Harry Potter, Ruby Slippers and Merlin: Telling the Client's Story Using the Characters and Paradigm of the Archetypal Hero's Journey
This Article focuses on the relationship of mythology and folklore heroes to everyday lawyering decisions regarding case theory when the audience is a judge or panel of judges rather than a jury. This Article adds to the discourse by beginning a conversation about what might be termed “applied legal storytelling.” The term pertains to ideas of how everyday lawyers can utilize elements of mythology as a persuasive technique in stories told directly to judges--either via bench trials or via legal writing documents such as briefs--on behalf of an individual client in everyday litigation. Parts II and III of this Article will review legal storytelling from a fiction writing perspective and will introduce the mythological and psychological perspective of heroes. Part IV will explain the different types of heroic archetypes and show examples of how to select the appropriate hero type for a client. Part V will outline the universal journey and show examples of how a lawsuit may fit into the client's overall journey. In all but one example, the Article draws on more day-to-day lawyering scenarios than on seminal cases. Smaller cases are analyzed in order to demonstrate that lawyers can use heroic archetypes as a routine scaffold rather than as a tool reserved for only the exceptional client scenarios.
Ruth Anne Robbins, Harry Potter, Ruby Slippers and Merlin: Telling the Client's Story Using the Characters and Paradigm of the Archetypal Hero's Journey, 29 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 767 (2006).