For certain, I am more of a moderate voice in the law school, politically at least. I tend to lean conservative on fiscal issues, fairly liberal on social issues---but interestingly enough, not as liberal as lots of the students here. I had a student come up to me today and thank me...He said he owed me a letter of thanks. He had been talking with a student, whom we both know, who is hard line conservative and has no logical reasons for what he believes. This student who talked to me said that he has enjoyed debating me for the last three years because while he often disagrees, at least I am "logical." I had to laugh.
One thing that you learn in law school is why you believe what you believe. Do you change your believes, do you bend? Sometimes. But often, you learn to search for the truth. And you learn how to turn ones argument on themselve. There is a real art form to debate and argument. And what you learn quickly is that respect for other's opinions goes ALONG way.
So, tip number #1873 [just kidding], be respectful when you are getting your point across. People will listen to you if you approach debates this way. You gain credibility and respect, even if that person never actually agrees with you.