How to Sound Like a Lawyer and Win Arguments

Author: Leil Lowndes

Attorneys may not be the most beloved group of individuals. But good ones who have warm eye contact, effective body language—and just a touch of legaleze to show they know their stuff—win cases. Why not pick up some tips from them? Consider the following phrases. Be careful, though, to say them with the appropriate degree of friendliness. Otherwise you can come across as snarky. 

Everyone knows "I'LL TAKE THE FIFTH AMENDMENT." That's too cliche, but here are more goodies.

When someone starts bombarding you with questions, ask, "IS THIS A DEPOSITION?"

Oops, if you just said something that isn’t entirely true, here’s an effective way to take it back and not lose too much face: "I’D LIKE TO REDACT THAT."

A good, if slightly hostile, retort if someone objects to what you are saying is YOUR OBJECTION IS PRESERVED FOR THE RECORD. Then quickly continue with what you were saying.

Similarly, if you object to something he/she says and the speaker argues back, state, "I PRESERVE MY OBJECTION FOR THE RECORD."

If an individual makes a bad suggestion rudely, don’t argue it then and there. Simply nod and say "I’LL CONSIDER THE MOTION." Then quickly continue with your point.

The above phrases can work for almost anybody. Example: Let’s say you’re a kid and your big sister tells you to go cut the grass—but you know it’s her turn. Tell her "I’D LIKE TO APPEAL THAT." In legalese, that means “applying to a higher court for a reversal of the decision.” In this case, you mean you'll take it to Mommy.

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