their practice fields whatever those fields might be.

In addition to being able to practise their advocacy skills trainees will, by virtue of their new insights, become more critically reflective when watching other people perform advocacy and this itself will accelerate the ongoing learning process.

Having dealt with the generic and underpinning concept, we move the course on to examine how the advocate lawyer in the Courtroom deploys such skills. This focus ensures that we adequately deal with the Law Society objectives.

One of the most pleasing results of our course is that the trainees invariable report in feedback that the course has been relevant and of help to them, irrespective of whether they aspire to be solicitor advocates or not.

As with all our products, we adjust them to fit the culture and ethos of the firm that we present at.

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