By Alice Harris

When I learned that TLC was having a conference in Florida, I was immediately interested. Jim Jenkins and Chris Klotz, both TLC graduates, had spoken highly of TLC’s impact on their professional and personal lives and earlier recommended I apply for the 3-week TLC college. However, I was having a hard time justifying to myself spending the money and time, so I had not applied. Now, there was a chance to see what this TLC stuff was about without a major investment!

This conference was not only unlike any conference I had every attended, it was simply like nothing I had ever experienced. Not once was I bored and sleepy and longing for the merciful end of a session. Not once did my mind wander to the cases I was working on, or what I was missing at home, or how much my back hurt or what I might have for lunch. I will admit that I occasionally wondered how this related to closing argument, but I put my doubts on the shelf and was too busy “being there” to worry about it. Having been forewarned by Jim and Chris, and by reading a bit about TLC and some of the materials on line, I made a conscious decision to keep an open mind and to participate and engage as fully as I could manage. My modus operandi was, “What have I got to lose?”

What can I say about Josh? First, that I had no concept of what an acting coach does; that I thought “acting” would just make a lawyer seem unbelievable; that this presence, apparently an artistic genius, was from some other, ethereal, place and could not be of any use to lawyers ? who use intellect and reason and facts. Yes. That?s what I was thinking. I could not have been more wrong. What brilliance he showed. What patience and determination and kindness and humility he showed, as he brought out abilities that seemed impossible to reach and to unleash.

What can I say about the TLC techniques? We have to “know the facts of the case” to be successful at trial. We have to have a “theme” or a “theory.” But what do we have to get to the facts and develop the theme? We criminal defense lawyers get police reports, probable cause affidavits, laboratory reports, and sworn witness statements. I take depositions, apparently so people can repeat to me what they?ve already reported. These traditional methods of acquiring knowledge of the case are not enough. The TLC approach is making me see that if I rely on those things for the story, I am only scratching the surface. I think TLC techniques can help me mine deep into the ground.

What can I say about the Florida conference? It was cold. The accommodations were basic. The food was mundane. There was no luxury there except the very best kind – the intense and unique luxury of being in the presence of brilliance and kindness and good people seeking to improve. I’ll be back.