Sunday, January 13, 2008
Sue Liemer has just shared with you the news that I have agreed to fill in for her on this website while she is on sabbatical. I'm happy to help out, and I'm always happy when legal writing professors get to take sabbaticals. (I am scheduled to take one myself next year!) It is also an honor to join Nancy Soonpaa and Coleen Barger on the blog here as well.
I know that many of you already know me, but some of you do not.
I am a professor of law and Director of the Global Legal Studies Program at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. I've been teaching at John Marshall now for 15 years, although it hardly seems that long (and I certainly cannot have gotten older). The law school has a great legal writing program, and I've learned a lot over the years from my colleagues there (including former writing directors Susan Brody and Maureen Straub Kordesh, our current director Molly Warner Lien, and many colleagues who have taught writing, including Cynthia Bond, Maureen B. Collins, Joel Cornwell, Mary Jean Dolan, Sonia Green, Ardath Hamann, Joanne Hodge, Kevin Hopkins, Allen Kamp, Mary Nagel, Sandy Olken, Steven Schwinn, David Sorkin, and Julie Spanbauer). It's quite a team. And of course I've learned a lot from Sue Liemer and other colleagues all across the country -- I cannot even begin to list you here, but your influence on me has been great.
I enjoy writing, teaching, speaking, and working with bar associations.
I am the author of a book on Illinois Legal Research. It's called (strangely enough) Illinois Legal Research. I'm also the author of a book on legal writing for non-native speakers of English. That book is "Introduction to Legal English." I use that book in summer courses at the International Law Institute in Washington DC, where I have been teaching foreign lawyers and foreign law students for many years. I do other writing as well, and this week I received the third edition of the book called "Careers in International Law" (in which I have a new chapter), and the January issue of the ABA Student Lawyer Magazine (for which I wrote the story described on the cover).
In addition to teaching in Chicago at John Marshall, I also teach as an adjunct or guest professor at law schools in Mexico and Switzerland. In Mexico I teach at the Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey. In Switzerland I teach at the University of Lucerne Faculty of Law, where they've named me as a "Permanent Guest Professor for Anglo-American and Comparative Law." Over the years I've also had the chance to teach or conduct seminars in China, Lithuania, Singapore, and Indonesia.
I've just returned -- like many of you -- from the AALS annual meeting in New York, where I saw lots of legal writing folk actively participating throughout the conference. I'm told that the AALS annual meeting had more than 4,000 law professors and more than 600 other guests, making it the largest and most successful annual meeting in the history of the AALS. One of the highlights was the luncheon for the Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research.
I had the honor of speaking on a couple of panels at the AALS, and also enjoyed organizing panels where many new law professors (including those who teach writing) had the chance to make their first presentations at an AALS conference.
I'm also active in a number of bar associations and other professional organizations. I'm on the Board of Governors of the Illinois State Bar Association. I am the Publications Officer for the American Bar Association Section of International Law (and also editor of its newsletter, the International Law News). I am Co-Chair of the American Society of International Law Interest Group for Teaching International Law ("TILIG"). I just finished chairing the AALS Section on International Human Rights Law, and was elected Chair of the AALS Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. I am a past board member of the Legal Writing Institute and served on the LWI Outreach Committee, which created the Golden Pen Award. I also started the Global Legal Skills Conference, which took place twice in Chicago and will next be held in Mexico.
I look forward to contributing to this Legal Writing Blog, and I hope that you find future postings to be of interest. For now, I want to wish Sue Liemer a restful and productive sabbatical. I'm sure that you will join me in those good wishes for her.
Mark E. Wojcik