Friday, May 19, 2006

student writing baggage

We often think of legal writing class as the one-room schoolhouse of the law school.  Our students arrive with such a wide variety of writing skills.  No two have quite the same combination of weaknesses and strengths.  And no two acquire the new skills unique to the discipline of law at quite the same pace.

But what about the mental and emotional baggage that law students bring to their writing?  For an interesting take on it, see:

While the extended introduction may seem like what we used to call in the ad industry "borrowed interest," it's worth taking the time to start at the beginning and read on through.



May 19, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

plain French?

Or would that be "le Francais simple?"

Apparently teaching lawyers to write in plain English is a challenge beyond the United States and even beyond English.  See


May 19, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 18, 2006


I just got word that 524 people are now registered for the Legal Writing Institute's bi-ennial conference in June.  That's not a typo:  524!  Be sure to bring a lot of business cards to exchange.  And lots of hand-outs if you're presenting.

For anyone who is interested but unable to make it to the conference, plans are underway to blog about it here, day by day during the event.


May 18, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

What's on your bookshelf?

Today I received the notice below from the American Bar Association (ABA), about books they have available at a discount for members.  Some of these could be interesting and useful additions to a legal writers' bookshelf.


Announcing Six New Merriam-Webster Products Available Through the ABA Web Store

1. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories

2. Merriam-Webster's Primary Dictionary

3. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions

4. Merriam-Webster's Rhyming Dictionary

5. The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary

6. Coined by Shakespeare: Words and Meanings First Penned by the Bard

May 18, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Oregon upgrades!

Rhanley Jmalmud Kweather

The law faculty at the University of Oregon School of Law has voted unanimously to make five-year contracts available to its senior legal writing professors.  Congratulations to Rebekah Hanley, Joan Malmud, and Kate Weatherly!  (They're pictured in that order.)

hat tip:  Suzanne Rowe, University of Oregon


May 17, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

job opening in Baton Rouge

Louisiana State University is adding another member to its legal writing faculty for the 2006-2007 academic year.  (That would be starting this upcoming fall semester.)  Applicants should contact:

Grace H. Barry
Director, Professional Practice Dept.
Paul M. Hebert Law Center
Louisiana Statue University
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
(225) 57801122
[email protected]

1.  The position advertised may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.
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 $40,000 to $59,999.
4.  The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be 31 to 35.


May 17, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

arts in Atlanta

Want to find out about arts events when you're in Atlanta for LWI in June?  Atlanta PlanIt is filled with info about concerts, exhibits, and fun things to do when you're not at the conference.


May 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

news items?

Monday, May 15, 2006

trouble grading?

Think you're having trouble getting through your grading?  For the ultimate in excuses for not getting your grading done, check out:,,2087-2179508,00.html.

hat tip:  Prof. R.J. Robertson, Southern Illinois University School of Law


May 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

deadline for LWI Idea Bank

May 15 is the deadline for submissions to the LWI Idea Bank.

Cover Sheet instructions are available at Please send your submissions to [email protected]


May 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

How to Write Right

If you want to know "How to Write Right," see this September 2000 article from the New York Law Journal.


May 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)