Saturday, April 14, 2007

article on arguments

Lwcfac_fruewald Professor Scott Fruehwald at Hofstra University has written an article explaining how legal writing courses cover more of the basic types of legal argumentation than the average casebook law school course.  You can download Legal Argument and Small-Scale Organization free-of-charge via SSRN.  As Professor Fruehwald writes in his abstract:

"Legal argument and legal writing are inseparable. This paper first discusses the four types of legal argument -- 1) rule-based reasoning, 2) reasoning by analogy, 3) distinguishing precedent, and 4) policy-based reasoning, and it shows how reasoning by analogy has been overemphasized in first-year doctrinal courses. It then demonstrates how legal writing courses usually include all four types of legal reasoning. Finally, the paper presents a small-scale organizational paradigm that incorporates all four types of reasoning."


April 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Lone Star regional LRW conference

The Lone Star Legal Research & Writing Conference will be held in Fort Worth, Texas, at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law on May 31-June 1, 2007. Legal research & writing professionals, including law librarians, from any region of the country are invited to attend. There is a registration fee of $35.00.

The schedule and related links are available at


April 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

call for proposals: Southeast Legal Writing Conference

Proposals are being accepted for the Southeast Legal Writing Conference to be held at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Friday and Saturday, September 7 & 8, 2007.  The topic is "Teaching the Basics:  Practical Ideas for the Legal Research and Writing Classroom."  Conference organizers are seeking presentations that are 20, 30, or 50 minutes long.

Please submit a paragraph summarizing your presentation along with your request for the amount of time (20, 30, or 50 minutes) and whether you are flexible about the time. 

Organizers expect the majority of presentations to take place on Saturday, with a plenary, related table discussions, and a reception on Friday. 

Please send your proposals to Anthony Niedwiecki or Cindy Bulan, the chair of the conference. Please submit your proposal by June 1, 2007.

Anthony Niedwiecki:

Cindy Bulan:


April 12, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

job opening at U of Colorado

The University of Colorado Law School is hiring for a non-tenure track faculty position reporting to the Director of the Legal Writing Program, beginning in August 2007. Send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and the names,addresses, and telephone numbers of three professional references to:

Lorenzo A. Trujillo
Assistant Dean for Students and Professional Programs
University of Colorado School of Law
401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0401


April 11, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

thin slice student evalutions

Merritt_deborah If you do not know what "thin slice judgment" means and you are a teacher whose retention, promotion, or tenure depends in part on student evaluations, you owe it to yourself to read Deborah Merritt's article on Bias, the Brain, and Student Evaluations of Teaching, Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 87 (January 2007).  You can download or print it free of charge via SSRN.

Among the studies Professor Merritt reports on are those that show evaluations made by students in the first five minutes of a course accurately predict student teaching evaluations at the end of the entire course.  She explains how the studies indicate a few non-verbal communication factors account for most of the results in student evaluations.  And she suggests better ways for law schools to get more meaningful input from students about their courses.



April 10, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Kudos Prof. Murrill!

Legwrit_murrille Elizabeth Murrill, an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at LSU Law School in Baton Rouge, LA, has been selected as a 2007-08 Supreme Court Judicial Fellow.  She will work in Washington, D.C., at the Federal Judicial Center, the federal judiciary’s agency for research and education. The Center also provides orientation and continuing education for all federal judges, as well as management and supervisory education for the courts’ staff.

hat tip:  Prof. Todd Bruno


April 9, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

bonfire of the bluebooks

Bonfire Eight first-year law students at Harvard have been arrested for burning their Bluebooks and throwing rocks in protest outside the Harvard Law Review office, according to this story datelined April 5, 2007, in The Record, which styles itself "The Independent Newspaper at Harvard Law School." Is it true, or just a delayed April Fool's story? We'll let you decide (check out the other stories in this edition of the paper).


April 9, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

workshop for new LRW profs

Newly-hired legal writing professors can learn how to do their new jobs at the Workshop for Beginning Legal Writing Teachers, presented by AALS in Washington, D.C., on June 30th to July 1st.  The topics that will be covered include:

Nuts & Bolts
Designing Assignments
Teaching Legal Research

The confirmed speakers are:

Lorraine Bannai (Seattle)
Patricia Broussard (Florida A&M)
Linda Edwards (Mercer)
Suzanne Rabe (Arizona)
Amy Sloan (Baltimore)
Craig Smith (Vanderbilt)

This workshop is indispenable for brand new legal writing professors and also very helpful for anyone finishing their first year on the job.


April 9, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 8, 2007

LRW leading AALS Sections

Skimming the February 2007 AALS newsletter revealed that no less that six members of the legal writing community are chairing AALS Sections this year.  The sections, chairs, and their schools are:

Academic Support
Nancy Soonpaa, Texas Tech

Education Law
Dan Weddle, UMKC

International Human Rights Law
Mark Wojcik, John Marshall

Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research
Susan Kosse, Louisville

Part Time Division Programs
Darby Dickerson, Stetson

Teaching Methods
Jim Levy, Southeastern

Legal writing people are everywhere!


April 8, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)