Saturday, September 19, 2015

ABA Reverses Experimental Waiver on LSATs

From preLaw:

One year after allowing high-achieving undergrads to apply to law school without taking the LSAT, the American Bar Association has reversed course and said, um, never-mind.

Only a few law schools were trying the concept and accepted such students for this year's class. However, that may have changed if the new admissions process had time to mature. Under it, undergrads could only apply to their graduate law schools. Law schools were limited to accepting just 10 percent of their enrolling class this way.

“We're a a little disappointed,” said Robert Harrison, associate dean of admissions and financial services for St. John's University School of Law, which admitted seven students this year through the new method. “We thought it would be an interesting experiment when it comes to judging other law school indicators besides the LSAT.”

You can read more here.


September 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 18, 2015

"Fifty Plus Years and Counting: A History of Experiential Learning and Clinical Opportunities at Thurgood Marshall School of Law"

This is a new article from Professors Martina Cartwright and Thelma Harmon (Thurgood Marshall) and available at 39 T. Marshall L. Rev. 187 (2014). From the abstract:

The shortcomings of today's law graduate lies not in a deficient knowledge of the law, but that he has little, if any training in dealing with facts or people-the stuff of which cases are really made. It is a rare graduate, for example, who knows how to ask questions-simple, single questions, one at a time, in order to develop facts in evidence in interviewing witness or examining him in a courtroom. 
Experience and properly trained lawyers greatly contribute to the expeditious and nonreversible trial of criminal and civil courts. Graduates . . . should be prepared properly to represent the citizens of Texas in the courtrooms.

September 18, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Solution to Declining Bar Passage Rates

Above the Law has an article on the declining bar passage rates.  The article concludes,

"According to Professor [Derek] Muller, 'There isn’t a lot that schools can do. You can only train students so far and so much, a lot depends on ability.' That being said, there seems to be an obvious solution to the problem, but we doubt it’s one that law schools will take. Law schools must accept the fact that in order to produce graduates who will be able to pass the bar exam, they must heighten their admissions standards. In doing so, their classes will be small — very small — and their coffers won’t be as full as they used to be. Some law schools will have to close for this to happen, and it’ll be a traumatic experience for all involved.

Until law schools realize they’re doing a disservice to everyone — their students, their graduates, and their graduates’ future clients — things will only continue to get worse."

There is another alternative: Better educate law students by using teaching approaches that have been shown to work by general education researchers.  I may sound like a broken record, but better teachings methods will solve many of the woes that face law schools.  Law schools particularly need to employ better teaching methods for first-year students because most colleges are not giving them the cognitive skills they need to succeed in law school.

Professor Mueller and Above the Law seem to be suffering from the fixed mindset, which both Deborah Jo Merritt and I have attacked this week.  (here, here)  In other words, they believe that nothing can be done about the abilities of the students who enter law school.  However, a great deal of education research has demonstrated that this is not true.  Students who have a growth mindset can increase their intelligence through hard work and deliberate practice.   I have previously set out several ways law students can increase their abilities (here),  so I won't repeat them in this post.

I am concerned about what we will learn over the next few weeks as we see bar results from more states.  However, declining bar passage rates are not a disaster; they are an opportunity.  We can overcome the problem of declining bar passage rates with better educational methods.

(Scott Fruehwald)


September 18, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Nine Mistakes New Teachers Make

From Education Week, and designed for K-12 teachers, but most apply to us as well:

1. Inconsistency

2. Focusing on Lesson Planning Rather than Student Learning

3. Grading Everything

4. Avoiding Parent Contact

5. Not Setting Boundaries With Students

6. Being Afraid to Ask for Help

7. Being Afraid to Speak Up

8. Burning Out

9. Forgetting the Joys of Teaching

Ultimately, educators at every level make mistakes. While there may not be a “Ctrl+Z” function for the classroom, each morning represents a chance to start fresh, make amends, and try again. Children are resilient and incredibly forgiving. Give your students your best, and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish year after year, imperfections and all.

For detailed explanations, please click here.



September 18, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bar Exam Scores Drop to Their Lowest Point in Decades

Bloomberg Business.

"The average score on the multiple-choice portion of the July test fell 1.6 points from the previous year, reaching its lowest level since 1988, according to data provided to Bloomberg by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The mean score on this summer's exam was 139.9, down from 141.5 in July 2014."

"About a dozen states have published their pass rates, and the numbers are even worse than last year, when graduates performed historically badly. Pass rates for students who took the test in July were down in most states that have reported results."

“'The decline in student quality continues to affect the results,' says Derek Muller, a professor at Pepperdine University School of Law. As fewer people apply to law schools, the programs have started filling their campuses with students who aren’t as qualified as they used to be. That strategy produced a crisis in 2014, when scores on the multiple-choice portion of the test registered their largest year-over-year drop in four decades."

 "This year’s results are among the most important in the exam's history, because they will offer a clearer sense of whether last year’s failure rate was an anomaly or the start of a very bad run. So far, the numbers are pointing in the wrong direction for the nation’s law schools."

(Scott Fruehwald)

September 17, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

How to Work with Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials

Here is a great infograph offering a good bit of information on how to work with these three generations.

As a Boomer, the descriptions fit me extremely well. And I think the descriptions are on the mark for my offspring who bridge the Gen-X and Millennial categories. .  Please click here.  (From Cornerstone)


September 17, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Assessing professional communication skills in law school

This is a new article by Professor Denitsa R. Mavrova Heinrich (Barry) which is forthcoming in the North Dakota Law Review and available now on SSRN here. From the abstract:

Legal education has faced much criticism in recent years. That criticism has largely focused on law schools’ failure to prepare students for the practice of law. Critics have thus urged law schools to establish learning outcomes aimed at teaching students how to become practice-ready professionals and have called for the adoption of effective assessment tools to evaluate and improve student learning. 

While slow to respond to the call for reform, last August, the American Bar Association adopted new accreditation standards on learning outcomes and assessment measures. The adoption of these standards represents a shift in legal education — a shift from educational inputs to learning outputs. In other words, the new standards now require law schools to shift from teaching students how to think like lawyers toward assessing whether students are in fact learning how to be lawyers. 

This Article examines the new ABA standards on learning outcomes and assessment and their potential impact on reforming legal education. The Article argues law schools should embrace the new standards as a valuable method to reflect, evaluate, and improve legal education in their quest to producing practice-ready professionals. And through the lens of a course developed to teach professional communication skills to law students, the Article illustrates how law schools can engage in small-scale experimentation of articulating learning outcomes and utilizing assessment tools, at the individual course level, all the while focusing on the central purpose of assessment — the improvement of student learning.


September 16, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Who Reviews 10,000 Cert. Petitions for Justice Alito?

His clerks do. The other Justices place all the petitions in a pool and divide them among their clerks. Justice Alito opted out of the pool and places the burden of reviewing the petitions on his clerks—about 10,000 petitions annually.  

Why? The Justice’s explanation has not been clear, and Court watchers have a variety of theories. To evaluate them, please click here on this article in the National Law Journal.


September 16, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Active Learning in Law Schools. It Is Time To Act!

On Monday, I mentioned an article in the New York Times that states that active learning helps all college students, but helps minorities and the poor more because they come to college already behind.  (here)  The Best Practices for Legal Education Blog (here) has a post on the article.  The post ends, "The studies cited in this NY Times article provide support for increasing active learning in legal education, both to improve all students’ learning and to level the playing field."

I believe that this last sentence is not strong enough.  The article demonstrates that all law professors must incorporate active learning into their teaching if they are serious about their students. It is time to end the rhetoric and act. We know how to help minority students improve their learning. Many, many articles have concluded the same thing as those mentioned in the Times article. There is no doubt that active learning is more effective than passive approaches.  Active learning is like penicillin. It doesn’t need more testing.

All law professors should do problem-solving exercises in their classes.  They should employ formative assessment.  They should require students to do memos and briefs.  This is not as hard as it sounds.  There are many texts out there, such as [beware: shameless plug approaching] my text A Companion to Torts: How to Think Like a Torts Lawyer (2015).

We cannot wait to act.  Let's not lose more students to outdated teaching approaches.  We can help minorities and the poor succeed in law school.

(Scott Fruehwald)

P.S. I am not criticizing the blogger of the post at Best Practices.  She is one of the strongest supporters of legal education reform.  However, I am talking to those who advocate diversity and equality but do nothing  to help them be achieved.  Don't be an arm-chair liberal; be a doer.

September 16, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Amidst flat or declining enrollments, a few law schools buck the trend

Now that the fall semester is underway at nearly every U.S. law school, some are reporting that enrollments have actually increased from this time last year. In some cases such as the University of Akron School of Law, the increase is substantial. Akron's Dean reports that enrollment is up 26% from this time last year.  As we previously noted, Elon is reporting an 18% increase in students from last year. Deans from both schools attribute the increase to curricular changes that offer students better value (in Elon's case this involves shortening the time needed to obtain a JD).

Similarly, Wayne State in Detroit is reporting a 10% increase in 1L enrollment from last year. And Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge has enrolled a total of 617 1Ls this year compared to 580 in 2014 reflecting an almost 7% increase in class size. 


September 16, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Students Know Their Writing Strengths & Weaknesses

At the beginning of the semester, I ask my 2L and 3L students for a short memo in which they identify their strengths and weaknesses as writers and how they deal with their weaknesses. I then meet with them individually to discuss their memos. I always am impressed that they have great insight into their writing skills.

This semester, I found that many of them discussed two items that I had not seen pop up before—finding one’s voice as a writer and failing to spell out their analysis (gaps in reasoning).


September 15, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

U. Idaho seeks clinical law professor to direct and teach pre-trial and trial advocacy courses.

Here are the details:

The University of Idaho, College of Law, invites applications for a full-time, academic-year clinical faculty position, to begin in May 2016 to direct its Main Street Legal Clinic and to teach pre-trial and Trial Advocacy courses. Although an academic-year appointment, the person who fills this position will generally be required to run the Main Street Legal Clinic during the summer for 8-12 weeks, with the exact amount of time and pay to be determined by separate contract each year. The Main Street Legal Clinic represents clients in a wide variety of cases including family law, misdemeanor defense, consumer protection, and civil rights matters.


Candidates must have 1) a J.D. from an accredited school or the equivalent; 2) a distinguished academic record; 3) a record of or the promise of teaching excellence; 4) at least five years of post JD practice, clerking or teaching experience; and 5) a demonstrated commitment to service in the law school and the community. Candidates also must be a member of a bar in good standing and eligible for admission to the Idaho State Bar as a supervising attorney within one year of the hire date.


The College has a long history of clinical education and public service. Its clinical programs are nationally recognized and include six in-house clinics as well as an extensive externship program. For more information on clinical and practical skills offerings at the College of Law, please review our website:


Situated in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, the University of Idaho is a comprehensive research institution that is enriched by its geographic proximity to Washington State University and its programs in Boise, Idaho. Information about the College of Law is available on its website at Interested people should apply online at and include in their application material information addressing the requirements for the position, a resume showing evidence of academic distinction and teaching and service potential, and at least three references relevant to the candidate’s qualifications. The Faculty Appointments Committee will begin reviewing applications on August 24, 2015 and will give priority consideration to applications received before October 1, 2015.

The University of Idaho is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. The University has an institution-wide commitment to diversity, human rights, multiculturalism and community. It expresses that commitment by actively recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and student body, and by building and sustaining a welcoming, supportive campus environment.


September 15, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Fluid-Intelligence Affirmative Action

Deborah Jo Merritt has a three-part series on the Law School Cafe in which she proposes a new type of affirmative action--fluid-intelligence affirmative action.  She writes, "I wrote in a recent post that many affirmative action programs reflect a belief in fixed intelligence. In these programs, faculty assume that affirmative-action admits have less ability than their white peers. That ability, faculty further assume, condemns those admittees to low law school grades."  "I then, however, explained that a belief in fixed intelligence is mistaken. Intelligence is much more fluid than many individuals understand. Adopting a fluid-intelligence mindset, moreover, can itself enhance achievement."

Merritt argues, "When viewed with a fluid-intelligence perspective, affirmative action programs take on a very different character than the one I described earlier. This perspective, first, assumes that college grades and LSAT scores do not fully reflect the existing intelligence of minority students. Stereotype threat, economic disadvantage, cultural signals, and other forces can reduce a minority student’s performance when compared to that of a white student with similar abilities. Thus, the true ability level of an admitted minority student may be higher than that of white students with similar scores."  She continues, "Second, the fluid-intelligence perspective assumes that the minority student’s capabilities will grow throughout law school. Education expands intellectual ability, and law school offers a particularly rigorous form of education. The minority student, like white students, will be more capable at graduation than at admission.  Finally, and most important, the fluid-intelligence perspective suggests that the minority student has more potential for growth than the white student with similar credentials."

Thus, "A good affirmative action program assumes that, if we place minority students in an intellectually challenging but supportive environment, and if we eliminate the stereotype threat and implicit bias in that environment, the minority student will make greater intellectual gains than a white student who enters that environment with the same initial achievement level."

She concludes, "This three-part discussion, I hope, shows that affirmative action programs need not create stereotype threat or harm minority students. On the contrary, properly conceptualized programs recognize the ability of minority students to make greater gains than similarly credentialed classmates.

What, then, holds them back?. . . .  The answer almost certainly lies in our failure to create the type of academic environment described above. . . .  Can we cultivate a belief in fluid intelligence–among both students and faculty–that will give more students an opportunity to grow their intelligence? That is one of the challenges facing law schools."

I believe that Professor Merritt has come up with an innovative approach to affirmative action.  There is considerable research in general education that backs up the notion of fluid-intelligence (the growth mindset), especially the work of Carol Dweck.  Law professors can help students by convincing minority students that they have the ability to improve their intelligence.

However, I don't think that Professor Merritt has gone far enough.  Helping minority students to change their mindsets is just the beginning to helping them do better in law school and as lawyers.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, many minority students come to law school behind.  This is partially due to a fixed mindset and partially due to fewer educational opportunities than white students, beginning with elementary school.  As I discussed in detail in my article How to Help Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds Succeed in Law School, law schools need to use better teaching approaches to help minority students succeed.

Paramount among these approaches is active learning techniques.  As Annie Murphy Paul declared in the New York Times, "The partiality of the lecture format [in favor of white students] has been made visible by studies that compare it with a different style of instruction, called active learning. This approach provides increased structure, feedback and interaction, prompting students to become participants in constructing their own knowledge rather than passive recipients. . . .  Research comparing the two methods has consistently found that students over all perform better in active-learning courses than in traditional lecture courses. However, women, minorities, and low-income and first-generation students benefit more, on average, than white males from more affluent, educated families."

Similarly, minority students often enter law school lacking the metacognitive skills that are important to becoming a self-regulated learner.  Metacognition concerns thinking about thinking–controlling one’s cognitive (thinking) processes.  It involves knowing strategies and when to adopt a particular strategy.  It concerns monitoring one’s learning and activities.  It requires thinking about one’s learning processes and problem-solving methods so the student can improve those processes.

Law professors also need to explain concepts clearly, rather than hiding the ball.  Those of us who became law professors may have thrived on the hiding the ball method when we were in law school, but students who are already behind on the first day do not.

Moreover, law schools need to help students develop better study habits.  Most students use the same study habits in law school that they did in undergraduate school regardless of whether those habits worked well.  In addition, law school involves a different type of learning that involves a different approach to studying.

Finally, law professors need to adopt new types of textbooks--textbooks that include active learning exercises, which drill students in legal reasoning, such as here, here, and here.

Professor Merritt is correct that law schools can do much more to help minorities succeed.  However, this will take a strong commitment by law schools and law professors.  I believe, though, that helping minority students succeed is worth it.

(Scott Fruehwald)

September 14, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

How to Give Tough Feedback

Merrilyn Astin Tarlton gives these five suggestions:

1. First, get clear. In this case, let’s say your business problem is missed deadlines because this chatty fellow isn’t focused. Get this clear in your own mind before your conversation begins. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself having a conversation about whether or not he’s a goof-off, instead of working together to solve the problem of deadlines. The difference really matters.

2. Speak in the passive voice, not the active. Instead of “You are a poor writer,” go with “That report was poorly written.”

3. Make suggestions actionable. (Suggest ways to deal with the deficiency)

 4. Invite collaboration. [I]f you are interested in the young attorney growing in a way that justifies the investment you’ve already made in her, you must be willing to team with her to identify the best action to solve the performance issue.

5. Encourage the heart. It may sound trite, but in 1995 Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner conducted a study that found “performance was higher when people were led by individuals who gave more encouragement.”

You can read the full article here. The underlying message is help the person grow into a successful professional.




September 14, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Answering the Call: Flipping the Classroom to Prepare Practice-Ready Attorneys"

This is a new article by Professor Alex Berrio Matamoros (CUNY) just published at 43 Cap. U. L. Rev. 113 (2015) and also available here at SSRN. From the abstract:

In the rough and changing landscape of the legal job market, legal employers have called on law schools to prepare more “practice ready” attorneys — newly minted lawyers with better honed practical skills than the first year associates of the past. The increasing emphasis on legal skills sheds light on an interesting paradox within legal education; in legal skills courses, those that best lend themselves to active learning exercises, instructors fill valuable classroom time with passive lectures to convey the related theory and best practices. Recently, several legal skills instructors have adopted a flipped classroom model to remedy this paradox by using commonplace technology to make concise lecture videos available online for students to view on their own time, creating additional classroom time for active skills development under the supervision of an experienced instructor. 

This article first presents an assessment of the literature and limited empirical studies on the effectiveness of using a flipped classroom model in higher education courses. After discussing the pedagogical and learning benefits of flipped classroom, it then advocates for the at-least partial implementation of a flipped classroom model in legal skills courses to create more opportunities for active learning with the expectation of similar increases in student performance that have appeared in other areas of higher education.


September 14, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Are College Lectures Unfair?

I have been saying for some time that active learning will help all law students, but that minorities would be helped the most because they generally have a poorer educational background than white students.  An article in the New York Times asserts the same thing about college students.

Are College Lectures Unfair? by Annie Murphy Paul.

Murphy asks, "DOES the college lecture discriminate? Is it biased against undergraduates who are not white, male and affluent?"  "Yet a growing body of evidence suggests that the lecture is not generic or neutral, but a specific cultural form that favors some people while discriminating against others, including women, minorities and low-income and first-generation college students. This is not a matter of instructor bias; it is the lecture format itself — when used on its own without other instructional supports — that offers unfair advantages to an already privileged population."

"The partiality of the lecture format has been made visible by studies that compare it with a different style of instruction, called active learning. This approach provides increased structure, feedback and interaction, prompting students to become participants in constructing their own knowledge rather than passive recipients."

"Research comparing the two methods has consistently found that students over all perform better in active-learning courses than in traditional lecture courses. However, women, minorities, and low-income and first-generation students benefit more, on average, than white males from more affluent, educated families."

"Active-learning courses deliberately structure in-class and out-of-class assignments to ensure that students repeatedly engage with the material."

"In the structured course, all demographic groups reported completing the readings more frequently and spending more time studying; all groups also achieved higher final grades than did students in the lecture course. At the same time, the active-learning approach worked disproportionately well for black students — halving the black-white achievement gap evident in the lecture course — and for first-generation college students, closing the gap between them and students from families with a history of college attendance."

"The act of putting one’s own thoughts into words and communicating them to others, research has shown, is a powerful contributor to learning. Active-learning courses regularly provide opportunities for students to talk and debate with one another in a collaborative, low-pressure environment."

"In a study to be published later this year, researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Yale University compare a course in physical chemistry taught in traditional lecture style to the same course taught in a “flipped” format, in which lectures were moved online and more time was devoted to in-class problem-solving activities. Exam performance over all was nearly 12 percent higher in the flipped class. Female students were among those who benefited the most, allowing them to perform at almost the same level as their male peers."

Paul concludes, "Given that active-learning approaches benefit all students, but especially those who are female, minority, low-income and first-generation, shouldn’t all universities be teaching this way?"

An excellent question that many of us have been asking about law schools.  Or, as I have phrased it in an earlier post, the predominant method of legal education used today was developed in the nineteenth century at an elite law school for elite, white, male law students who had graduated from elite colleges.  Is there any wonder there is white bias in legal education?

(Scott Fruehwald)



September 14, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Tribute to Molly Lien

We at the Legal Skills Prof Blog are saddened to learn of the passing of our colleague and friend Molly Lien.  Molly was much beloved throughout the legal writing profession and at the law schools she taught at.  Our sympathy goes out to her family.

I have collected a few of the tributes to Molly:

"I am so sad today. My dear friend, Molly Lien, died this morning during surgery. Molly was a colleague of mine at Chicago Kent for many years, succeeded me as director of the Legal Writing program, was a wonderful teacher, and the epitome of a caring, loving individual, concerned about her students and others. She went on to direct the program at John Marshall and taught there, before she retired to Traverse City Michigan a few years ago. . . . She was one of the kindest, most generous, loving persons I have ever known. She will be greatly missed."  Ralph Brill

"Molly was a brilliant and generous colleague.   She was a lovely and gracious woman.  Many of us benefited from her wisdom and kindness."  Maureen Collins

"Molly was indeed a tremendous teacher, mentor, and friend. May she rest in peace and may her kindness and friendship live on in our memories."  Mark Wojcik

"Your spirit will live on in all of us you touched, Molly. Congratulations on a life well-lived and a career well done."  Brad Clary

"When I was a new director with lots of questions I shared with the listserve, Molly was the one who picked up the phone and called with answers.  She will truly be missed." Gail Stephenson

"I don't have enough words to describe my sorrow at losing dear Molly, without a doubt one of the most wonderful people ever put on this earth."  Ralph Brill

"Molly personified the best parts of our community.  Everyone who knew her loved her.  I will miss her so much."  Terrill Pollman

"Thank you, Ralph, for sharing Mark's post; thank you, Mark, for such a wonderful tribute to Molly; and thanks to all for expressing your comments about how special Molly was and the footprint she left on the legal writing community.  I remember Molly with great respect and a smile."  Deborah McGregor

"Over the past year, I have had to dig deep inside to find courage I didn't know I had.  So many times, I have thought of Molly and her strength and fortitude during one particular terrible year in her career.  Molly showed us all that kindness, forgiveness, and the ability to show our dissenters just how wrong they are pave the true path to success, contentment, and respect.  I loved Molly dearly and will miss her with all my heart.  I join the rest of the academy in mourning her loss and honoring her life."  Lisa McElroy

"Molly was a kind and gracious mentor to me when I was a terrified new director.  Rest in peace, dear lady."  Kirsten Dauphinais

"This is a sad day indeed.  Molly was the best of us.  Always there to lend a hand, offer wise advice, and give support.  We lost one of the nicest people on the planet, but we have been blessed by knowing her.  She was a mentor to many of us, and her legacy is her kindness.  She is a role model for all of us on how to teach and how to live.  Let us always remember this great woman. "  Grace Tonner

"Molly was a mentor to me in so many ways, I can't begin to name them. I am grateful for having been the recipient of her advice, her support, and her friendship. I took my son to meet Molly when he was looking at law schools, and she unquestionably influenced his ultimate choice. I don't look forward to sharing this sad news with him and his wife, both graduates of Chicago-Kent. It was a privilege to know Molly. She will never be forgotten by this community or by anyone who knew her." Coleen Barger

"Molly certainly was someone who touched many of us, far and wide, and who stood up for and symbolized the fight for recognition of the legal writing community, in ways that we won't forget."  Diane Edelman


Molly was one of the first persons I met in the legal writing profession.  She interviewed me at the AALS meat market in 1993.   We got along so well that our talk went twenty minutes into the next person's time.  Molly was always a pleasure to talk to when I ran into her at meetings.  She was always concerned about what was going on in my career and my life.  Molly will be missed.

It is heartwarming to read what everybody has said about Molly.  She was a wonderful person, and the legal writing profession is a great group of people.

(Scott Fruehwald)

September 13, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

What Resilient People Have in Common

Social scientist Brené Brown identifies the characteristics of resilient people.

The most transformative and resilient leaders that I’ve worked with over the course of my career have three things in common: First, they recognize the central role that relationships and story play in culture and strategy, and they stay curious about their own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Second, they understand and stay curious about how emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are connected in the people they lead, and how those factors affect relationships and perception. And, third, they have the ability and willingness to lean in to discomfort and vulnerability.

[Active engagement with the creative impulse] Creativity embeds knowledge so that it can become practice. We move what we’re learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands. We are born makers, and creativity is the ultimate act of integration — it is how we fold our experiences into our being…

[Some form of spiritual life] Our expressions of spirituality are as diverse as we are. When our intentions and actions are guided by spirituality — our belief in our interconnectedness and love — our everyday experiences can be spiritual practices. We can transform teaching, leading, and parenting into spiritual practices. Asking for and receiving help can also be spiritual practices. Storytelling and creating can be spiritual practices, because they cultivate awareness.

You can read more here at Brain Pickings.


September 13, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Speaking Styles of Lawyers and Justices at the Supreme Court

Communications coach Marsha Hunt notices the difference between how the lawyers speak and how the Justices speak:

With the clock ticking away right in front of them [the lawyers], they feel the powerful effect of adrenaline on their perception of time. They feel that time is passing more quickly than it is. We can hear lawyers racing against time, struggling against the effects of adrenaline. Listen for these instances and learn from their mistakes.

The justices, on the other hand, speak carefully and with deliberate purpose. As they speak clearly in fluent phrases, we can hear how self-assured they are. The music of their voices conveys the exact meaning of their words. By and large, the justices are measured and relaxed and seem to be enjoying the whole thing thoroughly.

She encourages us to learn by listening to arguments on You can read more here at Attorney at Work.



September 12, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Boston U. Law School launches new clinic focused on IP issues relating to technology commercialization

From BU's press release announcing this new program:

Starting this fall, Boston University School of Law students will work with budding entrepreneurs seeking to protect and commercialize their technologies in the School's new Entrepreneurship & Intellectual Property Law Clinic. Under the supervision of recently appointed clinic director Eve Brown, students will advise their clients about business strategies and intellectual property issues and participate in a complementary seminar that will support them in their assigned cases and help them develop the necessary skills for transactional and IP work.


“We are thrilled to add the Entrepreneurship & IP Law Clinic to our strong portfolio of existing clinical opportunities,” says Dean Maureen A. O’Rourke. “Our Intellectual Property Program has long been recognized as one of the best in the country, and this addition will give students the kind of practical, hands-on experience working with real clients that will prove invaluable as they begin their careers.”


Brown comes to BU Law from Suffolk University Law School, where she has been practitioner-in-residence and director of the the Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship Clinic since 2012. She has also taught Intellectual Property Strategy and Law for the Entrepreneur at both Suffolk University and Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. Her teaching and research interests focus on intellectual property and entrepreneurship law.


“Boston is a known hotbed for start-ups and innovation, so our students will be working with some of the brightest minds in the country, developing some of the most exciting technologies of tomorrow,” says Associate Dean for Experiential Education Peggy Maisel. “And we are excited to welcome Eve Brown, who is an exceptional teacher and practitioner.”


From 2007-2012, Brown taught in the Department of Business Law and Ethics at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, in both the undergraduate and MBA programs. While at Indiana University, she was awarded the Trustees Teaching Award and the Innovative Teaching Award, and was named Kappa Alpha Theta Outstanding Professor and Student Choice Award Nominee.


Brown has served as president of the Tri-State Academy of Legal Studies in Business, and is currently a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association; the Law and Society Association; the International Society for Scholarship on Teaching and Learning; and the Association for Law, Culture & the Humanities.


Prior to teaching, Brown practiced as an attorney for the San Diego office of Ross, Dixon & Bell, where her pro bonowork was honored with a Business Volunteers for the Arts award. She has also worked for the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit of the United States' Attorney's Office and as an extern for the Honorable Frank C. Damrell of the United States District Court in Sacramento, California. She received her JD from the University of California Davis School of Law, where she was senior articles editor for the UC Davis Law Review, and her BA from Skidmore College.


With the addition of the Entrepreneurship & IP Law Clinic, BU Law offers a dozen in-house clinics, as well as numerous externship and Semester-in-Practice opportunities. The School guarantees that any student who wishes to take a clinic will have the opportunity to do so before they graduate.


September 12, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)