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Experts in legal advocacy have long recognized the importance of policy arguments in legal persuasion Despite the prevalence of policy arguments as tools in legal advocacy very little scholarship has been produced instructing legal advocates on how to write effective policy arguments in their briefs Professor Ellie Margolis addressed this oversight in modern advocacy pedagogy in her 2001 article Closing the Floodgates Making Persuasive Policy Arguments in Appellate BriefsProfessor Margolis' article brought muchneeded attention to the lack of adequate training in policybased persuasion and offered the first formalized instruction in that area This article builds on Professor Margolis' work by exploring policy arguments from a social science perspective More specifically this article examines policybased persuasion from the standpoints of both sociology theory and cognitive psychology theory For legal advocates to truly master the skill of policy persuasion the cognitive processes underlying this type of advocacy must be explored and understood Knowing the mental processes involved in policy persuasion will enable legal advocates to produce more effective arguments based on policy Moreover understanding how policy arguments fit within the legal system from a sociological standpoint will help advocates more fully appreciate how policy persuasion differs from other types of legal persuasion This knowledge too will allow advocates to employ this strategy more readily and effectively This article takes the first step in exploring policybased persuasion from both of these social science perspectivesPart I of this article generally defines the concept of a policy argument in terms of sociological principles and cognitive psychology principles This section identifies the unique role policybased persuasion plays in legal decisionmaking and explores the general mental processes underlying this type of advocacy Part II sets out a new categorization scheme for policy arguments based on the different broad cognitive processes involved in such arguments In this section we will see that policy arguments from a cognitive perspective fall into two broad categories policy arguments that focus primarily on the future and policy arguments that focus on both the present and the future The discussion of these two broad categories of policy arguments sets up the final section Part III where we explore specific rhetorical strategies brief writers can use to improve the effectiveness of their policy arguments Building on the categorization scheme set out in Part II and the other principles of social science explored in Part I this final section identifies and examines specific guidelines for maximizing the persuasive impact of policybased advocacy

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