Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mobile Traffic Keeps Ballooning

I’m not sure my ageing eyes are up to this. From “Real Lawyers Have Blogs”:

Mobile traffic as a percentage of global Internet traffic is growing at one and a half times per year and is expected to continue, if not accelerate. Mobile traffic is charted to be near 35% by year’s end.The traffic as a percentage of global Internet traffic is growing at one and a half times per year and is expected to continue, if not accelerate. Mobile traffic is charted to be near 35% by year’s blogs on smartphone


You can read more here.


July 13, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The number of June LSAT takers hits a 14 year low

That's according to the figures published by the LSAC on Thursday here. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has more details:

Number of LSAT Test Takers in June Falls to 14-Year Low


. . . .


The number of law school admission tests administered in June was down 9.1% compared to a year earlier, according to figures released by the Law School Admission Council on Thursday.


The 21,802 people who sat for the test last month is the lowest June total in 14 years, suggesting that law schools may still be having difficulty convincing college graduates on the value of a J.D. degree.


For schools, it’s a step backward after the glint of hope they got in February when the number of law school admission tests administered inched up 1.1% over the February 2013 total.


The half-day LSAT is given four times a year in annual cycles starting in June. A total of 105,532 people took the test during the 2013-2014 cycle that just wrapped up, falling 6.2% from the year before.


“This June low bodes ill for the number of applicants next fall,” writes Matt Leichter, whose “Law School Tuition Bubble” blog has chronicled the travails of the legal education industry.

. . . .

Continue reading here.


July 12, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why SCOTUS Justices Don't Retire in an Election Year

This custom (norm?) began in 1981. At the Concurring Opinion, Gerard Magliocca gives us the history:

This led me to wonder when people started saying (or thinking) that Justices should not retire in a quadrennial year.  The answer is that this custom began with Potter Stewart.  Justice Stewart retired in 1981, and in an interview with Linda Greenhouse that summer he said he had thought of quitting in 1980 but decided that to do so would hurt the Court.  As far as I can tell, this was the first time that a Justice decided that this was a necessary norm and said so publicly.  Nobody was thinking about retiring in 1972 or 1976, so the absence of action in those years does not tell us much.  Since then, the Justices have followed Stewart’s example and rejected Warren’s.

You can read more here.


July 12, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Vault ranks the best law firms to work for

A few days ago, we told you about The Vault's rankings for best law firm summer associate programs - including those programs that offer the best practical training.  Today we've got The Vault's rankings for the best law firms to work for.  Below is the best overall ranking list though The Vault also ranked law firms in several specialty categories like "best formal training," "best informal training and mentoring," "best career outlook," "best hours" and "best compensation."   You can check out the ranking methdology here.  From The Vault's press release:

Paul Hastings proves last year was no fluke; named best law firm to work for in vault's 2015 quality of life rankings for second straight year Williams & Connolly and Ropes & Gray continue strong performance; Proskauer impresses in debut with no. 5 finish.


Vault's Best to Work For Rankings Also Examine 13 Quality of Life Categories


After an impressive eight-point jump to No. 1 in last year's rankings, Paul Hastings has proven that its prior feat was no fluke. The firm earned its second straight No. 1 finish in Vault's 2015 list of Best Law Firms to Work For.


Beating back a strong challenge from Ropes & Gray, which held the title in 2011, Paul Hastings was able to retain its position due to high ratings from associates in numerous Quality of Life categories—the firm ranked No. 1 in Satisfaction and No. 2 in Hours, Firm Culture, Formal Training, Informal Training and Associate/Partner Relations.


The Law Firm Quality of Life Rankings are derived from Vault's Law Firm Associate Survey, where nearly 17,000 associates rated and commented on various aspects of their work life. This year's Best 25 Law Firms to Work For rankings were calculated using a formula that weighs associate ratings in a dozen different areas: Overall Satisfaction (25%); Hours (10%); Compensation (10%); Business Outlook (10%); Substantive Work (10%); Associate/Partner Relations (5%); Leadership Transparency (5%); Formal Training (5%); Informal Training, Mentoring & Sponsorship (5%); Pro Bono (5%); Overall Diversity (5%); Career Outlook (5%).


Based on this formula, the Top 10 Best Law Firms to Work For are:

  1. Paul Hastings
  2. Ropes & Gray
  3. Foley Hoag
  4. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
  5. Proskauer Rose
  6. Williams & Connolly
  7. Cooley
  8. O'Melveny & Myers
  9. Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo
  10. Alston & Bird


"While prestige is certainly an important factor that law students value highly when selecting firms, there are many other aspects of firm life to consider as well," said Nicole Weber, Law Editor at "The Quality of Life Rankings give candidates insight into these criteria from the most credible source available: current associates. Paul Hastings' associates were the most enthusiastic of the bunch for the second year in a row, which is a testament to the firm's efforts to keep its employees happy."


Associates at Paul Hastings stated that they "couldn't be more pleased" with the "meaningful work," "pleasant colleagues" and "work/life balance." One associate added, "I truly enjoy going to work in the mornings."


Ropes & Gray may have been in second place, but it was only .13 points away from ending Paul Hastings' run at the top. Ropes & Gray bolstered its position with strong performances in Vault's individual Quality of Life categories, grabbing the No. 1 spot in both Formal Training and Informal Training while finishing in the Top 5 for Hours, Compensation, Associate/Partner Relations, Firm Culture, Pro Bono and Satisfaction. Associates at the firm raved that they have "zero complaints" and "nothing but high expectations for the future."


Proskauer Rose Debuts on the Best Law Firms to Work For List in the Top 5


Perhaps the most significant move to come out of this year's rankings was the rise of Proskauer Rose. Previously unknown to the Best Law Firms to Work For list, the 700-lawyer firm that boasts robust sports and entertainment practices (and much more) rocketed to the top, debuting at No. 5 (while also finishing No. 2 in Satisfaction and No. 9 in Hours). The big leap pushed Williams & Connolly, the No. 1 Best Law Firm to Work For in 2012 and 2013, further down the list to No. 6.


Associates at Proskauer told Vault, "This is a great job at a wonderful firm!" Not only did survey respondents gush about the "extremely interesting matters" and unique practice areas ("SPORTS"), they also praised the firm's "excellent supervisors" and "team atmosphere." One associate summed it up, adding, "I would NEVER leave to go to another firm—the people are great, and I'm doing work here that I can't do at any other firm."


Best to Work For—New Blood and Old Favorites


Several firms made triumphant returns to the Best Law Firms to Work for rankings after being absent in previous years. O'Melveny & Myers cracked into the Top 10 at No. 8, marking the first time the firm appeared in the rankings since 2013 when it finished at No. 19. Davis Polk & Wardwell, ranked No. 22 in 2012, inched up to No. 21 upon its return to the list this year. Holland & Hart, which had the longest hiatus of any other firm on the list (six years), landed back in the Top 25 at No. 24. Other newcomers to this year's Top 25 include Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (No. 15), Morris, Manning & Martin (No. 19) and DLA Piper (No. 25).


All the 2015 speciality rankings can be found on this page.


July 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Frequently Misspelled Words

From LawProse  (Oct. 30, 2012):

Commonly Misspelled Legal Terms:

  • Ad hominem (not *ad hominum): an argument directed not to the merits of an opponent’s argument but to the opponent’s personality or character.
  • De minimis (not *de minimus): a shortened form of the Latin maxim de minimis non curat lex (= the law does not concern itself with trifles).
  • In personam (not *in personum): (a claim or action) vested in a person.
  • Judgment (not *judgement): the final decisive act of a court in defining the rights of the parties. Although judgement is prevalent in British nonlegal texts, judgment is the preferred form in American English and British legal texts.
  • Just deserts (not *just desserts): a reward or punishment that is deserved (not a sweet treat — though deserts in this sense is pronounced like desserts).

Commonly Misspelled Words in the English Language (misspellings are in parenthesis):

accommodate (*accomodate or *acommodate)
calendar (*calender)
category (*catagory)
committed (*commited)
conscientious (*consciencious)
consensus (*concensus)
definitely (*definately)
embarrass (*embarass)
exceed (*excede)
fiery (*firey)
guarantee (*garantee or *guaranty)
harass (*harrass)
height (*heighth)
independent (*independant)
liaison (*liason)
maintenance (*maintenence)
maneuver (*manuever)
millennium (*milennium or *millenium)
miniature (*miniture)
misspell (*mispell)
noticeable (*noticable)
occasionally (*occasionaly)
occurrence (*occurrance or *occurence)
possession (*posession or *possesion)
precede (*preceed)
privilege (*privelege or *priviledge)
recommend (*recomend or *reccommend)
relevant (*relevent)
restaurateur (*restauranteur)
separate (*separate)




July 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Article on Legal Problem Solving

I believe that law professors should explicitly teach their students problem-solving skills.  Kathy Vinson has just posted an excellent article on legal problem solving on SSRN: Problem Solved: Preparing Students for Practice Using Problem Solving to Connect Legal Knowledge, Theory, and Skills.

"Monday morning you listen to a voice mail from a corporate client explaining that it just discovered one of its manufacturers overseas produced toys containing lead paint. This client asks you to draft a press release announcing a recall of these toys, alerting its customers, but cautiously avoiding any admissions of liability. The following day, in another case, you need to advise a client, who professes his innocence, whether he should accept a guilty plea or proceed to trial. The next day, you are asked by your supervisor to argue a motion to dismiss a complaint, but you have concerns there is no legal or factual basis to support the motion. Finally, another client, who owns an apartment building, seeks your help when his tenant accuses another tenant of sexually harassing her. These are just some of the types of problems lawyers could face in just one week. Would law students know how to solve them? No matter what the legal issue or setting, understanding and applying a problem-solving methodology and focusing on the client in each case can help prepare students for practice. Students engaged in problem solving in law school benefit from experiencing the primary role of a lawyer: a problem-solver, enabling students to see the connection between legal knowledge, theory, and skills to help achieve a client’s goals."

(Scott Fruehwald)

July 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Primer on Professionalism for Doctrinal Professors

A very important part of legal education reform is including professionalism throughout the curriculum.  Here is an important new article on the subject: Primer on Professionalism for Doctrinal Professors by Paula Schaefer.

Abstract: "Legal education reform advocates agree that law schools should integrate “professionalism” throughout the curriculum. Ultimately, it falls to individual professors to decide how to incorporate professionalism into each course. This can be an especially difficult task for doctrinal professors. The law — and not the practice of law — is the focus of most doctrinal casebooks. Law students typically do not act in role as lawyers in these classes, so they are not compelled to resolve professional dilemmas in class, as students would be in a clinic or simulation-based course. As a result, it takes some additional preparation and thought to introduce professionalism issues into these courses. Some professors may resist making this change — not knowing which aspect or aspects of professionalism should be the focus, fearing that time spent on professionalism will detract from the real subject matter of the class, or believing professionalism is adequately covered elsewhere in the curriculum.

This Article considers how and why doctrinal professors should address the challenge of integrating professionalism into the classroom. Part I briefly discusses the multitude of meanings ascribed to attorney professionalism and argues that the lack of a clear, concise, and shared definition is a substantial barrier to effectively incorporating professionalism into the law school curriculum. Next, Part II provides a more coherent, streamlined definition of attorney professionalism. This Part also identifies and describes three primary aspects of lawyer professionalism: fulfilling duties to clients, satisfying duties to the bar, and possessing core personal values essential to being a good lawyer. This simplified conception of professionalism should begin to address the concerns of professors who do not know where to begin to incorporate professionalism into their classes. It is also intended to persuade skeptics that professionalism is something they can and should teach as part of their doctrinal classes.

Thereafter, Part III provides guidance for developing course outcomes that connect course subject matter and professionalism. Questions prompt doctrinal professors to look for the natural connections between their course subject matter and issues of professionalism. Then, Part IV considers various methods doctrinal professors can use to introduce professionalism topics into their courses. Integrating professionalism into the classroom does not require professors to abandon their casebooks; using case law can be an effective method. This Part also considers other teaching methods and materials for combining doctrine, skills, and professionalism. Finally, Part V concludes with thoughts on how students benefit when professors make the effort to incorporate professionalism into every law school classroom."

A condensed version of the article will be included in the forthcoming Building on Best Practices in Legal Education

(Scott Fruehwald)

July 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Legal sector gains 1,200 jobs in June

This reverses a downward trend that saw 2,000 lost jobs in April and 1,200 (revised from 700) lost jobs in May.  The American Lawyer has the story.

The legal sector added 1,200 jobs in June, making up for the 1,100 jobs it lost in May, according to the latest job figures released Thursday by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.


In reporting June’s preliminary numbers, the BLS revised its seasonally adjusted May numbers to reflect 400 more lost jobs in the legal sector than previously reported.


In total, legal employment has seen 300 jobs disappear since the start of 2014. Compared to a year ago in June, the legal sector has gained 5,400 jobs.


A total of 1.136 million people are currently employed in the U.S. legal industry as of last month, about the same as in February 2014, but well below its peak in the last decade of 1.179 million, recorded in June 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

. . . .

Continue reading here.


July 10, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Best Apps for Lawyers

According to an article on Progressive Law Practice, helpful apps include:

GoodReader (document organizer)

Keynote (for visual presentations)

Rulebook (for court rules)

Others are:

Quickbooks, a cloud-based accounting app for iPhone and Android models used by 1.3 million customers worldwide;

Dropbox is a popular cloud-storage system for files and photos. The free version offers 18GB of storage; additional space is available for a fee;

Evernote is a note-taking and bookmarking app compatible with nearly every PC, phone and mobile device;

Documents to Go is an all-inclusive app that supports Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, PDFs and other files and attachments. It is available for Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

WebEx allows users to schedule attend and host virtual meetings in HD video anywhere in the world. It’s also useful for webinars and file-sharing;

Google Wallet is a fast, secure way for customers to make payments online. Delorenzo is a big fan of apps because they simplify her business and personal lives.



July 10, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

SMU Law offers program to teach students in-house legal practice skills

Back in May, we told you about a new course being offered at Widener Law School (Delaware) to teach students the legal and business skills needed to work as in-house corporate counsel.  The course is taught by an adjunct faculty member and former in-house attorney with Dupont, Professor James Dinnage.  The National Law Journal has this story about a new program at SMU Dedman School of Law that combines student externships with traditional on-campus coursework that is also intended to teach students about the legal skills needed to work as an in-house lawyer.  The program evolved out of a very popular, traditional on-campus course called "The Role of General Counsel" taught by an SMU faculty member who is also a former in-house attorney.  After gaining faculty approval, an externship component was adding in cooperation with several Dallas-Fort Worth large corporations including American Airlines, AT&T and Dr. Pepper.  Here are more details:

Inside a Law School's In-house Training Program


 . . . .


. . . [course creator Steve Yeager] realized that the in-house world is virtually unknown to law students. In addition to teaching them about legal and ethical issues facing inside counsel, I wanted to give them a glimpse of what in-house lawyers actually do. And I found a partner in my mission—Marc Steinberg, the Rupert and Lillian Radford Professor of Law. Together, we designed an academic program combining a corporate counsel class with externships in corporate legal departments.


We proposed our idea to the curriculum committee, and it was approved at the end of 2012, giving us very little time to recruit corporations to participate and to take student applications. But we made it. The Corporate Counsel Externship Program was launched in fall 2013 with 30 companies hosting students . . . .


. . . .


In the weekly classroom component, students learned about different substantive areas of the law encountered in an in-house practice, such as corporate governance practices, intellectual property, employment law and securities filings, as well as the ethical responsibilities of in-house counsel. Other classes focused on practical skills, such as working with outside counsel, conflicts of interest, litigation management, contract drafting and conducting internal investigations. As with the “Role of the General Counsel” course, corporate counsel served as guest lecturers in certain classes. For example, Gary Kennedy, the former general counsel of American Airlines, taught a class on conducting internal investigations, while John Torres and Betty Ungerman, the chief legal officer and deputy general counsel of Lennox International Inc., taught students about working with outside counsel and contracts.


Each student was assigned to a “field supervisor” at his or her placement. These seasoned attorneys oversaw and trained the externs and evaluated their legal skills, professionalism, quality of work and responsiveness. Steinberg remarked, “We are extremely grateful to the field supervisors for their support of the program. These attorneys are incredibly busy, yet took time away from their practices to work with our students. There is no academic substitute for the experience our students had this semester. The training and feedback they received from accomplished attorneys on real-world projects will benefit them immensely when they start practicing law.”


. . . .

Continue reading here.


July 9, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Negative Comments Stick with Us Longer Than Positive Ones

Why? It’s about chemistry. Negative chemistry releases cortisol, a hormone that shuts down the thinking center of our brains and activates conflict aversion and protection behaviors. Positive  comments produce positive (oxytocin-producing) interactions. The cortisol results last longer. Here is an anecdote from Judith or Richard Glaser at the Harvard Business Review:

Consider Rob, a senior executive from Verizon. He thought of himself as a “best practices” leader who told people what to do, set clear goals, and challenged his team to produce high quality results. But when one of his direct reports had a minor heart attack, and three others asked HR to move to be transferred off his team, he realized there was a problem.

Observing Rob’s conversational patterns for a few weeks, I saw clearly that the negative (cortisol-producing) behaviors easily outweighed the positive (oxytocin-producing) behaviors. Instead of asking questions to stimulate discussion, showing concern for others, and painting a compelling picture of shared success, his tendency was to tell and sell his ideas, entering most discussions with a fixed opinion, determined to convince others he was right. He was not open to others’ influence; he failed to listen to connect.

When I explained this to Rob, and told him about the chemical impact his behavior was having on his employees, he vowed to change, and it worked. A few weeks later, a member of his team even asked me: “What did you give my boss to drink?”

You can read more here.


July 9, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Vault ranks top law firm summer associate programs including the ones that best prepare students for practice

From The Vault press release:

When it comes to finding a career in the legal industry, one of the most important decisions prospective lawyers can make is choosing the right summer associate program. Helping to make that decision easier, has released its fourth annual Summer Associate Program Rankings for 2015.

. . . .


The findings were a result of Vault's Law Firm Associate Survey, which was taken by nearly 17,000 law firm associates and included questions on summer associate programs. Vault asked first- through third-year associates who had worked as summer associates at their current firms to rate the program both in terms of how well it prepared them for full-time practice and how much fun they had. The average of these two scores determined which firms ranked on the Best Overall Summer Associate Programs list.


 The Top 10 Best Overall Law Firm Summer Associate Programs are:

  1. Morrison & Foerster
  2. Foley Hoag
  3. O'Melveny & Myers
  4. Venable
  5. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
  6. Shook, Hardy & Bacon
  7. Schiff Hardin
  8. Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz
  9. Holland & Knight
  10. Kaye Scholer

The Top 10 Summer Associate Programs that Best Prepare for Practice are:

  1. Venable
  2. Chadbourne & Parke
  3. Cravath, Swaine & Moore
  4. Foley Hoag / Morrison & Foerster (tie)
  5. Holland & Knight
  6. Schiff Hardin
  7. O'Melveny & Myers
  8. Squire Patton Boggs
  9. Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz
  10. Williams & Connolly

The Top 10 Most Fun Summer Associate Programs are:

  1. Schulte Roth & Zabel
  2. Irell & Manella
  3. Shook, Hardy & Bacon
  4. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
  5. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
  6. Latham & Watkins
  7. Alston & Bird / Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (tie)
  8. Morrison & Foerster
  9. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
  10. Kaye Scholer

To see all the rankings and read The Vault's methodology, click here.


July 8, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

When Will Law School Admissions Make the Standardized Test Optional?

From USA Today:

Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., in June became the only institution of higher education in the USA to enforce a “test blind” policy, which means it will reject any test scores it receives. Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., also recently added its name to the list of more than 800 “test optional” schools across the country.

Colleges with a test-optional policy span the country, including top-tier school such as Bowdoin College, Wesleyan University and American University.

You can read more here.

The ABA still requires law schools to use a standardized test (i.e., the LSAT, in reality) in the admissions process. The ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has proposed permitting law schools to admit up to 10 percent of their entering class with students who haven’t taken the LSAT. The ABA House of Delegates will consider the proposal in August. You can read more here at TaxProfBlog. Maybe it’s time to follow the lead of 800 institutions of higher learning.


July 8, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Judges with Daughters More Likely to Favor Women in Gender Cases

From the Wall Street Journal Law blog:

Maya Sen, a political scientist at the University of Rochester, and Adam Glynn, a government professor at Harvard, looked at 990 cases involving gender issues such as pregnancy discrimination. They evaluated 2,674 votes cast by 244 appeals court judges and found having at least one daughter increased the likelihood a judge ruled in favor of women’s rights in a gender-related case by 7 percent.

You can read more here. As the father of two daughters, I don’t doubt the study. I think I am more aware of the discrimination issues that women face.


July 8, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tips for law students (and lawyers) looking to buy inexpensive work attire

There's a very informative post over at the JD Underground blog that some of our readers might find helpful concerning tips for buying inexpensive men's suits for work.  With OCI just around the corner (at some schools it now starts in August - yikes!), no doubt many law students on a budget will soon be looking to find appropriate interview clothes. The readers over at JD Underground have posted several great suggestions for retailers who offer stellar deals (some are discounters who have deals all the time while others you'll need to shop the sales) like Joseph A. Bank, Nordstrom Rack, Bloomingdales Outlet, Brooks Brothers (if you wait for the sales and then open a charge account), etc. 

One of the better suggestions I can confirm from my own experience is eBay.  It can take patience if you're looking for a particular brand or maker, but the deals can be phenomenal.  Specifically, consider buying slightly used suits from private sellers rather than retailers.  Guys are always emptying their closets onto eBay and you can frequently find very fine suits that have been worn only once or twice, if at all, for a pittance.  Sure, you may have to spend a little money getting it tailored but you're going to have that expense anyway with a store-bought suit.  Here's another tip; if you're not already familiar with a particular brand's fit, ask the seller to provide key measurements (like pit-to-pit, shoulder-seam-to shoulder-seam, etc.) so you don't have any unpleasant surprises when the suit arrives in the mail since fit varies from one maker to the next. 

Ebay is also killer for a lot of peripherals like dress shirts and ties - shoes too though if you've already got a favorite brand like Johnston & Murphy, Grenson, Cole Haan, etc., try using the "shopping" feature on Google to track down sales outlets for those particular brands.  Many of these discounters offer free returns since that's become de rigueur in the online world in order to remain competitive.  Shopstyle is a good aggregator site that let's you shop for sales by brand.

And one more suggestion - don't overlook Amazon.  Yes, they do sell clothes including men's suits (is there anything you can't get on Amazon these days?).  Amazon also acts as an aggregator of sorts since many retailers list their wares (especially discounted items) here in addition to their own websites.  You have to be patient and wait for stuff to be discounted but there are some serious deals to be had (a friend of mine just bought a cool sharkskin suit for $99.00).  Plus with Amazon, you've got a great return policy which means it's pretty much risk free. 

Of course all the foregoing is male-centric because, hey, I'm a guy.  Women looking for shopping tips on inexpensive work clothes should check out the Corporette blog or Vivia Chen's columns at the Careerist blog (among other suggestions) for their great counsel.


July 7, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Seattle U to Open Satellite Campus in Alaska

From PreLaw:

Alaska, the only state in the union without a law school, will soon get a satellite campus, allowing third-year students to study in their home state. Seattle University School of Law recently announced a partnership with Alaska Pacific University that will allow it to offer a full 3L curriculum in fall 2015.

The school still needs approval from the American Bar Association, which conducted a site visit at Seattle University in May.

You can read more here.


July 7, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Another Great LWI Writers Workshop

Just before the Legal Writing Institute’s Philadelphia conference, LWI sponsored the eleventh annual LWI Writers Workshop. Ten LWI members brought themselves and their manuscripts to the Villanova Conference Center to discuss scholarship and getting published and to receive intensive small group feedback on their works-in-progress. I was privileged to facilitate along with Deborah Gordon (Drexel) and Steve Johansen (Lewis & Clark). The participating scholars were:

Sherri Keene (Maryland)

Anne Villella (Lewis & Clark)

Kristin Hazelwood (Kentucky)

Ken Chestek (Wyoming)

Martha Kanter (Northwestern)

Grace Dodier (Northwestern)

Bernadette Gargano (Buffalo)

Cathren Koehlert-Page (Barry)

Elizabeth (Betsy) Lenhart (Cincinnati)

Rosemary Queenan (Albany)

 Helping to run the workshop is one of my most favorite projects. I get to work on interesting ideas with interesting and fun people. We bring together a group of professors, both veterans and newbies to the scholarly world, and  deal will a range of  topics, both Legal Writing and other topics, and get to spend time with friends, new and old.

 Next summer, we probably will hold the Writers Workshop before or after the Storytelling Conference in Seattle in mid July. Please start thinking about attending.


July 7, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Exciting New Book on Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is a major part of legal education reform.  Three experts on legal education, Sophie Sparrow, Gerald F. Hess, and Michael Hunter Schwartz, have written a book on formative assessment, Assessment: A Comprehensive Guidebook for Law Schools, which is scheduled to appear later this year.

"This book will serve as a crucial resource for law school administrators, professors, and staff who are interested or involved in assessing their students, courses, teachers, programs, and institutions. The book will draw on current research on assessment and provide a practical approach to comprehensive assessment. The book will include concrete suggestions and examples and communicate in a straightforward accessible style. In addition to writing the majority of the text, the authors will report on effective assessment methods used currently by law schools. Individual chapters will focus on 1) purpose of assessment; 2) assessment fundamentals at all levels; 3) assessing student learning; 4) students' role in assessment; 5) assessing law school curricula and programs; 6) assessing law school teaching; 7) assessing the law school as an institution; and 8) creating a culture of assessment. In addition, the book will provide examples of assessment used by a variety of law schools and include sample forms and checklists to make assessment manageable."

(Scott Fruehwald)

July 6, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Again with the legal incubators - Widener Law (Harrisburg) plans to launch a program this fall

The ABA must once again update its database of law school incubator programs (here) because Widener Law School (Harrisburg campus) has just announced a joint endeavor with the Dauphin County Bar Association to launch its own incubator program this fall.  (For more coverage by this blog on the incubators started by other schools go hereherehereherehereherehere and here). has more details about Widener's program: 

Widener Law, Dauphin County Bar Association starting law firm incubator program


Widener Law in Harrisburg and the Dauphin County Bar Association will be working together to launch an incubator program this fall for new lawyers looking to start a solo practice or small law firm.

The two groups are taking applications from interested lawyers who graduated in 2014 from Widener Law, according to a news release on the program.


The two or three lawyers accepted to the one-year program will receive office space at the Dauphin County Bar Association on North Front Street in Harrisburg, and the association also will provide networking opportunities.


Widener Law Associate Clinical Professor J. Palmer Lockard II also will lead training sessions for the attorneys in the program and serve as a mentor, according to the news release. The attorneys also will have computer and printing equipment as part of the program.


They will have to pay for malpractice insurance and, during the program, do 100 hours of pro bono legal work, which Mid Penn Legal Services will coordinate. They'll also be encouraged to do "low bono" work.

"This program is dynamic because it not only gives the new attorneys legal experience and business skills, but it adds affordable legal services to the community," Widener Law Interim Co-Dean Robyn L. Meadows, who oversees the Harrisburg campus, said in the news release. "We hope it will build a lasting appreciation for the importance of assisting the underserved, no matter where their careers take them."

. . . .

Continue reading here.


July 6, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Great Legal Writing Conference in Philadelphia

I have just returned from the Legal Writing Institute’s Biennial Conference, held in Philadelphia. With every conference, the presentations grow more sophisticated and helpful. And the conference offers us the opportunity to meet up with old friends and make new ones. This year, the conference drew 540 registrants.

Here is a set of photos, compliments of Ken Chestek.

And here are 9:23 minutes of slides, compliments of Karin Mika.


July 6, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)