New York City Improv comedian helps lawyers hone their skills: Osgoode workshop


TORONTO, November 26, 2012 – In the world of legal education, it’s rare to find a class that can be described as playful, silly and fun.  But that’s exactly what lawyers enrolled in the “Improv(ed) Legal Skills” Improvisation Workshops on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at Osgoode Professional Development Centre, 1 Dundas Street West, 26th floor, Toronto, will encounter.

Tommy Galan, an accomplished lawyer, professional speaker, performer and Director of Corporate Programming at The Peoples Improv Theater in New York City, where he teaches the benefits of improv to lawyers, executives and business teams, will lead workshop participants in classic improv exercises and drills to help hone their skills as lawyers.

Every lawyer, Galan says, needs to be able to actively listen, stay in the moment and deal with the unexpected.  Lawyers must also be able to embrace risk, understand the importance of body language and know how to develop rapport with fellow lawyers, jurors, clients, judges and other stakeholders.

All of these skills are honed through the study of improvisation, says Galan, who defines improv as “anything that’s not scripted.”

“Improv relies on effective communication, listening skills, and compassion along with the skills of performance, presentation, public speaking, and acceptance through the concept of ‘Yes, and,’” Galan says.  “Honing improv skills can benefit lawyers in any area of practice by making them better able to think quickly on their feet, answer questions on the fly, and speak with greater confidence and poise.”

If the registration for this groundbreaking and innovative workshop at Osgoode Professional Development is any indication, there are many lawyers who want to learn how to use the tool of improvisation.

Galan’s morning workshop, which runs from 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and qualifies for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits for lawyers and paralegals in Ontario, has sold out and an afternoon workshop starting at 1.30 p.m. has been added.

Galan has delivered his workshop, which is an accredited Continuing Legal Education (CLE) course in New York State, to the NYC Law Department, the American Bar Association, Hofstra Law School, and hundreds of lawyers in both the private and public sectors.  In April 2012, the CLE course was recorded by ALM Media for internet distribution.

Galan’s Improv Business Classes entertain and educate clients such as the NBA, Martha Stewart Omnimedia, AMC Networks, Avrett Free Ginsberg, Medallion Retail, Benchmark Hospitality, New York University, Columbia University, Hofstra Law School, and Baruch College.

Galan is on the Board of Directors of Daytime Moon Creations, a non-profit organization that offers recreational theatre programs to children and young adults with a full spectrum of special needs.  He performs, speaks and teaches regularly in New York City where he lives with his wife and two sons.

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For further information, please contact:
Virginia Corner
Communications Manager
Osgoode Hall Law School of York University