Faculty Spotlight: Lori D. Johnson

Friday, October 18, 2019
Lori D. Johnson

What's the most important thing you are working on right now? 

I’m currently co-authoring an article discussing the insights that classical rhetoric can provide to modern lawyers in their use of storytelling to persuade. This project grew out of a scholarly working group I’m a part of, which has been studying the interplay of classical rhetoric and contemporary law. Last month, I was honored to co-chair a Symposium here at Boyd titled “Contemporary Rhetoric as a Lens for Contemporary Legal Praxis,” which brought together around thirty scholars in this field. Our papers will be published by the Nevada Law Journal in their Symposium this spring.

How does your research and scholarship influence your teaching and service and vice versa? 

We spent last week studying about how to write objective fact statements in my Lawyering Process 1 class, so the research I’ve been doing was directly applicable to class. That’s the incredible thing about teaching legal skills - we put research into practice in the classroom on a daily basis. 

When students ask you what they should read outside the required textbooks and other law-related books, what do you suggest? 

I’ve recently begun recommending Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. It’s Aristotle’s best-known work on ethics, and suggests that in order to best understand and argue about complex concepts, like justice, we must approach the topic with virtuous character and good habits. Not exactly light reading, but it provides some important food for thought for both students and practicing lawyers.

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