March 16, 2007
Wednesday in Nairobi
Here's the group on Wednesday, posing outside the Kenya High Court after a talk by the court's public relations man, during which we asked many questions about the court's structure and compared/contrasted it to the US system.
We also visited the Kenya Professional School and the University of Nairobi Faculty of Law.
wrapping up Friday morning
Grace Tonner of University of Michigan wrapped up the morning with a session on critiquing student work, with some advice targeted specifically at those with large student loads--the situation that our African colleagues all have as a challenge in teaching skills to their law students.
yet more on Friday
Janet Dickson of Seattle University talks about teaching students to write precisely and concisely. Her teaching admonition that "words are like gold coins" to be spent carefully was well received by the audience.
More on Friday . . .
Lisa Hatlen of Marquette engages the group with a session on writing effective paragraphs and sentences. Her exercise on "stuffed sentences" and sentence bloatedness level engaged everyone in a round of sentence revision.
Friday in Africa
more from Africa
Conference sessions started on Thursday with a welcome by Laurel Oates and Mimi Samuel of Seattle University. The first session, Models for Teaching Legal Writing, introduced various ways to design LRW courses as to both staffing and basic course structure. After participants shared morning tea and ideas about how their institutions help students to develop their writing skills, the second session explored the limits of transplanting US models to other countries. Here I am during my session on the product and process approaches to teaching writing, working with small groups during an exercise.
March 15, 2007
and here's the cheetah . . .
look who's here!
Look who's on safari in Africa!! Last Friday, while watching a cheetah industriously eating its tasty gazelle dinner, Jana McCreary (Texas Wesleyan) and I looked up to see Grace Tonner (Michigan), Catherine Wasson (Widener), and Camille DeJorna (ABA), in the next vehicle over. Understand that it's important to be rested for a big event like the conference!! Camille gave a wonderful talk about legal education at dinner this evening, so the safari apparently readied her rather nicely for the big event.
March 13, 2007
odd law book titles: what's on your shelf?
The Law Librarian Blog has begun a contest to find the "oddest law book title." To submit your nomination, post your nominated title no later than March 23. The blog will poll its readers to choose their favorite from the nominees beginning April 2. Among the titles already nominated are:
Blackie the Talking Cat: And Other Favorite Judicial Opinions (West 1996)
- The Law of Cadavers, Second Edition (Prentice-Hall, 1950)
- No justice, no piece! : a working girl's guide to labor organizing in the sex industry / by the hell-raisin' hussies who organized the Exotic Dancers Union at San Francisco's Lusty Lady Theater
(publisher and publication date unfortunately not provided!)
on the road to Nairobi
The Conference on Legal Writing Pedagogy for African Legal Academics begins tomorrow, Wednesday, in Nairobi. About 20 American and 40 African law professors will be participating.
The road to Nairobi has been an experience, filled with safari and friends and an eye-opening look at the city itself. I'll be attaching photos soon!
March 12, 2007
"The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can become an impenetrable fog!"
- Bill Waterson, Calvin and Hobbes
hat tip: Prof. Wanda Temm
legal writing grading haiku
Last week, I was inspired to write:
Some escape from arctic blasts;
inside you have to
face that stack of trial briefs.
This week, Miki Felsenburg, at Wake Forest, wrote:
Spring Break time interfer-
ing with my doing
all the grading left to do.
P.S. to those who wrote last year to suggest this is not haiku, just doggerol:
This is a genre of its own, "legal writing grading haiku." It mimics the most superficial format aspects of haiku and focuses for its subject matter solely on the grading of legal writing papers.