Saturday, August 18, 2007

job openings at Temple

A job notice from Temple University, James E. Beasley School of Law announces that the school is expanding its legal writing faculty and seeking applicants for non-tenure-track positions in its directorless program. To apply, send a resume to Professor Alice G. Abreu, Chair, Faculty Selection and Recruitment Committee, Temple University Beasley School of Law, 1719 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122.   E-mail:; fax: 215-204-2008. If you have questions about the positions or the program, contact Ellie Margolis at


August 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wordsworth on capital punishment

Those teaching law-and-literature courses this year may be interested in reading this recently published article:

Gregg Mayer, The Poet and Death: Literary Reflections on Capital Punishment through the Sonnets of William Wordsworth, 21 St. John's J. Legal Comment 727 (2007). It's available on LexisNexis and on Westlaw. The first paragraph is intriguing: "No poet has more vigorously, thoroughly and eloquently defended the state's right to execute than the great Romantic poet William Wordsworth. In 1841, fearing abolition of capital punishment when Parliament passed a bill eliminating the death penalty as punishment for 200 offenses, Wordsworth, then 71, composed a series of Sonnets Upon The Punishment of Death. These sonnets delve into topics as varied as the condemned's last walk toward the scaffold, to meditations on whether God would approve of capital punishment. Unlike many other writers from his time, including Dickens, Thackeray, and Tolstoy, Wordsworth opposed total abolition of the death penalty; his sonnets provide a rare, versed defense for this authority. More broadly, his sonnets offer a literary doorway to other writers' reflections on capital punishment, both from Wordsworth's contemporaries and more modern authors." (footnotes omitted)


August 17, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

new Supreme Court rules

Even after leaving for another law school, ace librarian Professor Diane Murley has followed up on an inquiry I made previously, with this helpful information:

The Supreme Court approved its new rules by an order dated July 17, 2007. They will be effective October 1. The order also rescinded the 2005 rules effective September 30. .

"At the Supreme Court home page,, you can find the 2005 rules, the 2007 rules, and “Revisions to Rules,” which compares the old and the new.


August 17, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

books on clerking

The ABA sent an announcement of two books that might be helpful for those strong students looking at clerkships. (The descriptions below are the ABA's.)

Federal Appellate Court Clerking: A Survival Guide, by Joseph L. Lemon, Jr.
"This book provides the ammunition that new and soon-to-be clerks need to perform his or her duties successfully from the first day in chambers. This book is also valuable to those considering applying for an appellate clerkship who want to learn the nuts-and-bolts of what the job actually entails."

Federal District Court Clerking: A Survival Guide, by Calvert G. Chipcase
"This book offers an insight into the day-to-day responsibilities of federal district court law clerks. The book will provide district court law clerks instruction to help them perform their jobs; help law students maximize their chances of getting hired as district court law clerks; and educate law students who are considering clerking but unsure about whether to clerk at the federal trial or appellate level."


August 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

a good lesson on consequences

So what happens when a lawyer tells a judge that she's "a few french fries short of a Happy Meal"?  Luckily for one Chicago attorney, the formal sanction was not as severe as the harm to his reputation and the cost, financial and otherwise, to him and his firm.


August 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

new electronic resource for federal legislative history

Our friends over at the Law Librarian Blog report news that "complete online access to the bound and daily Congressional Record, its three predecessor titles, and other important Congressional material" is now available through HeinOnline. Put this in your notes for later in the year when you teach legislative history.


August 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Southeast Legal Writing Conference

Professor Cynthia Bulan, at Nova Southeastern, sends this reminder:

Home_image If you plan to attend the Southeast Legal Writing Conference, please register by August 30, 2007.  Registration is free and is easy to do on the conference website


August 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 13, 2007

accounting for a more visual audience

Professor Richard K. Sherwin has written A Manifesto for Visual Legal Realism, to be published in 40 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review (2007). He makes many astute points about the new challenges our increasingly visual culture poses for lawyers’ story-telling and persuasive efforts.

As he explains:
"The shift to visual representation and visual advocacy in contemporary legal practice has the potential to introduce an aspect of law that has long been under-represented in academic circles, namely: the aesthetic power to embody legal truth on the screen as a visual enchantment. A stable society agrees upon a shared repertoire of rhetorical moves, "a lexicon of normative action," that it recombines and supplements to meet the needs of changing times. In a visually literate society, these rhetorical moves build upon a visual code that over time is unconsciously assumed. What we see on the screen may appear real, but like the physical act of perception itself, it is, to a significant degree, artificially constructed and incomplete.

"It behooves legal advocates and cultural critics alike to understand how we get our visual knowledge from the screen, and what kind of knowledge this is. Only then can the gaps and distortions in such knowledge be consciously confronted and perhaps corrected by other, more accurate sources."


August 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

little lessons

From an e-mail I received today . . .  each could be used for a lesson in an LRW course. Well, maybe the first one should remain a temptation only.

ON PUBLISHING OR PERISHING     I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top. -- English Professor, Ohio University

ON PROBLEM SOLVING     When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. -- Abraham Maslow

ON MATERIALISM     He who dies with the most toys, is, nonetheless, still dead.


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