MSU College of Law

Tom Ferris

Adjunct Professor
Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane Rm 368
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300

Tom Ferris taught high school Theatre and Language Arts classes in the Lansing Public schools for 17 years. He then joined the Michigan Education Association as a UniServ Director advocating for education employees in labor negotiations, contract disputes and implementation of employee protections in the workplace. He has been active in community theatre since grade school, and is one of the founders of Riverwalk Theatre in downtown Lansing. He has won numerous awards for his acting, directing and tech designs. Professor Ferris teaches Theatrical Skills in the Trial Practice Institute.

B.A. 1971, Michigan State University; M.A. 1974, Michigan State University

  • Trial Practice Institute: Theatrical Skills - Advocacy as a Performing Art
    (Formerly DCL 533) A 7 week workshop designed to enhance a students' advocacy skills through application of actor training techniques by increasing student awareness of the ability to communicate effectively with both voice and body. The course consists of one 1 hour 50 minute session per week for 7 weeks in which students will participate in various acting exercises and improvisations emphasizing effective use of body language and physical expressiveness, developing spontaneity in presenting prepared material, exploring the rhetorical hooks and vocal nuances essential to persuasive speaking and strengthening storytelling skills. At the end of the workshop, students will present a public speech by a current or historical speaker as if it was an opening or closing argument to a jury. Must be in the Trial Practice Institute program. Because certain non-TPI courses duplicate the content of this course, students may not also receive academic credit for the following courses: Applied Evidence, Civil Trial Advocacy I, Civil Trial Advocacy II, Client Counseling and Interviewing, Criminal Trial Advocacy I - Pre-Trial, Criminal Trial Advocacy II - Trial II.