Friday, September 15, 2006

a long week

It's the end of a long week.

Did you make a difference in someone's life?  Did you allow someone to make a difference in yours?

Did you reach out to a student or colleague who seemed to need support or kindness?  Did you allow yourself to accept support or kindness extended to you?

Did you live, fully and greedily, arms outstretched to both give and receive, this week?

+++++++++++

Brendan Murray, 22, a second-year law student at Tech, passed away early Wednesday morning.

+++++++++++

(njs)

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

international storytelling conference

The first international Applied Storytelling conference will be held July 18-20, 2007 in London, UK. This conference was made possible thanks to the support of the Legal Writing Institute.

The theme of the conference is Once Upon a Legal Time: developing the skills of storytelling in the law. The conference will bring together academics, practitioners and judges from common law countries to explore both the role of narrative in legal practice, and curricular strategies that will prepare students to use story and narrative as they enter the practice of law.

Proposals for the conference are due Monday, November 27, 2006. There are more details in the Call for Proposals, but if you have any questions, please feel free to contact either Ruth Anne Robbins, ruthanne@camden.rutgers.edu or Steve Johansen, tvj@lclark.edu.

(hat tip:  Steve Johansen, Lewis and Clark Law School, tvj@lclark.edu)

(hat tip:  Ruth Anne Robbins, Rutgers School of Law--Camden, ruthanne@camden.rutgers.edu)

(njs)

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

Thursday, September 14, 2006

legal research trends

I've read about this report in several sources and particularly like the accompanying photos at this link:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/2006/09/aba_2006_legal_.html.

hat tip:  Professor Rick Bales, Northern Kentucky University, Chase College of Law

(spl)

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

job opening in New Orleans

"Tulane Law School is seeking applications for the position of Director of its Legal Research & Writing Program.  The holder of this position will receive the title of Professor of Practice.  Under recently created Tulane University guidelines, a Professor of Practice is a non-tenure track faculty member whose sole assignment is instruction and activities related to instruction and who is eligible for continually renewable long term contracts.  Tulane Law School is interested in candidates who possess a J.D. and who have demonstrated proficiency in and harbor a career interest in teaching the skills associated with first year Legal Research and Writing programs.  The Director will have the opportunity to reshape and manage the curriculum of this program as well as supervise a group of full-time Legal Research & Writing instructors (Forrester Fellows).  Tulane Law School is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  Applications and inquiries may be directed to Professor Joel Wm. Friedman, Chair of the Appointments Committee, at Tulane Law School, 6329 Freret Street, New Orleans, LA. 70118. 

1.  The position advertised: 
__   a.   is a tenure-track appointment.
_X_   b.   may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.
_X_   c.   may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years.
__   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 individual who fills this position will occupy the newly created status of Professor of the Practice, a non-tenure track faculty position for individuals who sole assignment is instruction and activities related to instruction and who is eligible for continually renewable long term contracts. Tulane University has left it up to the Law School to determine specific attributes attached to this status, including length of renewable contracts, voting rights, committee assignments, and other matters.  The Law School faculty has not yet reached a decision on any of these issues as the position was created only at the close of the past academic year.  Consequently, I am unable at this time to precisely answer this question.

2.  The professor hired:
__   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:

            The individual who fills this position will occupy the newly created status of Professor of the Practice, a non-tenure track faculty position for individuals who sole assignment is instruction and activities related to instruction and who is eligible for continually renewable long term contracts. Tulane University has left it up to the Law School to determine specific attributes attached to this status, including length of renewable contracts, voting rights, committee assignments, and other matters.  The Law School faculty has not yet reached a decision on any of these issues as the position was created only at the close of the past academic year.  Consequently, I am unable at this time to precisely answer this question. 

3.  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; nor does a base salary include conference travel or other professional development funds.)

     __   a.   $90,000 or more
     __   b.   $80,000 to $89,999
     __   c.   $70,000 to $79,999
     _x_   d.   $60,000 to $69,999
     __   e.   $50,000 to $59,999
     __   f.   $40,000 to $49,999
     __   g.   $30,000 to $39,999
     __   h.    this is a part-time appointment paying less than $30,000
     __   i.     this is an adjunct appointment paying less than $10,000 

4.  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
     __   c.   36 - 40
     _x_   d.   41 - 45
     __   e.   46 - 50
     __   f.    51 - 55
     __   g.   56 - 60
     __   h.   more than 60

Additional information about teaching load, including required or permitted teaching outside of the legal research and writing program: 

The Legal Research and Writing Director will supervise the work of five (5) writing instructors and is expected to teach one section of the course as well.  Each section is expected to contain 40-45 students."   

hat tip:  Prof. Joel Friedman, Tulane University

(spl)

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

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

job in Philadelphia

Drexel University College of Law, in Philadelphia, invites applicants for a tenure-track position with the primary teaching area of legal research and writing. Drexel anticipates filling at least one position for the 2007-08 academic year, which will be the College of Law’s second year of operation.

Drexel Law (http://www.drexel.edu/law ) will require all students to participate in a strong legal writing/legal methods program that includes at least two upper level writing courses. The first year Legal Methods curriculum, which the successful candidate will help teach, includes portions of a two week Introduction to Law class, three 9-week quarters of Legal Method totaling six credits (3-2-1), and a 2-credit course in Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation in the third quarter. Legal Methods faculty will be expected to teach approximately 30-35 students in the first year Legal Methods curriculum, and will also teach upper level courses.

Because these positions are tenured or tenure track, the successful candidate will be expected to produce high quality scholarship as part of his or her job. The College will support such research.

Successful candidates must have a demonstrated commitment to, or record of, scholarly achievement and excellence. Candidates hired with tenure must must present a strong and active scholarly agenda with a record of high quality publications. Just as importantly, every professor must be able to communicate effectively with students. A successful candidate must be, or be capable of becoming, an excellent classroom teacher. Prior experience teaching legal writing is preferred.

In addition, the successful candidate must share our commitment to building a new law community from the ground up. Faculty are expected to be enthusiastic participants in a cooperative effort to create an excellent law school. As a new law school, faculty must be willing to invest energy into developing programs, mentoring students, advising student organizations, and growing a vibrant intellectual community. We seek faculty members who look forward to participating in the daily life of Drexel Law and Drexel University.

The College of Law is part of Drexel University, a leading research university with over 18,000 students in ten colleges and three schools. Over the past decade, the University has transformed itself by expanding its academic program – adding a medical school in 2002 – and radically increasing its endowment. In the last ten years, the University’s endowment has increased from about $90 million to approximately $550 million. The first entering class of the law school has a median LSAT of 156, with a 75th percentile of 158 and a 25th percentile of 154. Median GPA is 3.4. Members of minority groups make up 21% of the entering class.

Applications are particularly encouraged from people of color, people with all sexual and gender identities, individuals with disabilities, and anyone whose background, experience, or viewpoint will contribute to the diversity of the faculty.

Because the law school expects to do substantial hiring, our process begins immediately. Interested applicants are encouraged to submit materials as soon as possible to insure full consideration. Teaching evaluations, if available, need not be submitted initially, although they will be requested when the applicant is under direct consideration.

Please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae (with references) and writing sample to Terry Jean Seligmann, Director of Legal Research and Writing, electronically to tjs57@drexel.edu, or by mail to:

Terry Jean Seligmann

Director of Legal Research and Writing

Drexel University College of Law

235 Randell Hall

3141 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Drexel University is fully informed as to the Standards and Rules of Procedure for the Approval of Law Schools by the American Bar Association. The Administration of the University and those who will be the officials of the College of Law are determined to devote all necessary resources and in other respects to take all necessary steps to present a program of legal education that will qualify for approval by the American Bar Association prior to the graduation of any matriculating class.

(njs)

September 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 11, 2006

communicating and lawyering

So I was riding along in one of those little passenger carts at the Minneapolis airport, chatting with the driver.  After just a few words of conversation, he asked me, "Are you a lawyer?"  Surprised, I said yes and asked him why he had guessed that.  He said, "Because you're so well-spoken."

Lesson:  Lay people expect lawyers to speak well.  Judges and partners expect lawyers to write well.  Effective communication is fundamental to effective lawyering.

How many of you have been identified as a lawyer by how you speak (not by what you say)?

(njs)

September 11, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

grant program for research topics

The Association of American Law Libraries (AALL) and Aspen Publishing are co-sponsoring a grant program for research on topics relating to the AALS's research agenda.  Many eligible topics will be familiar to legal writing professors.  Check it out -- there may be grant money available for something you're already working on or contemplating.

(spl)

September 11, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

the science of persuasion

Professor Kathy Stanchi at Temple University has a new piece posted on SSRN that promises to be as interesting as her previous work.  You can access the full text free via SSRN, at the bottom of the abstract page.  Here's the abstract:

"The Science of Persuasion is among the first law journal articles to analyze social science data on persuasion and human decision-making and use the data to evaluate the conventions of persuasive legal writing. The primary impetus of the article is that the study of the science of persuasion by persuasive legal writers is long overdue, and that lawyers have an obligation to test and re-examine the traditions and conventions of persuasive legal writing using data and theories from other disciplines.

"Although trial lawyers have taken significant steps to study and probe social science for ideas about how to persuade (or pick) juries, appellate lawyers have been slow to follow. Instead, the study of persuasive legal writing has been dominated by a kind of armchair psychology - a set of conventions and practices, handed down from lawyer to lawyer, developed largely from instinct and speculation. By and large, the information available to lawyers about persuasive legal writing reproduces these conventions and practices without analysis or critique, and without taking stock of the growing body of research from other disciplines that would provide some evidence about whether the conventional wisdom is an accurate account of human decision-making.

"The Science of Persuasion begins the overdue examination of persuasive theory by analyzing two key concepts: sequential request strategies and audience involvement. Sequential request strategies test whether the content of an initial request can prime the reader to accept a later request. The data about sequential request strategies can inform persuasive legal writing by helping advocates make conscious decisions about the structure of arguments and the crafting of argument chains. Involvement refers to the level of personal relevance or connection felt by the recipient of a persuasive message. The details and nuances of how message recipients respond to appeals to their motivation and investment in the message have the potential to change the way advocates use analogy, policy and emotion in persuasive legal writing. For these two concepts, the article describes and analyzes the social science data and theories and posits how they might inform persuasive legal writing, focusing in particular on how the data might challenge the conventional wisdom of what is persuasive in law. Finally, the article gives concrete examples from appellate briefs to demonstrate how lawyers might incorporate the theories and data into their practice."

hat tip:  Professor Robin Boyle, St. John's University

(spl)

September 10, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)