December 1, 2007
why librarians should teach CALR
Just in time for drafting your spring semester syllabus, Professor Shawn Nevers, at Brigham Young University, has written an article on Candy, Points, and Highlighters: Why Librarians, Not Vendors, Should Teach CALR to First-Year Students, 99 Law Library Journal __ (fall 2007).
As the abstract so aptly explains:
"Computer-assisted legal research (CALR) is an essential legal research tool. Despite that fact, most first-year law students are still being trained to conduct CALR by the representatives of commercial vendors. This article contends that in the legal research environment of 2007, first-year students need the guidance of law librarians to effectively learn CALR. Among other benefits, law librarians can provide first-years with unbiased guidance in evaluating CALR systems, can teach CALR within a comprehensive research approach, and will not perpetuate the idea that CALR is a quick and easy solution to legal research."
November 29, 2007
"a slubby mass of words"
In a recently decided case, the Ninth Circuit dismissed an appeal due to deficiencies in the brief, including failure to include the applicable standard of review, a table of contents or authorities, or citations to authority. In addition, it "[made] virtually no legal arguments."
The court also cites an earlier Ninth Circuit opinion: "'In order to give fair consideration to those who call upon us for justice, we must insist that parties not clog the system by presenting us with a slubby mass of words rather than a true brief.' N/S Corp. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 127 F.3d 1145, 1146 (9th Cir. 1997)."
hat tip: Greg May (blog editor, The California Blog of Appeal)
funny t-shirt and legal writing lesson
OK, this t-shirt is just too funny--plus, you could use it for a legal writing lesson on assumptions, word choice, connotation, etc.:
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.
November 28, 2007
Professor Ariana Levinson at the University of Louisville continues her column on Effective Legal Writing for the Kentucky Bench & Bar publication with a piece on Editing Tips for the Busy Attorney, in the November issue. It could be a helpful classroom handout for a legal writing course, too.
moot court blog
Professor Laurie Kadoch, currently at Vermont Law School, has been appointed Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Legal Skills & Values Program at Florida International University College of Law. She will start in this tenure-track appointment in January. Now that's climate change!
hat tip: Professor Scott Fruehwald, Hofstra University
November 27, 2007
oral argument tips
Somehow law students tend to forget that their professors ever practiced law. The professor can give some good advice repeatedly, but bring into class a currently practicing lawyer or sitting judge, who says the same thing, and the students act as if never-before-heard pearls of wisdom have been bestowed upon them. To deliver some of that sagacity to your students electronically, you could steer them to a judge's recent advice on the top ten pitfalls to avoid in the courtroom.