Are Debaters Better Lawyers?

The short answer: Maybe. The longer answer can be found in a new article in the Houston Law Review by former debaters (and current lawyers) Tom Fulkerson and Wes Lotz. Get into debate because you’re looking forward to a career in law?

You might have made the best possible call by joining debate,

The chief advantages that employers gain from hiring ex-debaters are their work ethic, analytical skills, stubbornness and resiliency from a loss. Because former debaters are used to expending long hours in research, analysis and writing, they will stubbornly pursue the win as they perceive it. Via Houston law Review (Fulkerson and Lotz).

Or you may be learning some hard-to-break habits,

Every debater who has gone into the practice of law has heard from a judge, arbitrator, or court reporter that he or she should slow down. Via Houston law Review (Fulkerson and Lotz).

The entire article is worth a read. It’s an excellent reminder of the strengths and limitations of debate as an activity as well as an articulate defense of why debate is a complement to, not a replacement for, your education.

What do you think? Did Fulkerson and Lotz nail it? Do they over- or under-estimate the benefits of debate? Let us know in the comments!lawyer

About Lauren Sabino

Lauren Sabino is the Director of Youth Programs at the National Center for Policy Analysis. She currently administrates Debate Central, the largest free online debate resource.
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