October 28, 2006
reporting, not "ratting"
It was recently suggested to me that a significant number of law students would refuse to support the school's honor code, due to a pervasive sense that it would be worse to "rat each other out." This is disturbing news, if it is accurate, for the future of a self-policing profession.
That's why I was so favorably impressed by the orientation materials used at Georgia State University College of Law to teach professionalism to its entering students. Not only do the hypotheticals ask students to identify possible ethical violations, they pose questions about reporting violations.
Are you a post-modern legal writer?
Professor Adam Todd, at Northern Kentucky University, has written an interesting article on post-modernism's effect on legal writing, borrowing concepts from literary criticism to apply to legal writing. You can access the full text of the article free via SSRN, at:
October 27, 2006
collaborative legal writing learning via Wiki
Professor Peter Friedman, at Case Western Reserve University, makes some very interesting observations in his recent blog post at:
Although he focuses on using Wikipedia for a collaborative learning assignment for legal writing students, his musings at the end of his post are perhaps even more interesting.
job opening in Florida
As a driving rain cancels World Series games here in the heartland, Professor David Walter sends word of an employment opportunity in sunny Florida:
"The Florida International University College of Law seeks applications and nominations for the position of Director of its Legal Skills & Values Program. This may be a tenured, tenure-track, or long-term contract position, depending upon the applicant's qualifications.
"The Legal Skills & Values Program combines demanding traditional legal analysis, research, writing, and advocacy instruction with an introduction to other lawyering skills and professionalism. It is a required three-semester program for entering students, with third semester enrollment options provided in either the students' fall or spring semester of their second year. Finalist candidates for this position will be asked to present a curricular plan for the three-semester sequence. A highly qualified instructional staff is already in place.
"Applicants should be experienced law teachers with a strong background in legal research and writing instruction and some experience in other skills taught in the program. Those applying for a tenured or tenure-track position should also have a demonstrated commitment to and a talent for legal scholarship. Previous management or administrative responsibility in legal education would also be helpful, but is not required.
"Nominations and applications should be directed to:
Associate Dean Ediberto Roman
Professor Matthew Mirow
Appointments Committee Co-Chairs
Florida International University College of Law
University Park, Rafael Diaz Balart Hall
Miami, Florida 33199
"Review of applications will begin November 20, 2006
"1. The position advertised:
_x_ a. is a tenure-track appointment.
_x_ 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.
__ 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.
"2. The professor hired:
_x_ a. will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings
___ b. will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
"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.)
_x_ a. $90,000 or more
__ b. $80,000 to $89,999
__ c. $70,000 to $79,999
__ 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 and writing professor will be:
_x_ a. 30 or fewer
_x_ b. 31 - 35
_x_ c. 36 - 40
__ d. 41 - 45
__ e. 46 - 50
__ f. 51 - 55
__ g. 56 - 60
__ h. more than 60"
October 26, 2006
Dr. Seuss's teaching methods?
If you take a non-traditional approach to teaching law and would like some validation, click on: http://outofthejungle.blogspot.com/2006/09/teaching-legal-research-on-beyond-bi.html and the links therein.
hat tip: Professor Diane Murley, Southern Illinois University
AALS section award
November 1 -- Deadline for nominations for Section Award. The award is made periodically to an individual who has made a significant lifetime contribution to the field of legal writing and research.
Please send a short summary of the nominee's contributions to Suzanne Rowe, Section Chair, at email@example.com.
Suzanne E. Rowe
Director of Legal Research and Writing
University of Oregon School of Law
1515 Agate Street
Eugene, OR 97403-1221
fax: (541) 346-1564
October 25, 2006
call for proposals
The AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research has issued a call for proposals for the Section's program at the 2008 AALS annual meeting. Samples of past successful proposals are available at the Section's website. The deadline for submitting proposals is November 30, 2006.
A hard copy of each proposal needs to be sent to the Program Committee Chair, Professor Philip Meyer, Vermont Law School, Chelsea Street, South Royalton, VT 05068. In addition, proposals need to be submitted to the Program Committee members via e-mail:
hat tip: Professor Suzanne Rowe, University of Oregon
October 24, 2006
ALWD conference dates set
The Association of Legal Writing Directors ("ALWD") has set the dates for its bi-ennial conference, June 14 - 16, 2007. The conference will take place at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where K.K. DuVivier is the legal writing director.
October 23, 2006
For those who are about to teach citators (Shepard's, KeyCite), we salute you! You may be interested in Groklaw's post of DePaul law librarian Mark Giangrande's Brief Description of Citators for Those Without a Legal Background (people a lot like your students right now). You may find some good ideas there.
fact pattern possibilities
At a pig roast, a beer keg tossed into a fire explodes, causing injuries to party-goers. While tragic, it also sounds like the start of a good fact pattern.
October 22, 2006
Professor Carrie Teitcher, at Brooklyn Law School has written an article on Rebooting Our Approach to Teaching Research: One Writing Program's Leap into the Computer Age. It's available electronically via SSRN at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=934688. And here's the abstract:
"In the fall of 2005, Brooklyn Law School's Writing
Program significantly changed its approach to legal research
instruction and entered a new era. In order to make our research
lessons more effective and relevant to our students, we opted for
a fully integrated approach in which we emphasized the importance
of combining books, fee based legal research sources, and free
Internet sources into a comprehensive research strategy. These
changes acknowledge the realities of the computer age, the work
place, and our students' own research experiences which are
steeped in the Internet and computers. Eventually, we hope to
make our students more discerning consumers of legal research
and, ultimately, better analytical thinkers. With this new
approach we expect that students will fully embrace all available
tools while taking maximum advantage of all that today's computer
technology has to offer legal research instruction.
"In this article, I first describe the growth of computer research
technology at Brooklyn, some of the efforts we took to try to
engage the students in traditional book research, and why we
needed to make this latest change to the way we teach legal
research. I then describe the changes we made to our legal
research curriculum. My conclusion is that integrated legal
instruction which acknowledges the realities of today's
technology and computer culture engages our students, enhances
our credibility as teachers, and, most importantly, produces
willing and capable researchers who will consider all available
resources ranging from books, to fee based computer research
tools, to the Internet and its vast collection of free resources.
Ultimately, we will then be able to focus on what is most
important - synthesis and critical analysis of the law - so that
students will become better analytical thinkers."