Sunday, April 30, 2006
Hofstra University School of Law is seeking a Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Research and Writing, to teach full-time for one year, including some evenings and summer time. To apply, send a resume and writing sample to:
Professor Roy Simon
c/o Joanne Masci
Hofstra University School of Law
121 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549-1210
1. The position advertised is for a one-year contract.
2. The professor hired will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range of $60,000 to $69,999.
4. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be 41 - 45.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
For an entertaining analysis of whether a state's drunk driving law applies to a person riding a horse while intoxicated, see Com. v. Noel, 857 A.2d 1283, 1289 (Penn. 2004)(analyzing whether a statute extending the rights and duties of a driver to one on a horse applies in the context of DUI laws).
Of special note is Justice Eakin's dissent, which begins as follows:
"A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
And no one can talk to a horse of course
That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.
Go right to the source and ask the horse
He'll give you the answer that you'll endorse.
He's always on a steady course. Talk to Mr. Ed.
Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, Mr. Ed, (CBS, 1961-1966).
Mr. Ed would know which sections of Part III do not 'by their very nature' apply to his rider, and I attribute the equivalent horse sense to the ordinary reasonable person."
Justice Eakin's dissent "trots along" with equine imagery throughout.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Vickie Rainwater, the Director of Legal Writing and currently the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, has been granted tenure. Directing the writing program, serving as Associate Dean, and writing scholarship for tenure all at once -- surely Vickie is way ahead of the scientists in mastering time relativity!
Congratulations to Diana Clark, who has won the Adjunct Professor of the Year Award at the University of Tulsa College of Law. Diana teaches 3 sections of Tulsa's Legal Reasoning, Analysis and Writing course, a total of 50 students. That quite a large teaching load for an adjunct professor, making the students' recognition of her work all the more remarkable.
For a creative solution to students' weak writing skills, see The Real Reasons Students Can't Write by Laurence Musgrove. Given the legalistic bent of most law students, it might just work.
hat tip: Dean Darby Dickerson, Stetson University College of Law
Thursday, April 27, 2006
The information below arrived today in an e-mail update from SSRN. I had no idea that all along we legal writing professors have been post-modernists trying to make our way in an academy full of modernists. That explains a lot. (spl)
Neither Dead nor Dangerous: Postmodernism and the Teaching of Legal Writing
Contact: ADAM G. TODD
Northern Kentucky University - Salmon P. Chase College of Law
This article explores postmodernism and its relation to the teaching of legal writing. Postmodernism is an undeniably important theory in literary criticism, composition, and rhetoric and has provoked much debate in areas of legal scholarship, but it has seldom been addressed directly by legal writing scholars. Legal writing has been greatly affected by postmodernism and can be characterized as a "postmodern" class in what is otherwise a modernist academy. Legal writing teachers generally teach in a modernist paradigm which seeks to normalize the law and create unitary meaning from the morass of texts and ideas which is considered "the law". They have, however, simultaneously, a rather benignant postmodernist bent when it comes to teaching writing and have to engage a number of postmodern paradoxes as part of their profession. It is the postmodern components of their work that provide strength to the profession and help prepare law students for both the "modern" and "postmodern" world. This article directly contradicts legal scholars who claim postmodernism is dead, dangerous, or irrelevant to the law and has no place in the legal academy.
The article begins by defining postmodernism and its contribution to the legal academy in general. The article continues by examining how postmodernism has affected the teaching of legal writing specifically. Postmodernism underlies the theories of process and post-process writing pedagogy, deconstruction, and story-telling, which can all be found in many legal writing classrooms. In addition, the legal writing class embodies certain postmodern attributes or characteristics not found in much of the other, more modernist, parts of the legal academy. The article concludes by arguing that the postmodern components of legal writing classes are a source of legal writing's strength, growth and relevance in and outside of law schools. Postmodernism, in this context, is neither dead nor dangerous but rather vital and relevant to legal education.
The topic of this article was competitively selected to be awarded a grant from the Association of Legal Writing Directors and parts of the article were presented at the Third Annual Rocky Mountain Region and the 2005 Central States Legal Writing Conferences.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
At a committee meeting, members were asked to approve the minutes of a prior meeting. The first item of the minutes read as follows: "Mr. X made a motion that the minutes be approved pending the correction of type-O's."
Is that a bonified* spelling error? :)
*one of my all-time favorite real-life examples.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Sure, you already may have some sense that they do things differently at Temple. You may have picked up some clues from Temple's LRW profs' posts on the legal writing listserve, or from their conference presentations, or from the nature of their previous scholarship. But if you want to know what they're really doing in that part of Philly, see the latest article by Ellie Margolis and Susan DeJarnatt, Moving Beyond Product to Process: Building a Better LRW Program, 46 Santa Clara L. Rev. 93 (2005). It is full of thought-provoking ideas about effective ways to teach legal research and writing. In this article, any given LRW professor is likely to find some familiar things, some new things, something impossible given your situation, and a few things you might just want to try.
Judge Ferdinand Francis Fernandez of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals demonstrates an astonishing breadth of vocabulary in his opinions. Who among the readers of this blog can define canorous, epopt, or haruspex?
If you pride yourself on your vocabulary, then challenge yourself with this quiz based on words used in his opinions.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Everyone responsible for training the next generation of lawyers should read the latest article by Chief Judge Edward D. Re, Increased Importance of Legal Writing in the Era of "the Vanishing Trial," 21 Touro L. Rev. 665 (2005). If you teach legal writing, be patient through the introductory remarks. You will find much to cheer and highly quotable material throughout the article.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
LRW Professor Tony Simpson, at Roger Williams University School of Law, has recently published Rhode Island Civil and Appellate Procedure. His co-authors include Robert B. Kent, former Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Flanders, and attorney David Wollin. This book updates Kent's 1969 edition.
The spring newsletter of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research has just been released. Our newsletter is better than ever, thanks to the work of our secretary Lou Sirico.
This issue contains:
* stories from the January conference in Washington, DC,
* news of promotions, moves, accomplishments, and publications
* announcements for Section leadership and the Section award
* committee assignments for the Section's ongoing work
* and more!
The newsletter is posted at http://www.law.pace.edu/aals/pdf/Newsletter%202006%20Spring.pdf, compliments of Tom McDonnell and Pace University.
You can also go to the Section's website at www.law.pace.edu/aals.
Thanks to Lou and Tom for their outstanding contributions to our Section!
- Suzanne Rowe
Friday, April 21, 2006
If you're a closet (or proudly public!!) fan of both series, check out "Boston Legal Themes and Allusions in Comparison with Star Trek."
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Today's earlier posts prove that in law fact is often stranger than fiction. But if you've got what it takes to write great legal fiction, you may be interested in the 5th Annual National Legal Fiction Competition for Lawyers. Got 2,500 words worth of a short story or novel just lying around? You'll need to submit it by June 30th. (spl)
There was some discussion earlier today on the legal writing professors' listserve about a motion requesting a court to order a fist fight. The document is available at http://www.legalreader.com/archives/images/fistfight.pdf.
Perhaps the movant's success will depend on the exact wording of the provision prohibiting dueling in the state's criminal code? Such provisions, BTW, are often excellent fodder for statutory construction exercises in legal writing class.
P.S. The quote in this post's title is from the song I'd Do Anything For You in the musical Oliver.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
On June 12, Ralph Brill of Chicago Kent College of Law will receive the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education. George Will, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, will first speak at the Great Hall in the Library of Congress; then Professor Brill will be presented the award as one of the "Legends in Law."
Professor Susan Wawrose received a unanimous vote for a five-year contract from the faculty at the University of Dayton School of Law. Before beginning that contract though, she will be enjoying a two-year stay in Luxembourg with her family.
In the fall the Dayton legal writing faculty will also be welcoming two new professors, Kristen Safier and Julie Zink.
Kristen Gerdy (Brigham Young), the President of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), has announced the following election results:
Terrill Pollman (Nevada-Las Vegas)
new members of the Board of Directors:
Nancy Dickhute (Creighton)
Lisa McElroy (Southern New England)
Judy Rosenbaum (Northwestern)
They will be joining:
Craig Smith (Vanderbilt)
Grace Wigal (West Virginia)
Molly Lien (John Marshall)
continuing members of the Board of Directors:
JoAnne Durako (Stetson)
Eric Easton (Baltimore)
Diane Penneys Edelman (Villanova)
Hether MacFarlane (McGeorge)
Mary Barnard Ray (Wisconsin)
David Romantz (Memphis)
Judy Stinson (Arizona State)