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BYU LawStories

Format: Application

BYU Provo Utah

Dates: 02/20/2019

List Price: Free

ABA Member Price: Free

Sponsor Member Price: Free

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BYU Law School invites law school students from across the United States to participate in BYU LawStories on the Mainstage, a storytelling initiative offering the opportunity to meld law, personal experience and the art of storytelling in written and oral forms to further prepare for their legal careers. Participants are asked to submit a nonfiction narrative of 1,000 to 1,500 words that ties together their life and the law.

A panel of expert storytellers and judges will select ten submissions whose authors will receive an expenses-paid trip to Utah March 13–16, 2019. The storytellers will present their stories at BYU LawStories on the Mainstage, a public storytelling event. Before their presentations, participants will receive a half-day seminar on storytelling taught by Sam Payne, who hosts “The Apple Seed” – a national radio show on storytelling. At the conclusion of the seminar, participants will record their stories for broadcast at the state-of-the-art BYUradio studios. After the campus-based events conclude, the storytellers will travel to Moab to visit one of Utah’s iconic national parks.

Applicants are encouraged to go beyond merely writing an anecdote, to create a story that has a narrative arc and illustrates growth, change, or a perceptual shift. Storytelling training materials, including those contributed by The Leadership Story Lab, are available through the BYU LawStories website.

“The stories we tell about others frame how we think about the world. The stories we tell about ourselves describe our place in the world. Stories have been crucial to my own professional and personal identity formation, and I wonder if the most important consequence of our LawStories initiative is not that we will create better lawyers, but that we will create better people. I hope this initiative will help law students better understand themselves and the world.”
Dean D. Gordon Smith, BYU Law

“When most people hear ‘storytelling in the law,’ they probably picture a trial lawyer communicating to the jury. However, transactional attorneys often have to translate the law and its ramifications to business people, and being able to communicate with narrative is very valuable.”
Associate Dean A. Christine Hurt, LawStories committee