TLC Podcast host Rafe Foreman interviews TLC graduate, trial lawyer, and faculty member Greg Westfall on the transformative power of TLC methods in preparing for and trying a criminal defense case.
In this wide-ranging interview, Greg discusses the importance of meeting your clients where they are, rather than trying to make them fit an expectation. "People will sense if you don’t like them or are afraid of them. You have to love them. If you do, then you’re thinking about them – what they want and they need." Greg does what it takes to get a complete picture of his clients' story - going to their homes and walking their streets. "Going into the setting gives you a different perspective on the story than you get if you're just listening to the client tell it."
Greg is the faculty leader for TLC's intensive course for criminal defense attorneys, In Defense of the Damned (IDD), scheduled for June 2021. IDD students participate in two days of psychodrama, followed by breakout sessions on opening statement, voir dire and cross-examination using their own cases.
Greg says it is the job of the criminal defense attorney to forge an emotional connection between the defendant and the jury; skills they will learn at the Trial Lawyers College. "We are community people," Greg says. "We are people who live in groups. Your jury is looking at your client and asking, 'is this person one of us?' They are looking at the criminal defense attorney and asking, 'is this person one of us?' It's our job to help them see themselves in our clients and in us."