Friday, June 23, 2006
The previous post got me wondering, so I looked, and sure enough, the ALWD Citation Manual is also in wikipedia. The adoption list included in the entry there appears to be out of date, so perhaps someone reading this post will take the initiative to add to that wiki entry. There's also a wikipedia entry for the Association of Legal Writing Directors, but it's just a "stub," and could use some embellishment, too. Alas, I was not able to find entries for other U.S. legal writing organizations.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
If you'll be attending the annual meeting of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools in Florida in July, you may want to put the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) panel on your dance card. Or, if someone else at your school will be attending the annual meeting, you might want to give them a heads up about the panel.
On July 21st at 5:00 p.m., Professors Susan Kosse (University of Louisville), Pam Lysaght (University of Detroit-Mercy), Carol Parker (University of Tennessee), and Sue Liemer (Southern Illinois University) will be discussing the why's and wherefore's of WAC in the law school context. We're planning to review the learning theory behind WAC and to explain the particular benefits of having WAC in a law curriculum, the potential pitfalls to look out for, and the logistics of implementing a successful WAC program.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
As the new Drexel University College of Law in Philadelphia prepares to open, three experienced legal writing professors are moving in. Terry Seligmann has moved from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, to become Drexel's Arlin M. Adams Professor of Legal Writing, a tenured professorship on the law faculty. Kevin Oates has moved from Touro College of Law in New York City. And Emily Zimmerman has moved across town from Villanova University School of Law. They will both be on the tenure track, starting out as Associate Professors of Law.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Monday, June 19, 2006
It's official: Professor Coleen Barger has been granted tenure by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law. Among her many accomplishments, Coleen is the brains and driving force behind the Journal of Appellate Practice and Process. One of this journal's distinguishing characteristics is its ability to speak to practitioners and academics alike.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
While at first glance it appears to be about a narrow area of intellectual property law, in the end there is much to interest a legal writer in Peter K. Yu's article, Of Monks, Medieval Scribes, and Middlemen, available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=897710. Professor Yu explores what happened to scribes in the days when the printing press was the newest technology on the scene. He explains the role of scribes as middlemen in the recording and transmission of information and knowledge, from ancient Mesopotamia to 18th-century Europe. He uses this history to raise some questions and add some perspective on the displacements caused by the new technology of the Internet.
The article provokes readers to think about the much broader issue of the impact caused by the specific ways that information is recorded and distributed. The example of the huge shift that the printing press caused in how people knew things and what they knew might well caution legal writers to be prepared as similar changes are taking place around us in the Internet age.
Of more specific interest to legal writing professors: because the article focuses on the history of how copies were made, it explains the origins of the word "plagiarism" and outlines the evolution of the concepts behind the word. Professor Yu describes different cultural perceptions of copying, using ancient Rome, medieval Europe, and Chinese Confucianism as examples. While there is evidence that some ancient Roman authors had a sense of proprietorship about their work, the whole concept of where the value inherent in a copy lay was very different among the medieval monks and Chinese Confucians. This article suggests that the Internet may be causing a shift in our culture's perception of the copying of recorded information, moving more towards that of one of these other cultures. The implications for the meaning of plagiarism are profound.