Judge Drummond Gives Lesson in the Art of Persuasion for CLE Organized by Student Veterans Association

The Hon. Mark A. Drummond of the Illinois Eighth Judicial Circuit recently came to the law school to present a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) event sponsored by the Student Veterans Association (SVA) and AT&T.

Dean Daniel Keating opened the event by welcoming the gathered attendees from law firms, in house counsel, government agencies, and nonprofits. He commented on the law school's dedication to veteran students, including its expanded commitment to the Yellow Ribbon Program, which will now cover the full cost of tuition for all eligible veterans using the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

"The CLE benefit event was the first step in accomplishing two of the Student Veterans Association's initiatives," says Tim McHugh, SVA president. "The first initiative is to give back to the legal community by providing quality legal education to public interest lawyers. As veterans, a spirit of service is something that we are intimately familiar with, so this made sense and fit well into our group's broader pro bono efforts. The second initiative is to fund a scholarship to help attract top veteran talent to WashULaw."

In his lecture, Drummond spoke about his experiences in the courtroom, both as a judge and a practicing attorney. Drawing from his own professional experiences and jury surveys, he demonstrated a series of cutting-edge persuasion techniques. He discussed everything from making a strong first impression in the courtroom, to a number of effective technological tools, to public speaking, to organizational methods to help in every stage of a trial.

Drummond has devoted the last 30 years to the art of persuasion. On an international level he has been asked to train attorneys in several countries, including advocates at Oxford in England, The Hague in The Netherlands, in Japan, and in Arusha, Tanzania. Drummond has also taught for The National Institute for Trial Advocacy since 1986 and is the recipient of the Robert E. Keeton faculty award. Additionally, he writes the column, “Practice Points,” for Litigation News, a publication of the Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association.

All proceeds from Drummond’s lecture went toward a scholarship fund to benefit Washington University law students who have served in the Armed Forces. "The impetus for this was our conversations with students, faculty, administrators, and alums, who identified the diversity and leadership that veterans bring to WashULaw and wanted to provide a means to allow such students to matriculate each year," McHugh says. "With that goal in mind, today's event is our first annual fundraiser for the endowed scholarship envisioned by our WashU community stakeholders."

Brent Mueller, Spring 2014