Friday, September 7, 2007

job openings at Cornell

Cornell Law School invites applications for one or more full-time, three-year renewable contract faculty positions in the school’s Lawyering Program commencing in the 2008-09 academic year. To apply, mail hard copies of cover letter, resume, law-school transcript, writing sample, and names of three references to Joel Atlas, Director, The Lawyering Program, Cornell Law School, Myron Taylor Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853. The deadline for submitting applications is Oct. 12, 2007. Candidates will be interviewed at the AALS recruitment conference in Washington, DC later this fall.


September 7, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

save the date for Rocky Mountain conference

The next Rocky Mountain Regional Legal Writing Conference will be held March 21-22, 2008, in Salt Lake City, at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. The conference will be held on campus at the University Guest House and ConferenceCenter.

Ugh_back Conference planners are holding a block of rooms at the University Guest House Hotel. Depending on the size of room, the average cost is $75/night, which includes continental breakfast, fitness center, free WiFi, free parking and walking access to TRAX, a 10 minute ride to the city center area. Another block of rooms is available from the Marriott University Park Hotel within walking distance to the conference site, with average cost about $115. 

A call for proposals will issue in the near future.


September 7, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

professors with APPEAL

A new organization has been created to promote the exchange of ideas, information, and resources about the teaching of legal writing and effective advocacy among academics in the United States and academics in Africa.

APPEAL (Academics Promoting the Pedagogy Of Effective Advocacy In Law) grew out of the Conference on the Pedagogy on Legal Writing for Academics in Africa, which was held in Nairobi, Kenya in March 2007. The conference was attended by approximately 20 academics from the U.S. and approximately 30 academics from seven different African countries. A similar conference is tentatively scheduled for May or June 2009 in South Africa.

For information about joining APPEAL, contact Mimi Samuel at


September 7, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

J. ALWD call for papers

Professor Linda Berger, at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, sends the following reminder:

As summer wanes, this is a reminder about the Call for Articles for the Fall 2008 issue of the Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (J. ALWD).  In this issue, Legal Writing Beyond Memos & Briefs, the Journal will publish articles about the "best practices" of legal writing in contexts other than the traditional litigation setting.

The deadline for submissions is September 15, but if you are working on a piece and somewhere in the ballpark of meeting that deadline, please let us know.   Here are some reasons to consider submitting an article for this issue:

— The Fall 2008 issue is designed to capitalize on the renewed emphasis on teaching professional skills in law school and, in particular, on the recognition that law schools have neglected professional skills outside the litigation setting.

— The Journal provides another outlet for excellent legal writing scholarship: we set out to publish scholarship that develops the theory and researches the practice of legal writing as well as articles that apply theoretical and research findings from law and other disciplines to the substance of legal writing.

— Before selection, articles are subject to a fairly rigorous peer review process; as a result, authors whose articles are selected receive substantive feedback as well as professional editing and proofreading.

— We assume that the audience for this kind of legal writing scholarship is broad: J. ALWD is published by West and distributed to about 4,000 law professors, lawyers, and judges as well as to academics and researchers from related disciplines.

    In addition to the suggested topics in the Call, we will publish an annotated "best practices" bibliography within this issue, a practice that provides a resource for continued research and scholarship in the field.

    Please feel free to contact Professor Berger with any questions, at


September 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

job openings at Nova Southeastern and Arkansas, Fayetteville

Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, seeks applicants for up to three positions (tenure-track and contract) in its Lawyering Skills and Values Program. LSV professors also teach an additional course; the school’s current doctrinal needs include Property, Contracts, Constitutional Law, Evidence, Intellectual Property (Patents) and Criminal Law.

Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter by Oct. 9, 2007, to Professor Jim Wilets, Faculty Appointments Committee Chair, Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Law Center, 3305 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7721. Indicate whether you plan to attend the AALS recruitment conference. For more information about the positions or program, contact Prof. Wilets or Stephanie Aleong.

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, School of Law has one or more openings for programmatic tenure-track positions in its Legal Research and Writing Program beginning in the 2008-2009 academic year.

Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to Mary Beth Matthews, Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee, University of Arkansas School of Law, Leflar Law Center, Waterman Hall, Fayetteville, AR 72701. For more information about the positions or program, contact Profs. Kim Coats, Ann Killenbeck, or Kathryn Sampson.


September 5, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

you're not alone

If you're feeling lonely in your pursuit of plain English, check out the Party of the First Part website.  In addition to plain English advice and news, it includes links to both a gobbledygook contest and a legalese hall of shame, to which you are invited to contribute.


September 5, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

death of the literary allusion

MadhatterI teach an advanced course in persuasive writing, and we are presently examining the persuasive uses of literary allusions in judicial opinions. My students have so far failed to recognize allusions to Alice in Wonderland, Oliver Twist, and Animal Farm. (They also failed to recognize allusions to Bartleby the Scrivener, Gulliver's Travels, and Sherlock Holmes, but that was less surprising to me.) In the first two cases, many said they had never read the works. Some students were a bit more resourceful and used Wikipedia to at least look up the allusions used in the opinions.

I personally would not have thought references to those three works to be obscure, but I guess I am out of touch with the cultural literacy of today's law students.

Does anyone know what high school and college students are reading these days?

(And on a side note, having just reviewed some diagnostic instruments completed by my 1Ls, does anyone know whether grammar and composition are taught in high school or college any more? If English departments are not teaching grammar, composition, or literature, what are they teaching? Okay, end of rant, but it felt good to let off that steam.)


September 4, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 3, 2007

the nature of a legal writing professor's job

Professor Wayne Scheiss, at the University of Texas, has posted some thoughts on the schizophrenic nature of a legal writing professor's work life.  His reflections seem especially appropriate on Labor Day:

hat tip:  Prof. Diane Murley


September 3, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

job opening at Texas Tech

Texas Tech University School of Law seeks applicants for one opening in its nationally ranked Legal Practice Program for the 2008-09 school year.

The Legal Practice Program offers a six-credit, two-semester course (Legal Practice I and II) that integrates research, writing, client interviewing and counseling, oral advocacy, and an extensive ADR component.  While program faculty generally work from a common syllabus and core assignments, each full-time LP Professor is responsible for choosing texts and drafting fact patterns and related exercises.  In addition, each LP Professor is assigned one student tutor per section to help with providing additional workshops, grading of research exercises, etc.

LP Professors may also have the opportunity to teach other courses for additional compensation.  They enjoy the same access to travel and research assistant funding as do all faculty members.  In addition, they are eligible for up to $7500 additional compensation per year for writing and service activities.

The Program seeks applicants with a J.D., prior teaching and/or practice experience, demonstrated writing ability, strong academic credentials, the ability to work well within a coordinated program structure, and an interest in being involved in regional and national legal writing activities. Texas Tech is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all in every aspect of its operations and encourages applications from all qualified persons.

For more information about this position, please contact Professor Nancy Soonpaa, LP Program Director, at or 806/742-3990, ext. 357. To apply for the position, please send application materials to Professor Jorge Ramirez, Chair of the Personnel Committee.

To apply for this position, please send a cover letter, a resume, the names and contact information for 3 references, and a writing sample. The mailing address is 1802 Hartford Avenue, Lubbock, TX, 79409.  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and will be accepted until the position is filled. Tech plans to interview for this position at the AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference in October.

September 3, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)