Friday, February 10, 2017

call for proposals, Moot Court Conference

Second Biennial Moot Court Conference

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois

The Planning Committee for the Second Biennial Moot Court Conference invites proposals from participants on any topic of interest to those who coach moot court teams and teach appellate advocacy.  We welcome individual and collaborative proposals. 

The deadline for proposals is Monday, February 13.  To submit, please send the following information in a Word document to Ardath Hamann at and Rob Sherwin at

  1. Name(s) and contact information
  2. Title of presentation
  3. Brief (one paragraph description)
  4. Time needed (25 minutes or 50 minutes)
  5. Technology needed.

In the email subject line, please state: Moot Court 2017 Proposal – [Name]. 

We hope to complete program selection by February 27.  We look forward to receiving your proposals.


hat tip:  Ardath Hamann

February 10, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

visiting position at Washburn

The Washburn University School of Law invites applications for the position of Visiting Associate Professor of Law (VAP) in its Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing (LARW) program. Washburn’s LARW program is staffed by four tenured or tenure-track professors specializing in legal writing pedagogy. The program is often ranked among the best legal writing programs in the nation by U.S. World and News Report.

This position is for a full-time nine-month visiting faculty member to teach first-year courses in our legal writing program during the 2017-2018 academic year, beginning in August 2017. The VAP will be expected to teach at least one section of LARW each semester in addition to one additional course each semester. Those additional courses may be in the upper-level curriculum and could include at least one upper-level writing course. However, the content of the additional courses would be decided based on the curricular needs of the institution and the VAP’s experience and interests.

Washburn University was founded in 1865 on the then-revolutionary premise of open access to and diversity in education. Washburn Law School is committed to continuing and expanding upon this legacy. Diversity among faculty, staff, and students is essential to fulfilling the mission and vision of the law school, and the school uses every means available to support robust diversity within the law school community. Applicants whose background and experiences might enhance the diversity of the law school are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Washburn campus is located in the heart of Topeka, Kansas, blocks from the state capitol. Recently, the Topeka and Shawnee County Library was named the 2016 Library of the Year, the highest honor for libraries in the U.S. and Canada. Topeka has previously been named a Top Ten City in Kiplinger’s magazine. Topeka features affordable housing and beautiful, historic neighborhoods filled with well-maintained parks. It is also the home of the Brown v. Board of Education historical site.

Qualified candidates will have a JD degree from an ABA-accredited law school, outstanding academic credentials, and a strong law school and practice record demonstrating an outstanding level of accomplishment in legal research and writing. Prior experience teaching legal research and writing is preferred, but not required.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. (All faculty appointments are contingent upon funding.) Washburn University School of Law is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status. Interested candidates should send a resume, a list of at least three references, and a cover letter. Contact: Professor Janet Thompson Jackson, Chair, Faculty Recruitment Committee, Washburn University School of Law, 1700 College Avenue, Topeka, Kansas, 66621. E-mail:

  1. The position advertised:

     __   a.   is a tenure-track appointment

__   b.   may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.

     __  c.   may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years.

     _X_   d.  has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.

     __   e.  is part of a fellowship program for one or two years.

     __   f.   is a part-time appointment, or a year-to-year adjunct appointment.

Additional information about job security or terms of employment, any applicable

term limits, and whether the position complies with ABA Standard 405(c):

The position is a one-year podium fill visitor.


  1. The professor hired:

     _X_   a.   will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

     __   b.   will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

Additional information about the extent of the professor’s voting rights:


  1. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range checked below. (A base salary does not include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other courses, or teaching in summer school; a base salary does not include conference travel or other professional development funds.)

___ over $120,000

___ $110,000 - $119,999

__ $100,000 - $109,999

XX_ $90,000 - $99,999

Additional information about base salary or other compensation:

Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications


  1. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be:

     __   a.   30 or fewer

     __   b.   31 - 35

     _X_   c.   36 - 40

Additional information about teaching load, including required or permitted

teaching outside of the legal research and writing program:

The visitor would be expected to teach a section of LARW I in the Fall semester and a section of LARW II in the Spring semester.  Depending on curricular needs, the visitor’s experience, and the visitor’s interests, the remaining two classes could include upper-level casebook classes or upper-level writing courses.


hat tip:  Joseph Mastrosimone, Washburn

February 10, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Second Biennial Moot Court Conference to be Held in Chicago

JMLSSaturday, April 29, 2017

The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois

The Planning Committee for the Second Biennial Moot Court Conference invites proposals from participants on any topic of interest to those who coach moot court teams and teach appellate advocacy.  The committee invites individual and collaborative proposals.  

The deadline for proposals is Monday, February 13.  To submit, please send the following information in a Word document to Ardath Hamann at and Rob Sherwin at

  1. Name(s) and contact information
  2. Title of presentation
  3.  Brief summary (one paragraph description)
  4. Time needed (25 minutes or 50 minutes)
  5.  Technology needed.

In the email subject line, please state: Moot Court 2017 Proposal – [Name]. 

The LWI Moot Court Conference Planning Committee hopes to make its selections by February 27, 2017.

Hat tips to Ardath Hamann and Rob Sherwin.



February 9, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Tenure Granted to Professors Hugh Mundy and Marc Ginsberg

The Board of Trustees of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago has voted to grant tenure to Professors Marc Ginsberg and Hugh Mundy.

Marc GinsbergProfessor Marc Ginsberg (pictured at left) joined the full-time faculty at The John Marshall Law School after a career as a trial and appellate litigator, primarily representing physicians. He was valedictorian of his class and the Lead Articles Editor of the Law Review. He teaches Evidence, Civil Procedure II and Medical Negligence. His scholarship focuses on evidence and medico-legal jurisprudence.

Hugh MundyProfessor Hugh Mundy (pictured at right) joined the faculty at The John Marshall School after teaching for two years at the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, where taught Lawyering Skills and supervised the Criminal Justice Clinic. Before entering academia, Mundy was an assistant federal public defender for eight years working first in the Middle District of Tennessee and then in the Southern District of New York. His work included representing clients charged with a range of offenses, including narcotics, firearms, immigration, federal benefits and internet-based crimes. He also argued multiple appellate cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He began his legal career clerking for Judge A. Richard Caputo at the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. After completing a one-year term with the judge, he was selected an Equal Justice Works Fellow and worked at the Tennessee Justice Center in Nashville. His primary work focused on litigation to expand services for children under Tennessee's Medicaid program. Professor Mundy teaches Lawyering Skills, Criminal Law, and Evidence.


February 6, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pleaded or Pled?

The website for the American Bar Association Journal shared that a reader had questioned the publication’s editorial judgment in describing a story of two women who pleaded guilty to criminal charges. The reader (going by the name "OKBankLaw" asked whether "pleaded" should instead be "pled."

Click here to read more about the great debate.


January 25, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

One Week Left for Early Bird Registration for the 2017 Global Legal Skills Conference in Mexico; Presentation Proposals Still Being Accepted Until January 28th

GLS-FLDMThere's still a week left for the early bird registration for the 12th Global Legal Skills Conference being held at in Monterrey, Mexico at the Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey (FLDM), a previous host of the third and fifth Global Legal Skills Conferences. The conference is being held March 15-17, 2017. There is an optional full-day city tour of Monterrey on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

Proposals for presentations at the conference are also being accepted for another week.

The first Global Legal Skills started as a conference to connect legal writing and ESL professionals who had an interest in teaching international students and lawyers who speak English as a second language. The GLS Conference series has since grown to include not only legal writing faculty, but also international and comparative law professors, clinical faculty, linguists, librarians, judges, attorneys, court translators, law students, and scholars interested in global legal skills education. Now in its 12th iteration, the conference draws hundreds of professionals from around the world.

The conference being hosted at the FLDM is being cosponsored by The John Marshall Law School-Chicago (Illinois, USA), the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico Department of Law (Mexico City, Mexico), and the University of Texas at Austin School of Law (Texas, USA). The conference is also supported by various professional organizations, including the American Bar Association Section of International Law, the American Society of International Law, the International Law Students Association, Lawbility (Switzerland), Scribes — The American Society of Legal Writers, and the Teaching International Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association.

Click here for more information about the conference (including descriptions of presentations already accepted), the early bird registration, conference hotel discounts, city tour information, and nominations for the GLS Awards.


January 21, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Legal Writing Photos from the 2017 AALS Annual Meeting

Professor David Austin of the California Western School of Law, a contributing editor to the Legal Writing Prof Blog, has created a wonderful video montage of photos from the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools. These photos are from (1) the Golden Pen and Blackwell Reception hosted jointly by the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) and the Legal Writing Institute (LWI) and (2) the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Awards Luncheon.


January 17, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Bob Brain Finishes Term as Chair of AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research; New Chair is Sabrina DeFabritiis

20170105_133222Professor Bob Brain (Loyola Law School, Los Angeles) is pictured here with an exit sign at the end of his term as Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. He now joins a distinguished list of former section chairs who have advocated for legal writing professors within the AALS and the legal education community. He began his legal career in the litigation department of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he received a pro bono award from the LA County Bar Association for his work with Public Counsel, and represented the ACLU in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. He later joined the faculty at Pepperdine University School of Law where he taught contracts, torts, constitutional law, sales, and trial practice. While at Pepperdine, he co-taught a course on the history of the U.S. Supreme Court with Chief Justice Rehnquist, tried cases on a volunteer basis for the LA District Attorney’s Office, and served as a commercial arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. He later taught at Pacific McGeorge School of Law before becoming a partner at the litigation firm of Howarth & Smith where he tried fraud, defamation, securities, products liability, and assault matters, representing clients like the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Suzuki Motor Corporation and the victims of 9/11. He joined the Loyola faculty in 2006. He is a prolific author and an innovative teacher who has used and developed games for use in class, such as Contracts Jeopardy and Legal Writing Family Feud. If we only known about those innovations earlier, our survey says that we might have had a very different panel session at the AALS Annual Meeting.

Sabrina DeFabritisThe new Section Chair is Professor Sabrina DeFabritiis (Suffolk University Law School). She graduated from Boston College and Suffolk University Law School, where she served as Vice President of the Moot Court Honor Board and the Journal of Trial and Appellate Advocacy. She was a member of the Moot Court Tax Team, which won the National Competition in 2002. Seems like yesterday. After clerking for the Justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court, Professor DeFabritiis spent approximately four years as an associate in the Boston office of Campbell Campbell Edwards & Conroy P.C., where she practiced in their advanced motions and appellate practice department. She teaches Legal Practice Skills and Advanced Legal Writing. She also serves as the Faculty Advisor to the Foreign Direct Investments Moot Team and the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Team.

The new Section Chair-Elect (who will take office next January when the AALS meets in San Diego) is Professor Suzanna K. Moran (University of Denver, Sturm College of Law). The Section Secretary is Professor Wendy Adele Humphrey (Texas Tech University School of Law).

Other members of the Section's Executive Committee, in addition to immediate Past Section Chair Bob Brain, are Professors Rebekah Hanley (University of Oregon School of Law), Allison Martin (Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law), Joe Mastrosimone (Washburn University School of Law), Anne Mullins (University of North Dakota School of Law), and Nancy Soonpaa (Texas Tech University School of Law).


January 13, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hiring at Chicago-Kent

Chicago-Kent College of Law is seeking applications for its Visiting Assistant Professor Program.  Visiting Assistant Professors are generally appointed for an initial term that can be renewed to a total of four years. Each Visiting Assistant Professor normally teaches a single section of approximately 30 first-year legal writing students, with Legal Writing I taught in the fall and Legal Writing II taught in the spring. Regular faculty meetings are held to coordinate assignments and provide newer Visiting Assistant Professors with the opportunity to enhance their legal writing teaching skills, share experiences, and plan upcoming assignments and classes.

In addition to teaching Legal Writing, each Visiting Assistant Professor teaches a single doctrinal course each year, although the professor may opt out of such teaching in his or her first year. Visiting Assistant Professors may teach any course in the law school curriculum other than required courses with class allocation based on the professor's experience and interests and the school's curricular needs. Teaching additional courses is permitted, but discouraged until the Visiting Assistant Professor has written at least one article, as the labor-intensive nature of the course preparation makes it difficult to find time for scholarship. Visiting Assistant Professors are provided with mentoring and guidance from other faculty in preparing and teaching doctrinal courses.

The school provides Visiting Assistant Professors with considerable assistance and guidance in developing their academic scholarship, including a Research and Travel fund. Traditionally, Visiting Assistant Professors use their time at the school to write and publish one or more scholarly articles as a basis (together with their teaching experience) for eventually attaining a tenure-track law teaching position. In addition to providing faculty mentors, the school offers a series of informal roundtables at which faculty members, including Visiting Assistant Professors, can discuss works in progress with their colleagues.

If you are interested in applying for the Visiting Assistant Professor  program, please submit a cover letter, current curriculum vitae, one writing sample, and a research agenda. You may address your cover letter to the "VAP Selection Committee.”  The school began accepting materials as of Nov. 1, 2016. Please email your materials to Lila Wilson at



January 12, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Miami: How to Conduct Free Legal Research Online

Barbara BavisThe American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress will present a program on "How to Conduct Free Legal Research Online" on Friday, February 3, 2017 during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Miami, Florida.

The speaker will be Barbara Bavis, a Senior Legal Reference Specialist in the Public Services Division at the Law Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.  With approximately 2.65 million volumes, the Law Library of Congress is the largest legal collection in the world. (Barbara Bavis is pictured here with Professor Mark E. Wojcik of The John Marshall Law School-Chicago, a member of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress.)

The free legal research program will be held from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Marriott Hotel Biscayne Bay, Level 3, Lummus Island. The hotel is located at 1633 N Bayshore Drive, Miami, Florida

There is no registration fee for the ABA Midyear Meeting, but you must register to attend programs. Click here to register.

To be sure there are enough handouts (they often run out), please also RSVP to Annette Colman at

If you're a law professor, lawyer, or law student in the Miami area, you should plan to attend this program as well as other events during the ABA Midyear Meeting. Click here to see the 15-page calendar of events being held during the ABA Midyear Meeting.


January 12, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

American Constitution Society Announces Judges for the 2017 Cudahy Writing Competition

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy has announced the judging panel for the 10th Annual Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law, honoring the late Judge Cudahy's contribution to the field. 

  • The Honorable Alok Ahuja, Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District
  • Jack M. Beermann, Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law
  • Jeffrey P. Kehne, former Principal, Hill & Kehne LLP
  • The Honorable Paul Oetken, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • Amy Widman, Associate Professor of Law, Northern Illinois University College of Law
  • Allison M. Zieve, Director, Public Citizen Litigation Group

The competition is open to practicing lawyers, policymakers, academics, and law students. A winner will be selected in both the lawyer and student categories. Each winning author will receive a cash prize of $1,500, as well as special recognition at the 2017 ACS National Convention.

The submission deadline is February 5, 2017.

January 12, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The SSRN Homepage Gets an Upgrade

SSRNIf you haven't visited the website for the Social Science Research Network ("SSRN") recently, you're in for some pleasant surprises. The new home page is more engaging and there's improvements in the full text searching. A new design for authors' pages is also in the works.

SSRN's eLibrary provides 710,460 research papers from 327,700 researchers across 24 disciplines, including law. SSRN provides materials that simply are not available anywhere else. Many of these materials are in the form of draft articles that have not yet been published. The original idea behind SSRN was to provide a platform for scholars to be able to share preliminary research and draft articles with other scholars, who could access the materials posted and communicate directly with the author.  

If you're a litigator, a search of SSRN should be an essential step before deposing any expert. Search the topic of your legal issue as well as the names of your expert witnesses, opposing counsel, and parties. You may be surprised at what you can find on SSRN with a simple search.

Click here to have a look at the new homepage for SSRN.


January 10, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Great Source for Sample Appellate Briefs

US Supreme CourtBryan Garner has shared with us one of his favorite sources to find examples of excellent legal writing. It's the website with links to the briefs of the Solicitor General of the United States. The Solicitor General supervises and conducts government litigation in the U.S. Supreme Court. Almost all of that litigation is channeled through the Office of the Solicitor General and is actively conducted by the Office. The United States is involved in approximately two-thirds of all the cases the U.S. Supreme Court decides on the merits each year. Their briefs are well written and provide good examples for your own writing.

Click here to have a look.


January 9, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (1)

What I Wish I Knew About Learning Legal Writing

What I Wish I KnewIt's the start of a new semester for law students around the country. In legal writing classes, some students will be continuing with their professors from last semester while others will be starting with new professors. In either case, a useful discussion question for an early class this semester is to ask students what they wish they knew about legal writing when they first started their legal writing classes.

Here is a summary of some of the answers that students gave in a classroom in southern California:

  • I would have liked to know more about how to organize my research materials. It was hard to have a great quote but not be able to find which case it was from.
  • I wish we knew that the examples of legal writing that we read in casebooks aren't necessarily the best examples of legal writing.
  • It would have been helpful to have more Bluebook training before we started writing. I worried so much about the technical aspects of legal citation that I couldn't really focus on what I needed to do with the written legal analysis in my memorandum.
  • If you don't cite correctly, you won't have accurate legal writing.
  • Citations can be very powerful when used correctly.
  • I didn't know how hard it would be to learn the Bluebook. Maybe it would help to watch a video on legal citation even before we started law school.
  • I wish I knew how important it was to get to the point in the legal analysis in my memorandum. I used too many fluff words and didn't get to the point.
  • I learned that I need to budget a lot more time for research.
  • Take good notes when you research to save time when you write.
  • Majority and dissenting views can really affect how you analyze a case.
  • I wish I knew how much time I would spend writing.
  • I learned that I wasn't really a good writer and that I needed to work hard at becoming one.
  • I wish that I knew more about time management.

And what do the students want to know more about now (rather than learning in April or May)?

  • I'm not sure how an appellate brief is organized.
  • How do you find the correct standard of review for an appellate brief?
  • I want to know the best way to prepare for an oral argument. We all hear nightmare stories about the oral argument competitions that go badly and we want to avoid that.
  • I'm terrified of speaking in public. I want to know how to learn how to stand up in front of an audience without passing out.
  • I would like to see some examples of good appellate briefs.
  • I would like to know how to work more effectively on small group assignments.

Please let us know how your students answer this question (or how you might answer this yourself now with months or years of legal writing experience).


January 9, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

AALS Annual Meeting Previews - The Blogger Panel

The 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools is being held next week in San Francisco. Among the hundreds of presentations will be a program on Building and Sustaining Academic Communities Through Blogging and Other Tools, a panel that will include . . . well, here, have a look!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

8:30 - 10:15 a.m.      AALS Arc of Career Program

Building and Sustaining Academic Communities Through Blogging and Other Tools

This panel focuses on the work that a number of scholars have done to build community in their respective fields. Such community building does not fit neatly into traditional scholarship, teaching, or service categories and therefore often is not explicitly rewarded as part of the tenure process. But for those willing to do the work, creating community can be both personally rewarding and a good fit for those seeking to be engaged scholars.

The participants all have different goals and methods when it comes to community building, but there are commonalities. Establishing a strong blog and web presence have been core parts of the community building work in a number of fields. Participants who have worked on building online communities will discuss everything from how they started and the choices they make as far as blogging coverage to what are the best and most challenging parts of blogging. In other fields, much of the community building work takes the form of conference organizing and participants will discuss their successes and failures when it comes to this form of public service. They will also discuss the amount of effort conferences require as well as ideas to lessen the planning burden.

  • Moderator: Louis J. Sirico, Jr., Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
  • Benjamin Barros, University of Toledo College of Law
  • Gerry W. Beyer, Texas Tech University School of Law
  • Megan Boyd, Georgia State University College of Law
  • Rashmi Dyal-Chand, Northeastern University School of Law
  • Marc-Tizoc Gonzalez, St. Thomas University School of Law
  • James B. Levy, Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law
  • Ezra E.S. Rosser, American University, Washington College of Law
  • Nancy J. Soonpaa, Texas Tech University School of Law
  • Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School - Chicago

Continental Ballroom 6, Ballroom Level, Hilton San Francisco Union Square. That room holds 427 people so you should be able to fit in! We hope to see you there and at other AALS sessions.


December 28, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Hiring at Duke

Duke Law School invites applications for one full-time faculty appointment to teach in its JD writing program beginning in the fall of 2017. The candidate hired will teach one section of Duke’s required, first-year course, Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing, and one upper-level writing seminar.  

LARW is a graded, two-semester, four-credit course. LARW sections have no more than 30 students (in recent years the norm has been 26-28). Upper-level writing seminars have generally been two-credit, simulation-based courses offering significant practical experience. Enrollment is capped at 14.  Candidates are encouraged to think creatively in designing an upper-level seminar of their own.

Candidates must have superior academic records and at least four years of experience in practice (which may include clerking). Teaching experience is also preferred and candidates with significant transactional practice experience are especially encouraged to apply.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and a list of at least three references to Duke Law School’s Professional Skills Appointments Committee, c/o Jeremy Mullem, Director of Legal Writing, by email at Questions about the position may be directed to the same address. Applications are due by January 13, 2017, but the school encourages candidates to apply as quickly as possible.

Duke University and Duke University Health System is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, or disability.

The position may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years. Ordinarily, new faculty hired to teach in Duke’s legal writing program receive an initial one-year appointment as either a Lecturing Fellow or a Senior Lecturing Fellow. Re-appointment and promotion to Clinical Professor of Law are governed by Law School Rule, which is accessible on the School website.

The professor hired will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary of $60,000 to $79,999. The professor will teach two courses: Legal Analysis, Research and Writing, a year-long, four-credit course, to no more than 30 students; and a two-credit, upper-level writing seminar to no more than 14 students.  In recent years the norm for LARW class sizes has been 26-28.  Upper-level writing seminars have generally been simulation-based courses offering significant practical experience.  Candidates are encouraged to think creatively in designing an upper-level course. Typically, writing professors new to Duke have taught their upper-level course in the spring of their first year.

Hat tip to Professor Jeremy Mullem at Duke University Law School.


December 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

UNLV hires Mary Beth Beazley

Terry Pollman of UNLV has announced that Mary Beth Beazley of The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law, will join the UNLV faculty next year. Professor Pollman noted that "Mary Beth is an amazing teacher, scholar, and leader.  Her teaching ideas, texts, and articles have shaped many of our own careers.  Although known for her humorous approach to teaching, . . . she has been a serious and tireless voice for equal status. She has worked toward that goal as president of both of our most prominent legal writing organizations, EIC of the  LWI Journal, and on numerous ABA committees. I know that one of the factors that helped us attract Mary Beth was our unitary tenure track for legal writing, clinic, and podium.  We are so fortunate that she will join us as a colleague in the fall."

Congratulations to Professor Beazley and to UNLV!


December 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Guest Post From Coleen Barger: What the Blackwell Award Means to Me

Thank you to Coleen Barger for allowing us to repost her LWI Listserv message about the upcoming Blackwell Award Reception here:

"In less than a month, LWI and ALWD will present the Thomas Blackwell award to this year's recipient, Mel Weresh, during the AALS conference in San Francisco. I'd like to say a few words about this award and what it means to me.
  The award is given in honor of Tom Blackwell, who was one of the funniest, sweetest, and most creative people I've ever met in the legal writing field. We could always count on Tom to offer good ideas about the intriguing new (and sometimes mystifying) things developing in the online world. Heck, we wouldn't have started the listserv to connect our community as soon as we did had it not been for Tom. He brought us together.
  The award symbolizes that bringing together of our community, our two wonderful organizations, and our shared goals of improving legal writing instruction for our students. As others have told you in the past, Tom loved lightbulb jokes. Here's one I'd like to tell him: 
Q: How many legal writing professors does it take to turn on a lightbulb?
A: Pretty much one for every student who's still in the dark about what it takes to be a good lawyer. (It's in our classes that the light comes on.)
Okay, I admit that wasn't much of a joke, but it's how I feel about what we do. 
Are you going to San Francisco? Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair, and join the celebration at the wonderful reception for Mel. If you're unable to go, please think about her, about Tom, and about the many ways you yourself shine a light for all of us and for your students. 
{ldj} Hat tip, Coleen Barger

December 12, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hiring a Visitor at Stetson

Stetson University College of Law in Florida seeks applicants for a visiting professor position to teach legal research and writing in our nationally ranked first-year legal research and writing curriculum during Fall 2017, Spring 2018, or both. We invite both entry-level applicants as well as applicants who have a distinguished academic background of legal communication teaching and scholarship, broadly defined.

About the Position

Visitors will teach one section of first-year legal research and writing, joining a team of tenured faculty who teach the first-year course. Visitors are eligible for at least one Teaching Assistant for the course. Visitors may also have the opportunity to teach an upper-level writing course and will be encouraged to be involved in Stetson’s Institute for the Advancement of Legal Communication.

Visiting professors engaged in scholarship are eligible for a Research Assistant for up to twenty hours per week as well as assistance from our Faculty Support Services department.

About the First-Year Research and Writing Courses

Stetson requires seven credit-hours of first-year research and writing courses, which include a four-hour objective/predictive course and a three-hour advocacy course. These courses are taught in both the day and evening programs, are graded on a 4.0 scale, and typically have a student-professor ratio of thirty-five (or fewer) to one. We are particularly proud of our spring semester persuasive advocacy writing course that gives students the opportunity to learn persuasive communication skills in a particular subject matter context. We offer subject-focused advocacy sections that teach effective advocacy in the context of specific substantive areas of the law; in the past, those areas have included the International Law, Elder Law, Environmental Law, Social Justice Law, Business Litigation, Media Law, Law and Technology, and Criminal Law.

The first-year research and writing curriculum is coordinated to ensure faculty autonomy and academic freedom as well as consistency and predictability in outcomes and assessment standards. Thus, the first-year courses have agreed-upon competencies and basic assignment parameters, but faculty members design their own syllabuses and schedules, choose their own books, and design their own teaching materials and assignments For more information about legal writing at Stetson, see


The minimum qualifications for the position are a J.D. from an accredited law school and strong writing and interpersonal skills. In addition, Stetson prefers applicants with outstanding academic credentials, practice experience, a judicial clerkship, prior teaching experience, law review or moot court service, and a commitment to legal communication as a serious discipline

that merges scholarship with practice. For applicants with experience within the legal academy, Stetson also prefers a demonstrated commitment to and a proven record of excellence in legal communication scholarship and teaching.

For Additional Information

For more information about these positions, please contact either Dr. Kirsten K. Davis, Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Legal Communication, at or at 727-562-7877 or Professor Jason Palmer, Coordinator of First Year Research and Writing Curriculum at or at 727-562-7326. For more detail about employment at the College of Law generally, see

To Apply

Applicants should send a current curriculum vitae, a cover letter describing the applicant’s qualifications for the position, and details of at least three references to Professor Candace M. Zierdt and Professor Marco Jimenez, Faculty Appointments Committee at Those who prefer to apply by postal mail should write to Faculty Appointments, c/o Professor Candace Zierdt , Stetson University College of Law, 1401 61st Street South, Gulfport, FL 33707. The College of Law will begin reviewing applications upon receipt and the positions will remain open until filled with a goal of having final decisions made by March 15, 2017. Stetson University, an Equal Opportunity Employer, affirms the values and goals of diversity and strongly encourages the applications of all candidates, including women, persons of color, sexual orientation minorities, and others who will contribute to the diversity of our community.

And the Stuff You Want to Know

The position advertised has an upper-limit on the number of years that a teacher may be appointed. It is a one-semester or one-year visiting position. The professor hired will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range of $30,000 to 49,999 (for one semester) or $50,000 to $89,999 (for the full year). For visitors with appointments at other academic institutions, compensation is typically salary at home institution in addition to housing and relocation assistance.

The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be up to 40 students.

Hat tips to Candace M Zierdt and Bob Brain.


December 12, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Congratulations to Professor Teri McMurty-Chubb

Teri McMurtry-ChubbThe faculty at the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law has recommended that Teri McMurty-Chubb be promoted to Professor of Law. This recommendation will now go to the University President, Provost, and Board of Trustees.

In 2015, Professor McMurty-Chubb was named president of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) for the 2015-16 academic year. She was the first person of color to serve as head of the organization.

Before joining the faculty at Mercer, Professor McMurty-Chubb was the Director of Legal Analysis and Writing at LaVerne College of Law. She also previously taught legal writing that Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and Drake University Law School. She was also Assistant Professor of Law and Hegemony Studies at Western Washington University Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies.

We extend our congratulations and best wishes to Professor McMurty-Chubb.

Hat tip to Prof. Karen Sneddon.


December 9, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)