Much of the attention paid to U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has focused on her experience as a public defender and the fact that she would be the first Black woman on the high court, but another unique element of her background has gotten a lot less attention: She used to perform improv.
Communication is one of the most important skills for both improv performers and attorneys, teachers of improv classes for lawyers say.
“That’s how improvisers do what they do, is they become really good listeners,” said Steve Hohman, creative director of Haus of Improv, which offers workshops for attorneys and other professionals.
Performing improv successfully is 90% about being a good listener and only 10% about being clever, according to Hohman.
“And it kind of works that way for attorneys as well,” he said.
Medical malpractice attorneys, for instance, spend a lot of time interviewing clients and patients, and some of those topics can be hard to discuss, according to Ronda Kelso, who practices medical malpractice law at Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine PC.
Kelso, who’s taken classes at Haus of Improv, said learning to listen and respond empathetically to her clients, while continuing to get information from them, is an important skill that she’s honed through improv.
Read full article by Jack Karp featuring Haus of Improv on Law360