The Civil Advocacy Skills Book : Concann


The Civil Advocacy Skills Book

This hugely instructive book contains first-class guidance and insights.
Written by Bridget McCann and Ronald E Conway in a straightforward manner, it is full of tried and tested measures for lawyers to practise and adopt.

About the Book

Helps lawyers transform and improve the way they communicate in Civil Court appearances. This book doesn’t just instruct you in the skills required to succeed in the Civil Court but includes the practical skills necessary to look, sound and feel confident.

Concann - The Civil Advocacy Skills Book, side and front view.

Everything you need to know

Everything you need to know about effective civil advocacy and communication skills in this book.

Present with style and authority

A carefully crafted range of practical skills is demonstrated and discussed in a readily accessible format.

Suitable for everyone

Everyone who appears in the courts of Scotland can learn something from this book. From the novice or newly qualified lawyer, it is simply indispensable.

Sound measured and confident

Follow the QR exercises in the chapter on Voice to learn how to have a professional court voice.

Smartphone and tablet access

Use your smartphone and tablet to access professional video footage showing you exactly how it's done.

Stay in control

Present with style and authority.

QR code from The Civil Advocay Skills Book.

The only civil advocacy book to use QR codes

A unique feature of The Civil Advocacy Skills book - use QR codes found throughout the chapters of the book to watch and learn from videos and online exercises.

The QR codes will give you access to professional video footage of presentation, voice and breathing exercises. Why not try out these ones below.

QR code from Concann, the civil advocacy book. QR code from Concann, the civil advocacy book.

Review from the Journal of The Law Society of Scotland

“What makes this book different is the collaboration between Ronald Conway, an experienced solicitor advocate, and Bridget McCann. Having worked for years with lawyers on presentation skills, she brings her experience as a successful actor, trainer and consultant. What makes her unique is the use of QR apps to take the reader to the relevant exercise on her website.

The book is packed with valuable stuff. Conway’s contribution is superb.

Add to all of these plus-points an excellent bibliography and appendices full of top tips, and the net result is a book which is terrific in both content and value for money.”

- Tom Johnston, Ormidale Licensing Services

April 2015 Issue


Continue reading The Journal review

Review of The Civil Advocacy Skills Book

by Tom Johnston - The Journal

"Where were the Bridget McCanns when my generation was starting off?"

"A veteran caddie at the Old Course in St Andrews, himself a keen golfer, was once asked how much his game had improved by watching the world’s best close up. His response was that he learnt far more from the shortcomings of the average duffer. He almost certainly would have scoffed at the notion that practical skills can be taught in a book. But, then again, he hadn’t read this one.

What the authors are trying to pass on are practical tips to enable a lawyer at almost any level to develop and improve his or her advocacy skills. In his introduction Ronnie Conway points out that it is a mistake to assume that natural advocacy cannot be improved on. Indeed, with the decline in reading aloud, debating societies and opportunities for formal presentation, some of today’s newly qualified lawyers may have had fewer opportunities to practise these than their predecessors. But, as he continues, advocacy is something which can be learned by anyone with the necessary inclination and determination. Recognising the limitations of a book, he points out that, “like a tennis forehand you cannot simply acquire this skill simply by reading about it or by playing things over in your head.

What makes this book different is the collaboration between Conway, an experienced solicitor advocate, and Bridget McCann. Having worked for years with lawyers on presentation skills, she brings to bear her experience as a successful actor, trainer and consultant. What makes it unique in my experience is the use of QR apps to take the reader to the relevant exercise on her website.

Where were the Bridget McCanns when my generation was starting off? All of the comments which her consultees have made to her concerning the physical and mental terrors which they experienced in their early litigation days bring back vivid memories. She describes the advocacy part of the job as being among the “soft skills”, ones which cause the most anxiety, but get the least attention. How true. She deals with breathing and posture. She points out, correctly, that while actors spend years in voice training, litigators traditionally spend none. Speed, pitch, tone and accent are all addressed. In the case of the latter, the message is leave well alone, but do work on your grammar if it’s faulty. While it might be easy to scoff at an exercise entitled “The Flower and the Candle”, try it for yourself and feel the benefit. If you have ever come home hoarse after a full-on day in court, consider that you may not have done proper warm-up exercises or looked after the important muscles you have been abusing.

Add to all of these plus points an excellent little bibliography, and appendices full of top tips, and the net result is a book which is terrific in both content and value for money."

The Journal

Read a customer review

Review of The Civil Advocacy Skills Book

Flor McCarthy

"Unique and Extremely Effective"

"Great advocates are made not born. The skills required to be an effective advocate are ones than can be learned and once practiced mastered. The problem has always been who to learn from; many of those who master the craft keep their secrets close to their chest in order to preserve competitive advantage.

In this book Ronald E Conway, who is clearly a master advocate, has very generously shared the lessons and experience of a long and successful career at the coal face of civil advocacy. What he has to say is invaluable both for the experienced litigator and the newly qualified lawyer. Bridget McCann also brings an extremely practical dimension to the book by dealing with the essential but often overlooked fundamental elements of good presentation technique. The combination is unique and extremely effective. The book also provides links to accompanying videos dealing with many of the techniques discussed.

Overall, the book is excellent. Essential reading for any serious student of the subject no matter what their level of experience. I expect it will become classic. The only slight negative thing that struck me about the book was its focus on Scottish practitioners; advocates everywhere need this book."

★★★★★

Front cover of The Journal law publication containing review of The Civil Advocacy skills book, April 2015 issue.
The civil advocacy book launch with Bridget McCann, Ronald E Conway and Kirsty Wark.

Bridget McCann

Bridget McCann , Presentation Skills Trainer is a successful actor and coach, who for a number of years has cast a practised eye on the efforts of lawyers to make successful presentations in court. She brings to this book a lifetime of acting lore and experience. Her emphasis on posture, breathing and voice, and the exercises to improve those functions, make this book unique in legal advocacy literature.

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Ronald E Conway

Ronald E Conway is a working solicitor advocate at Conway Accident Law Practice and author of “Personal Injury Practice in the Sheriff Court”. His credo is that all court practitioners can reach a level of effective competence by applying and practising the skills and techniques contained in this book.

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Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Concann Productions Limited
Publication Date: 23 January 2015

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