Saturday, July 28, 2007
Julie Oseid and Leah Christenson (St. Thomas) have just completed an article describing an empirical study on article selection in U.S. law reviews. It contains comments from the editors at different law reviews (from top 15 schools through fourth tier schools and specialty journals).
The number one complaint of law review editors: "the poor quality of
The article is available at http: ssrn.com/author=530154, or those interested can access the paper through the Abstract ID of 1002640.
The announcement below is from Professor Deborah Mostaghel. If you are a lawyer in San Francisco interested in teaching legal writing, or know someone who is, this may be a good opportunity:
"Golden Gate University School of Law in downtown San Francisco is looking for adjuncts to teach the first-year Legal Writing and Research course. Sections meet once a week on Fridays from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. or from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
"The fall course is two credits, and the spring course is one credit. Both semesters focus on research and analysis in predictive memos. Salary is $1,800 per credit. Adjuncts may teach one or two sections.
"Applicants should have three years of practice experience and be good legal writers. Teaching experience is a plus but not required.
"Please contact Debbie Mostaghel at 415-369-5337 or email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible."The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range: adjunct appointment paying less than $10,000 (Salary is $1,800 per credit. Adjuncts can teach one or more sections.)"
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Mark Wojcik (John Marshall, Chicago) shares information about the third Global Legal Skills conference:
The Global Legal Skills III Conference will be held next year in Monterrey, Mexico.
First: the conference will be three days (starting on the afternoon of Thursday, February 28, 2008 and ending on the afternoon of Saturday, March 1, 2008) to allow people a more comfortable schedule and a chance to enjoy the city before returning home. Of course there is also more time for networking and presentations.
Second: the conference website is up, with preliminary information about the conference and how to submit proposals (by October 10, 2007) for presentations. Go to the website for the host law school in Mexico www.fldm.edu.mx and then click on the conference symbol in the right hand column. Of course, we will be adding more information to that website.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
On the legal writing listserve, Professor Dave Thomson, from the University of Denver, reported:
"Co-sponsored by the Legal Writing Institute and City University of London’s Inns of Court Law School, Once Upon a Legal Time – Developing the Skills of Storytelling in Law, brought together over 70 legal educators from 10 different countries, including Australia and Africa. Panel discussion topics ranged from storytelling in briefs, and jury instructions, and citation, and judicial opinions, and in the clinic, to the formation of Narratives to – yes, Harry Potter.
"The conference ended with a seated dinner in the Old Hall of Lincoln’s Inn, one of the four original Inns of Court, built in 1490. Ben Johnson called the Inns of Court 'the noblest nurseries of humanity and liberty in the Kingdom.' Afterwards, many in the group walked to a local bookstore, where, at midnight, we purchased copies of the British version of 'The Deathly Hallows.' Last night, on the loooong flight home, I noticed many folks reading it by the sepulchral overhead light.
"Kudos go out to Steve Johansen, Ruth Anne Robbins, and Brian Foley on this side of the pond, and Robert McPeake and Erika Rackley (and several terrific administrative support folks) on the other. It was a terrific conference, with many mind-expanding sessions, and great fun to be in London."
And Professor Ken Chestek, at the University of Indiana, added:
"My favorite part of the conference may have been the Friday night dinner at the Old Hall at Lincoln’s Inn that David described. The room itself is spectacular. It was the original courtroom, and the bench from which the judges presided is still there, towering ten feet over the floor where the barristers once stood. As David’s picture shows, the walls are paneled in dark wood; portraits of some of the judges who presided there over the centuries adorn the walls. Just before dinner was served, one of the British conference planners, Erika Rackley, stood up and read, in her charming British accent, the first few paragraphs of the novel Bleak House, by Charles Dickens. When she finished, she closed the book and said, 'Dickens has just described the place where you are sitting right now.' Indeed the book opens at the Court of Chancery at Lincoln’s Inn, which was the room we were sitting in. And it occurred to me that Charles Dickens himself had been in that very room."
Professor Ruth-Anne Robbins, at Rutgers-Camden, also pointed out that the Applied Legal Storytelling conference has a blog with pictures.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
In the book "Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer," author Roy Peter Clark suggests that writers "draft a mission statement for your work." I think that I'll try that with my 1-L's this fall: jot their writing purpose on a post-it and place it on their computer screens to remind them of their writing task. They could even write mini-statements for the subsections of their memo.
Clark also suggests that mission statements can reflect what the writer wants to learn or try in the writing of the piece, as well as the purpose of the piece in an audience-oriented sense.