Thursday, June 2, 2022

Gerry Spence Method for Trial Lawyers

Presiding over cases in the Domestic Violence Court in Cook County, Illinois, Judge Megan Goldish draws on more than 20 years of legal experience. As both a judge and former attorney, Megan Goldish utilizes techniques from theater training to connect with the people in her courtroom.

Trial lawyers often use theater techniques when giving opening statements or preparing clients to take the witness stand. One technique is psychodrama, which is taught in the Gerry Spence Method. Gerry Spence was a famous trial lawyer who took on high-profile cases defending clients against the government and large corporations.

The Spence Method uses psychodrama training by diving into each attorney’s case and bringing out the emotional human elements. Techniques used often include role reversal, soliloquy, and scene setting. The goal of this training is to make the client’s story more emotionally relatable for the jury.

The Spence Method focuses heavily on the lawyer’s opening statement, as Spence believes the most juries have already decided the case once both sides have given these statements. The opening statement is often made by a lone attorney at the front of the courtroom, much like monologues and soliloquys in the theater.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Diversity Scholarship Foundation

Drawing on nearly 8 years of experience as a judge, Megan Goldish serves in the Domestic Violence Court at the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois. Dedicated to promoting diversification within the legal industry, Judge Megan Goldish received the Advocate for Diversity Award from the Diversity Scholarship Foundation.

The Diversity Scholarship Foundation was established in 2008 by a group of judges and attorneys interested in advocating for diversification within the Chicago legal community. Since its establishment, over 50 associations have joined the Diversity Scholarship Foundation in its mission, which is mainly fulfilled by financially assisting under-represented and underprivileged minorities in attending law school via scholarships.

The foundation also has community outreach programming targeted at middle and high school students. In addition, it provides financial support to programs of bar associations dedicated to diversifying the legal community. One of the main fundraising events of the Diversity Scholarship Foundation is the Unity Award Dinner, held every year for the past 18 years. During the gala, awards are granted to people who have contributed to the community and diversity, as well as diverse law students across Chicago, who also receive various scholarships. In 2021, the foundation awarded 20 scholarships to deserving students.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Mock Trials for Law Students and Lawyers

A graduate of Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Judge Megan Goldish works at the Circuit Court of Cook County, IL. Judge Megan Goldish also had served as an adjunct instructor at Northwestern University's trial advocacy program. She also supports and promotes the use of mock trials. for students and lawyers.

Mock trials are practice trials that can be utilized in a classroom setting. They are typically performed at law schools, and offer the opportunity for students to learn the art of debate and putting forth arguments in court. Mock trials can also help students refine their abilities at critical thinking and public speaking. Trials are complicated even for experienced lawyers, and mock trials can prepare them for the hardships they may encounter in court.

Mock trials offer law students and experienced lawyers a chance to test and obtain feedback on a future oral presentation. This allows for development of new theories for a case and to observe a case from another point-of-view.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Adult Living Skills Program for the Blind

A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Judge Megan Goldish serves on the domestic violence court of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Judge Megan Goldish also takes part in philanthropic activities and supports nonprofit organizations such as the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind

The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind is a social service organization that aims to improve and provide vision care to the blind and visually impaired. The organization created the adult living skills program, which aims to increase the independence and self-sufficiency of people who are blind or visually impaired and cannot perform the usual tasks of everyday life. It is a program meant to prepare people to live by themselves and return to society. It involves an on-site apartment in which patients can do activities such as dishwashing, sweeping, cleaning, and cooking. Patients can also recycle and develop working skills in the program.

The program also teaches functional and basic academics such as everyday math and how to deal with and manage money. Patients are taught the Braille language and can learn how to read and write using it.

Gerry Spence Method for Trial Lawyers

Presiding over cases in the Domestic Violence Court in Cook County, Illinois, Judge Megan Goldish draws on more than 20 years of legal expe...