Civil discourse in class

One challenge in any academic environment is providing a safe environment for students to explore and debate ideas. For lawyers, this problem is a professional one that relates both to how we speak and to what we hear. As a lawyer, you will find that you must sometimes speak respectfully to people around whom you feel either disrespect or at least discomfort. For example, if your firm has a transgender male client who prefers to be called “Mr. Jones,” then your obligation to your firm and client is to respect the client’s wish—even if you are uncomfortable with transgender folks Read More …

Forms of address

How should we address and refer to each other? Working in the law requires you to be sensitive to others in a variety of ways, and one is in terms of how you refer to and address other people. Referring to a person is talking about them to third parties. Addressing a person is speaking to that person. Certain circumstances demand formality, where you will refer to or address people with their titles and last names. Others demand informality, where you refer to or address people by their first names. Consider these scenarios: You are a new associate in a Read More …