Wednesday, April 30, 2008

AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research -- Save the Date

The AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research program at the annual meeting in San Diego will be on Friday, January 9, 2009, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

The topic will be "Assessing Acts of Collaboration and Plagiarism and Exploring Techniques that Move Students from Forbidden to Extolled."  It is being organized by Lurene Contento, the quite fabulous director of the writing center at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. I know that this is going to be a GREAT program. The section luncheon and section award presentation will immediately follow the program, from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

(mew)

April 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research - Spring 2008 Newsletter

Lou_sirico The Spring 2008 edition of the Newsletter for the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research is available by clicking here. Enjoy!

The AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research is chaired by Lou J. Sirico, Jr., director of the legal writing program at Villanova University School of Law.  He also sent out a note thanking Section Secretary Joan Malmud of the University of Oregon for a great job putting together the newsletter.

Hat tip to Joan Malmud.

(mew)

April 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

supremely distracting trivia: grading distraction #4

Some of us need grading distractions that have some slight justification for our attention. It must be all the hubbub about Justice Scalia appearing on 60 Minutes, or maybe it's the after-effect of all that history in the HBO series on John Adams, but as one who loves teaching appellate advocacy, I find myself very curious about the justices of the United States Supreme Court. So one of my grading distractions has been to peruse the fine offerings of the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Johnjay For example, did you know that although John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he resigned after five years to become the Governor of New York? And do you know who was the only Supreme Court justice to have been impeached? Can you name the justice who was a Congressman from Maine, Attorney General and a Special Ambassador to Mexico? Which justice's oral history interviews became a best-selling book?  Which two justices were the subjects of biographies written by their wives?

Don't know? Can't stand not knowing? I would tell you the answers, but the point of this posting is to give you a grading distraction. You will just have to go visit the site and find the answers for yourself.

(cmb)

April 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

LWI Conference Preview - Tuesday Evening Popcorn Sessions

Popcorn_1 Popcorn_5 "Popcorn Sessions" are a new feature of the Legal Writing Institute Conference.

These are longer, informal sessions (90 minutes!) with lots of group conversation and interactions.  The purpose is to foster more dialogue among conference Lwi attendees.  These sessions will be conducted at the Hyatt Hotel.  And call me crazy, but I wouldn't be surprised if they had popcorn there as well.  That's the official snackfood of my home state of Illinois, by the way. See 5 Ill. Comp. Stat. 460/80 ("Popcorn is designated the official State snackfood of the State of Illinois.").

Popcorn_2 There are only four of these popcorn sessions, so you will have an Popcorn_4 easier time choosing which one to attend.  (As if there were any choice!  Of course you're all going to my session . . . read on.)  These sessions begin at 8:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Hotel.

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T5A: Live Grading with Mark E. Wojcik (Professor of Law at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago).  OK, this is undoubtedly going to be the best session of the entire Mark_e_wojcik_photo_6 conference, so you won't want to miss it.  In fact you might even skip dinner to be sure that you can get inside the room!  (You can always eat some popcorn if you DO skip dinner . . . .)  During this session, I'll discuss "live grading," which is something I learned years ago from Joe Kimble.  Joe tells me that he's planning to come that evening, so he will be around to share his insights as well.  Doing "live grading" of student papers can lessen the time you spend grading while at the same time providing students with a stronger pedagogical experience.  It's a win-win situation when done correctly.  The students absolutely love it, for a number of reasons that I will talk about that evening.  Attend this presentation to learn how to do live grading and to discuss both appropriate uses and potential pitfalls to avoid.

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Ricks_sarah_2 Murray_michael T5B: Publishing Books in LRW and Beyond: How We Did It and How You Can Too is a perfect panel for aspiring authors.  (I was on this panel myself at the last LWI conference, and the room was PACKED with aspiring and actual book authors.  By the way, my own legal writing books are Introduction to Legal English and Illinois Legal Research.)  Come listen to the publishing success stories of Sarah E. Ricks (Clinical Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Pro Bono Research Project at Rutgers School of Law in Camden, New Jersey), Michael D. Murray (University of Illinois College of Law right now, moving to the very lucky Valparaiso University School Desanctis_christie of Law next year), Mckinney_ruth_ann Christy Hallam DeSanctis (Associate Professor of Legal Research and Writing and Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program at the George Washington University School of Law in Washington, D.C., pictured here on the left), and Ruth Anne McKinney (Clinical Professor of Law and director of the Writing and Learning Resources Center at the University of North Carolina Law School).  (And if you happen to be an aspiring author with an international law book in you, I'm also the Publications Officer for the American Bar Association Section of International Law in case you would like to publish with the ABA.)

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Dickerson_darby T5C: Simon_michelle As befitting a popcorn session, this one is a double feature!  First up are two law school deans, speaking on Beyond Caps and Long-Term Contracts -- The Path to Full Status.  The session will be with Dean Darby Dickerson (the ALWD citation goddess) of the Stetson University College of Law in Florida and Dean Michelle S. Simon, the newly appointed Dean of Pace Law School.  Both deans started their academic careers as legal writing professors!  Following that (or maybe mixed in right along with it -- these popcorn sessions could get wild!) is the Transition to a Directorless Program with the award-winning Dejarnatt_susan_2 Susan DeJarnatt Coats_kim (Associate Professor at the Temple University Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia, pictured here on the left), Kim Flanery Coats (Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law at Fayetteville, pictured here on the right), and the magnificent Daniel Barnett (Associate Professor of Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing at Boston College of Law).  Why do I say Dan is magnificent?  Who else do you know that spent a semester in France, teaching in French Le Barnett_daniel Droit du Contrat aux Etats-Unis?  (Message to Dan -- will YOU be organizing something for Bastille Day on that Monday?)  It's a great lineup.  Now, the transition to a directorless program is not just about getting rid of your director . . . .  Find out more about it by attending this session.

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T5D: Finally, a panel of experienced editors representing several major legal writing publications will discuss how you can improve your chances for publishing an article.  The panel of editors will also answer your questions and provide information about how to become involved as a participant on one of these outstanding journals.  Publications to be represented in this popcorn session will include:

  • The Journal of Legal Writing;
  • The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process;
  • Perspectives; and
  • The Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (JALWD).

There may be other journals as well.  The session is intended to provide broad-based, informal advice about getting published in a variety of legal writing publications.  That sounds like a good investment of time to me!

That's it for Tuesday!  On to Wednesday and Thursday!

For descriptions of the opening plenary, click here.

For descriptions of panel 2 on Tuesday, click here.

For information on the Tuesday diversity lunch, click here.

For information on the Tuesday Pink Ink lunch, click here.Popcorn_3_4

For descriptions of panel 3 on Tuesday, click here.

For descriptions of panel 4 on Tuesday, click here.

For information on the Tuesday evening dinners for new legal writing professors, click here.

Mark "Popcorn" Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School-Chicago

April 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Congratulations, Susan DeJarnatt!

Dejarnatt_susan Susan L. DeJarnatt, an Associate Professor at the Temple University Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia, received her university's prestigious Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.  This honor marked the first time that a LRW professor received a teaching award from Temple.  Her enthusiastic colleagues at Temple and friends across the country say that she has paved the way for other LRW professors and that she is "a shining example of a great and dedicated teacher, a tireless mentor, and a wonderful colleague."

Congratulations, Susan!

Hat tip to Kathy Stanchi.

(mew)

April 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference Preview - Tuesday Dinner for New Members

Ruth_anne_robbinsTuesday evening features "New Member Dinners," starting at 5:30 p.m.  This is when more experienced LWI members take new members out to dinner so that the new members can feel more personally welcomed into the legal writing community.

Ruth Anne Robbins, the next president of the Legal Writing Institute, tells me that these New Member Dinners have have been in place since 2004, when Tracy McGaugh started this wonderful tradition.

There will be sign-up sheets for these dinners, so don't worry about that now.  The dinners should all finish by 8:00 so that people can get to the Popcorn Sessions that begin at 8:00 p.m. at the hotel. 

Hat tip to Ruth Anne Robbins, President-Elect of the Legal Writing Institute.

(mew)

April 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference Preview - Tuesday Lunch (Pink Ink)

Pink_ink Pink Ink is the LGBT caucus of the Legal Writing Institute.  In addition to the Diversity Luncheon on Tuesday, there will also be a Pink Ink luncheon.  I think it will work the same way (you pick up a box lunch from the conference and go to the room assigned), but it wouldn't surprise me if we end up having it catered instead with some fabulous 10-course luncheon, live music, and dancing.  Anyway, keep the event on your calendar, and remember that "membership" in Pink Ink is not restricted to members of the LGBT community.  It is for allies and friends (and anyone who likes a 10-course luncheon, live music, and dancing). 

Discussion topics at the Pink Ink luncheon may include:

  • Using issues of sexual orientation and gender identity in memoranda and advocacy assignments, particularly in light of California now allowing same-sex weddings (and that California does not require persons getting married there to be from California);
  • Latest research resources for LGBT scholarship;
  • Mentoring and support for LGBT professors and students;
  • Hiring practices of law schools;
  • Attending the AALS Hiring Conference as an openly LGBT candidate (or recruiter); and
  • A preview of an all-day program at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego on Sexual Orientation Issues Across the Curriculum.

And hey, since we're talking about Pink Ink, click here for Pink Ink Items at the Bad-ass Legal Writing Store.

(mew)

April 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

details from the Scalia-Garner book on persuading judges

Garnerscalia The May 2008 issue of the ABA Journal will feature the new book, Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges, written by Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner. The Journal's website provides this detailed look inside the book, as well as an audio podcast link to an interview with the two authors.
Photo by Steve Petteway, Collection of The Supreme Court of the United States

hat tips: Ray Ward at the (new) legal writer (and by extension, Howard Bashman, of How Appealing fame)

ETA: Kevin Hunt send this link to a West podcast interview of Bryan Garner about Scalia and the book. Thanks!

(cmb)

April 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

NinoTV: grading distraction #3

In case you missed Justice Scalia on 60 Minutes, we bring you the links to both parts of Lesley Stahl's interview. It's a worthwhile grading distraction!

(cmb)

April 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy Law Day!

May 1 is celebrated as Law Day in the United States. It was created in 1957 (or thereabouts) to promote citizen awareness and support for the rule of law in the United States. It was also a response to the Soviet Union and other countries with May Day celebrations.

The American Bar Association and state and local bar associations celebrate Law Day in various ways, including public educational panels, television shows on legal issues, and square dancing. (OK, maybe not that last one.)

We wish you all a happy Law Day now. We celebrate your role in helping to create new, skilled lawyers and legal advocates who will help to make the world a better place. Wish your students a Happy Law Day, and your colleagues as well.

I am proud to live in a wonderful country. I am proud to be part of a strong and wonderful tradition. And I wish all of you a HAPPY LAW DAY!

(mew)

April 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Practical Way to Learn Grammar & Punctuation

Here's a nice lesson from Lisa Mazzie Hatlen at Marquette--thanks, Lisa!!

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About a month ago, in response to a post on the Legal Writing listserv, I shared an assignment that I give my first year legal writing students as a way to get them thinking about grammar and punctuation. For the assignment, about two or three weeks before we are scheduled to discuss grammar and punctuation in class, I show a PowerPoint presentation that includes examples of signs that have some grammar, punctuation, or spelling error. I tell students that they must find their own "public" example of a grammar or punctuation error. To complete the assignment, they must tell me where they found their example, what's wrong with it, and how they would fix it. No student has ever told me that he or she has had trouble with this assignment, and the examples students turn in are interesting and creative. Students have turned in brochures, newsletters, menus, copies of pages from their textbooks, pictures of signs and billboards, print-outs from web sites, and more.

Many people emailed me to ask that I share some of the examples. I put together a PowerPoint that details this assignment and shows some of the examples I've received. The PowerPoint is posted here: https://www.slideshare.net/LisaHatlen. When we get to the grammar and punctuation class, I'll show their examples on the document camera and we'll talk about the error and how to fix it. It's meant to be a fun way to heighten students' awareness of the use of language and how its misuse can create unintended meaning and convey unintended messages about the writer herself. As Bill Walsh says, "Language evolves, but at each instant in that evolution there will be ways of writing that will strike educated readers as ignorant. . . . [so,] if you, too, are in the business of writing, . . . you have to answer one big question: Do you want to look stupid?" in Bill Walsh, The Elephants of Style: A Trunkload of Tips on the Big Issues and Gray Areas of Contemporary American English (2004) (emphasis in original).

(njs)

April 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

to click or not to click?: grading distraction #2

When I find myself in grading-avoidance mode (i.e., easily distracted when I should be grading briefs or memos), I often find myself thinking ahead to next semester. I'll be teaching an advanced legal research course next fall. I should have been grading briefs this afternoon. Instead, I found myself searching for odd laws.

Speedbump This site has some doozies, and they're sorted by jurisdiction. For example, it says that in California, "No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour." Moreover, in Georgia, "Donkeys may not be kept in bathtubs." (Sounds reasonable.) In Indiana, "Hotel sheets must be exactly 99 inches long and 81 inches wide." (I am going to confirm that when I stay at the Marriott during the LWI Conference in July!) In Rhode Island, "Ropes may not be strung across a highway." (What if I needed to snag the runaway car I'm not allowed to operate in California?)

For some fun in the Advanced Research class, I'm going to work up some in-class quickie research tasks involving some of these (of course, I will have to first research them myself to be sure that they are in fact still on the books).

(cmb)

April 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

bad behavior at oral argument

From the Legal Writing listserv . . .
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A snip from a case (go straight to the footnote) that might be interesting for students to read before their oral args. next year, or assuming the argument is available, it might even be better to listen to it.

From: Hartz v. Administrators of Tulane Educational Fund, Slip Copy, 2008 WL 1766886, C.A.5 (La.),2008, April 16, 2008 (Approx. 6 pages):

E. Roger Phipps' Conduct

*8 Finally, and completely separate and apart from the issues raised on appeal, we would be remiss if we did not comment on the conduct of Roger Phipps, counsel for Hartz, during oral argument in this case on Tuesday, March 4, 2008. Phipps' conduct towards the Court during argument was unprofessional. Even more serious was his admission that during his work on the case (including his preparation for argument), he had not read a key Supreme Court case. His cavalier disregard for his client's interest and for his obligation to the Court was both troubling and disgraceful.FN4 Accordingly, we are ordering Phipps to provide his client, Hartz, a copy of our opinion immediately after it is released. In order to ensure compliance, we are further directing him to supply our Court with proof of service.

FN4. An example of Phipp's interaction with the panel is included below.Phipps: ... so that's about all I have to say, Your Honor. I don't have anything other than that. You know, my client lives in Chicago. We communicate occasionally on the phone, she sent me the documents. And um, she's a doctor. She continues to earn a living, and she's generally unavailable if you call her because she, she's sort of a traveling doctor.Judge: That's not much of thing you come in here and tell us, I guess.Phipps: Well, my attitude is, the [district court] judge got it right.... And as far as whether even Ricks should apply, I don't think it should.Judge: What do you do about Morgan?Phipps: I don't, I don't, I don't know Morgan, Your Honor.Judge: You don't know Morgan?Phipps: Nope.Judge: You haven't read it?Phipps: I try not to read that many cases, your Honor. Ricks is the only one I read. Oh, Ledbetter, I read Ledbetter, and I read that one that they brought up last night. I don't know if that's not Ledbetter, I can't remember the name of it. Ricks is the one that I go by; it's my North star. Either it applies or it doesn't apply. I don't think it applies.Judge: I must say, Morgan is a case that is directly relevant to this case. And for you representing the Plaintiff to get up here-it's a Supreme Court case-and say you haven't read it. Where did they teach you that?Phipps: They didn't teach me much, Your Honor.Judge: At Tulane, is it?Phipps: Loyola.Judge: Okay. Well, I must say, that may be an all time first.Phipps: That's why I wore a suit today, Your Honor.Judge: Alright. We've got your attitude, anyway.

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hat tip:  Kathleen S. Bean, Professor of Law, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville
(njs)

April 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference Preview - Tuesday Session 4

Edwards_linda Mcelroy_lisa

Here are the presentations being held during the fourth round of sessions on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at the Legal Writing Institute Conference in Indianapolis.  These sessions are from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m., so you have to pick just one from this great list of choices.

T4A: Changing Schools, Changing Lives: How to Get Out There, Get Noticed, and Get the Job You Want.  A panel with Linda H. Edwards (Macon Professor and Director of the Certificate Program in Advance Legal Writing, Research, and Drafting at Mercer University Law School in Macon, Georgia, pictured here on the left), Lisa T. McElroy (Associate Professor at the College of Law Davis_kirsten at Drexel University, pictured here on the right), Kirsten K. Davis (Associate Professor and Director of the Writing Program at Stetson University College of Law, who I had a chance to visit last week when I was at Stetson, pictured here on the left -- it was sort of a "hey, shouldn't you be in Arizona moment," but that of course is the whole theme of this panel), and Molly LienLien_molly (Professor of Law and the fabulous Director of the Lawyering Skills Program at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, who is also receiving a special award during this LWI Conference, but maybe that is a secret?).  The four panelists will discuss the interest that schools have in hiring the best and brightest candidates for tenure-track and long-term contract positions, and the best strategies for candidates who are interested in making a change.  They will also discuss how appointments committees identify and evaluate candidates for these positions.  (No, it is NOT done with a dart board.) 

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Bratman_ben Bakhshian_susan T4B: Bar Exam Prep Course Seeking Long Term Relationship: Legal Writing, Academic Support, Both, or Something Else.  Here's a session with Benjamin E. Bratman (Associate Professor of Legal Writing at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law) and Susan Smith Bakhshian (Clinical Professor at Loyola University School of Law in Los Angeles, and someone who have I had the pleasure of presenting with previously at an LWI Conference).  They will discuss the for-credit bar examination preparation courses now offered by many law schools.

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Higdon_michael Scharf_rebecca T4C: Harnessing the Power of Nonverbal Persuasion: How You Can Make Your Students Better Advocates and Yourself a Better Teacher.  A session with Michael Higdon (Lawyering Process Professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and he's also--like me--just elected to the Board of Directors of the Legal Writing Institute)and Rebecca Scharf (also a Lawyering Process Professor at UNLV).  The presentation discusses the idea that when audience members evaluate a speaker's ethos, they are largely influenced and persuaded by nonverbal cues, including gestures, voice quality, stance, and even dress.  Using film clips as illustrations (always fun), they will discuss studies about those nonverbal clues, and tell us how to (1) help our students gain a more in-depth understanding of how to persuade their audience; and (2) help ourselves to better understand how nonverbal persuasion can help us become stronger and more effective classroom teachers.

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Oseid_julie TChristensen_leah 4D: Sex, Lies, and Law Reviews: Uncovering the Mysteries of Those Who Have All the Power -- Student Editors.  A tell-all session with Julie Oseid (Assistant Professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minnesota) and Leah M. Christensen (also an Assistant Professor at the same school).  They will discuss how law review editors select articles for publications in their journals.  (No, again, it isn't with a dart board.)  The presenters note that their project is particularly important to those attempting to elevate and bring awareness to the rich scholarship within the writing discipline.

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Neville_amy T4E: Rosenbaum_judy Daily_melody4F: Grade Disputes: How to Prevent (or Win) Them.  Two presentations here.  The first is Anatomy of an Appellate Brief Problem by Amy Neville (Legal Writing Instructor at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Michigan, pictured here on the left).  She'll focus on how to build an effective appellate brief problem--from issue and jurisdiction selection to building a factual record.  She focus on the factors that should influence critical decisions at each step.  The second is Mapping the Way: A Guide to Creating Memorandum Assignments with Judy Rosenbaum (Director of Communication and Legal Reasoning at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago). She'll give both a conceptual and step-by-step framework to help new LRW faculty create memorandum assignments.  Although she will focus primarily on closed universe assignments used early in the first semester at many schools, the framework can be easily adapted to more complex memorandum assignments, including even advocacy assignments.

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Daily_melody_2 T4F.  Grade Disputes and How to Prevent (or Win) Them.  A session with Melody Richardson Daily (Director of Legal Research and Writing and Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in Columbia, Missouri).  She'll discuss how to prevent or resolve grade disputes and how courts decide post-secondary grading challenges.  She will also report on the results of a survey sent to legal writing professionals throughout the nation, and describe the standards that courts apply to grade-dispute cases.

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.Chesler_susan_2 Fruth_ann_e T4G: Engaging, Entertaining, and Effective: Using Handheld Response Pads in the Legal Methods Classroom. 

A session with Susan Chesler (Legal Writing Professor at Widener University School of Law, which has campuses in Wilmington, Delaware and in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania -- she teaches at the Harrisburg campus, and she's pictured here on the left), Ann Elizabeth Fruth (also a Legal Writing Professor at Widener's Harrisburg campus, pictured on the right), and ASmith_amandamanda L. Smith (Legal Method Professor at Widener's Harrisburg campus, pictured here on the left).  They will focus on the use of an interactive teaching technology that uses handheld response pads (clickers) to permit students to participate anonymously in classroom discussion.  What's cool about this program?  They're bringing the clickers!  See how easy they are to use for yourself.  (I've always thought it might be fun to teach legal citation this way, but I'm sure that they already have a great number of success stories to share about this technology.) 

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Ray_mary_barnard Anne_enquist T4H: Taking Off in a New Direction: Ground Rules and Flight Patterns for Legal Writing Specialists.  A session with the fabulous Mary Barnard Ray (Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, Wisconsin -- she's also the primary author of Getting It Right and Getting It Written, the first reference book specifically for legal writing, and Beyond the Basics, for advanced writing techniques).  She's joined by the equally fabulous Ann Enquist (Associate Director of Legal Writing at Seattle University School of Law and Co-Director of Faculty Development and Programming, pictured here on the right -- she also serves on the boards of ALWD and LWI and is the co-author of Just Research, Just Briefs, Just Writing and The Legal Writing Handbook).  They each have more than 25 years of experience as legal writing specialists, and they will share tips, anecdotes, and resources on the exciting, varied, and intellectually challenging position of legal writing specialist.  (And since I'm at the end of the list for the presentations in session 4, I might as well share this too -- Mary Barnard Ray has been traveling throughout North America since she was a chld, visiting all states and Canadian provinces.  She says that her next goal is to take the mail boat up the Labrador coast to Nain, a small town in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, with a population of about 1100 people.  Now, how can you not love that?)

For descriptions ofthe opening plenary on Tuesday morning, July 15, click here.

Appeal_4 For information about the law professors who will be visiting from Africa, click here.

For descriptions of session 2 on Tuesday, click here.

For information on the Tuesday Diversity Lunch, click here.

For information on the Tuesday Pink Ink Lunch, click here.

For information on the Tuesday Moot Court Roundtable, click here.

For descriptions of session 3 on Tuesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 4 on Tuesday, click here.

For information on the Tuesday evening dinners for new legal writing professors, click here.

Popcorn_1 For descriptions of the not-to-be missed (because that's when I'm presenting) Tuesday evening Popcorn sessions, click here.

For descriptions of session 1 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 2 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 3 on Wednesday, click here.

For information about the Wednesday afternoon LWI Membership meeting, click here.

For descriptions of session 4 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 5 on Wednesday, click here.

For information on the Wednesday evening museum gala, click here.

For descriptions of session 1 on Thursday, click here.

For descriptions of session 2 on Thursday, click here.

For even more information about the conference--including other activities, committee member names, a printable program, and registration information (in case you still are deciding whether to come to Indianapolis), click here

Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School - Chicago

P.S. For information on the 25th Anniversary of the Legal Writing Institute, click here.

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April 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

LWI Conference - Did You Register Yet?

Indiana_university_school_of_law__2Did you register yet for the Legal Writing Conference? The base registration fee is $460.00 until April 30th, and $495.00 after April 30th.  You know you're going to go to it, so you might as well register right now and save the $35.00.  Click here if you need to register

(mew)

April 27, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference Preview - Tuesday Session 3

This post continues the preview of sessions at the Legal Writing Institute Conference in Indianapolis.  These are the seven choices for session 3 on Tuesday (1:30 to 2:15 p.m.).

Pollman_terry Gordon_sara T3A: There are two presentations in session T3A.  The first is "Have You Got a Minute to Talk?": How Novice and Experienced Legal Writing Professors Can Learn From Each Other presented by Terry Pollman (Director of the Lawyering Process Program and Ralph Denton Professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas) and Sara Gordon (a Lawyering Process Professor also at UNLV School of Law, pictured on the right).  They'll discuss the dynamics of the mentor-mentee relationship.  (Sorry, but I just had the movie "All About Eve" flash into my head and I can't get rid of it now!)  The second presentation in session T3A is Forming a Clinical/Legal Writing Scholarship Colloquium which will be presented by Katz_harriet Harriet N. Katz (Clinical Professor and Director of the Legal Externship Program and Director of the Lawyering Program at Rutgers-Camden, pictured here on the left).  She'll talk about how she developed a regular monthly meeting model centered on scholarship.  These meetings are designed to foster collaboration among legal writing, clinical, pro bono, and student services departments.  She'll describe this clinical faculty scholarship colloquium and discuss wheter other schools can develop a similar model.  She'll talk about general concerns that might arise from such a group and how to respond to those concerns.

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Rabe_suzanne T3B is another session with multiple topics and presenters.  Suzanne Rabe (Director of Legal Writing and Associate Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Arizona, pictured here on the right)will present on Accomplishment, Independence, and Assessment: Final Exams in the Legal Writing Context, in which she'll discuss her years of experience using a spring-semester final exam as both an instructional and an assessment tool.  Knolton_christine Cristina C. Knolton (Assistant Professor at the University of LaVerne College of Law in Ontario, California) will speak on Incorporating Performance Exams into a Legal Writing Course in which she'll discuss the benefits of performance exams, compare different types of performance exams currently being used, and provide sample fact patterns for exams.

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Trammell_rebecca T3C is a presentation by Rebecca S. Trammell (Director of the Law Library and an Associate Professor at Stetson University College of Law, pictured here on the rightBowman_brooke ) and Brooke J. Bowman (Assistant Professor of Legal Skills at Stetson University School of Law). They'll discuss integrating law librarians into the Legal Research and Writing Program to teach research in a presentation called Putting the R into LRW.  They will show how playing to the strengths of our research colleagues enhances the students' learning experience and allows the writing faculty to emphasize writing instruction.   

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Burge_mark T3D iSimon_rogers another combined session. First, Mark Burge (Writing Instructor at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Forth Worth, pictured here on the left) and Roger Simon (also a Writing Instructor at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Forth Worth) will present on Integration of Statutory-Interpretation Skills Into Your Existing Writing and Analysis Curriculum: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives.  After that (unless the guys from Texas let her go first) will be Blum_joan E. Joan Blum (Associate Professor of Legal Reasoning, Writing, and Research at Boston College) presenting on Analysis as More Than Case Synthesis: Teaching Statutory Analysis in a First-Year Legal Writing Course.

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Parker_carol_2  White_penny Cornett_judy T3E is a session called Ethics and Professionalism in Legal Writing: Blawgs, Briefs, and Professional Identity with Carol McCrehan Parker (Associate Professor and Director of Legal Writing at Tennessee, pictured on the left), Judy M. Cornett (Associate Professor at Tennessee, also pictured on the left, wearing glasses) and Penny J. White (Associate Professor and Interim Director of the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution).  They will discuss the issues of ethics and professionalism that arise in both old and new forms of legal writing, and on reflective writing as a means of developing professionalism.  They will discuss the ethics of "blawging," professionalism in written advocacy, and methods for using reflective writing to help students develop their professional identities and professional voices.

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T3F is the Poster Session with four posters.

  • Portrait of a Writing Specialist by Kim M. Baker (Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island - sorry, couldn't find a photo).  She'll present on the role of writing specialist in a law school.  The presentation will give encouragement to law schools that do not yet have writing specialists.  (We have had writing specialists at my school since as long as I can remember, and my students absolutely love them!)  She'll also share anecdotal evidence about the difference that a writing specialist can make in the success of a law student.      

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  • Fischer_judith Judges and Gender-Neutral Language: Whether They Use It and What Can We Learn from Their Practices by Judith D. Fischer (Assistant Professor at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville).  Her poster presents results of an empirical study of judges' use of gender-neutral language.  A sample of U.S. Court of Appeals opinions from the years 1965 and 2006 shows an increase in the use of gender-neutral language between those years.  The study concludes that lawyers should consider this trend when writing for the federal courts.

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  • Jones_travis_dale "Plays Well With Others": What Contract-drafting Exercises Can Teach First-Year Students about the Practice of Law and Themselves by Travis Dale Jones (Legal Practice Professor at Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock, Texas) and Rosemary L. Dillon (Legal Practice Associate Professor, also at Texas Tech, but sorry, no photo!).  Their poster focuses on how a group assignment to negotiate and draft a contract can build first-year students' research and writing skills.  In addition to providing an avenue for practical skills development during the first year, the assignment also introduces a different form of legal writing to students who do not envision life as a litigator.  Students also learn to work in team negotiations and come to appreciate the different legal standards of professional responsibility and their own moral compasses.

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  • Centeno_candace Connecting the Dots: Using Connected Legal Writing Assignments to Help Students Think Outside the Assignment and About the Bigger Picture by Candace Mueller Centeno (Assistant Professor at Villanova University School of Law in Pennsylvania).  She'll show how she took 13 years of law practice and put it into the classroom to create "connected" legal writing assignments for students to expand their thinking.  She'll show how to incoporate more practical lessons into existing programs to challenge students to problem solve and expand their thought process beyond the assignment so that they can be successful lawyers.

Ritchie_david Sheppard_jennifer T3G is a session called Advanced Writing Instruction in Small Group Sessions with Dr. David Ritchie (Associate Professor at Mercer University Law School in Macon, Georgia), Suzianne Desiree Painter-Thorne (also an Associate Professor at Mercer - sorry, couldn't find a photo yet!), and Jennifer Sheppard (an Assistant Professor at Mercer, pictured on the right).  They will share their experiences of working with students in small group settings. 

To see the post on the Opening Plenary, click here.

To see the post on the first Tuesday session, click here.

To see the post on the second Tuesday session, click here.

To register for the LWI Conference, click here.

For descriptions of session 4 on Tuesday, click here.

For information on the Tuesday evening dinners for new legal writing professors, click here.

Popcorn_1 For descriptions of the not-to-be missed (because that's when I'm presenting) Tuesday evening Popcorn sessions, click here.

For descriptions of session 1 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 2 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 3 on Wednesday, click here.

For information about the Wednesday afternoon LWI Membership meeting, click here.

For descriptions of session 4 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 5 on Wednesday, click here.

For information on the Wednesday evening museum gala, click here.

For descriptions of session 1 on Thursday, click here.

For descriptions of session 2 on Thursday, click here.

For descriptions of session 3 on Thursday, click here.

Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School-Chicago (mew)

April 27, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

LWI Conference Preview - Tuesday Lunch

After a full morning program (with a plenary and then two sessions) it will be time to eat!

There will be a roundtable luncheon to discuss issues facing legal writing faculty of color on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at the Legal Writing Institute Conference in Indianapolis, from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

Bannai_lori To participate, pick up the undChin_billoubtedly quite delicious box lunches that LWI will provide to conference attendees and go to Room 245 of Inlow Hall.

Potential discussion topics include:
1. strategies for increasing diversity among faculty who teach legal writing;
2. whether potential barriers to increased diversity exist in recruitment/hiring processes;
3. retention, pay, status, and related concerns;
4. sharing ways to connect issues of race and race awareness to teaching; and
5. any other issues.

If you would like to attend or have suggestions for specific issues to discuss, contact
Bill Chin from Lewis and Clark Law School or Lori Bannai at the University of Seattle School of Law.

(mew)

April 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference Preview - Tuesday Session 2

Session 2 of the upcoming Legal Writing Institute Conference offers seven concurrent programs.  Read the descriptions below and pick the one that you'll attend.  Each of the following programs will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.  SORRY - WE DON'T YET HAVE PHOTOS FOR EVERYONE.

Tracy_mcgaughT2A: Responding to Academic Misconduct of Millennial Students.  Here's a session with Tracy Leigh McGaugh (Associate Professor of Legal Process at the Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in Central Islip, New York).  Many of you will recognize Tracy as the name behind the Millennial Law Prof Blog that we wrote about here back in February.  Tracy wrote that millennials "don't seem to understand what's wrong with plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, or outright cheating."  Her presentation will show you why that is and how a new model of responding to academic misconduct might cure some headaches for professors, academic support professionals, and administrators.  Tracy was recently re-elected as a board member of the Legal Writing Institute.  She's also the main organizer of a legal writing conference later this year in Istanbul, Turkey.

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Susan_duncan T2B: Demystifying the SSRN Process: How to Make it Work for You.  Susan Hanley Duncan (formerly Kosse), an Associate Professor of Law at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, will explain the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), and how to use it.  It is one of the key places for scholars to post academic papers. Susan is president of the Legal Writing Institute.  Click here to see her LWI President's message.

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Kevin_rand_photo_3 Martin_allison T2C: The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades: A Study of Hope, Optimism, and Well-Being in Law School.  Do hope and optimism predict future performance and well-being in law school?  This interdisciplinary presentation will be made by Allison D. Martin, Clinical Associate Professor at Indiana University at Indianapolis, and Dr. Kevin Rand, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Indiana University School of Science.  His primary area of research is "positive psychology."  In this presentation, Professors Martin and Rand will reveal their findings about first-year law students' measured hope, optimism, and well-being during their first semester, and compare those measures to their law school grades.  (I notice that they are NOT wearing shades in these photos . . . .)

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Narko_kathleen T2D: Life-Long Legal Writing: Developing Attorney Writing Skills Within Law Firm Practice.  How do you provide a bridge between law school writing and real practice legal writing development?  Part of the answer to that question includes a dialog between law schools and law firms to understand how legal writing is taught in both sessions.  This presentation is by Kris Butler, Mike Cavanaugh, and Kathleen Dillon Narko (Kathleen, pictured here at the left, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Communication and Legal Reasoning Program at Northwestern University School of Law -- sorry, I don't have more information about Kris or Mike, but send it to us and we'll add it in!)

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T2E: Law Students' Case Reading and Reasoning Study: Final Results and Tools for Legal Writing Teachers.  A presentation by Dorie Evensen, Ph.D., an associate professor of higher education at the Pennsylvania State College of Education, and Jim Stratman, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of the Technical Communication at the University of Colorado at Denver to show off the final results of a three-year study (sponsored by the Law School Admissions Council) of case reading and reasoning.  Their research indicates that law students are able to locate and understand canonical parts of single cases, but that they struggle when asked to synthesize among related cases and often fail to recognize nuances in cases to promote advocacy.  Panelists will discuss how legal writing professors can better assess student reading development.  (Trivia question: Did you know that Jim Stratman was one of the original board members of the Legal Writing Institute?)

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Mcdonnell_thomas_2 T2F: Enhancing the Pedagogy of Oral Argument and First-Year Moot Court.  Here's a program with the superstar team of Mary S. Lawrence (Professor Emeritas at the University of Oregon, winner of the 1996 AALS Section Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession, winner of the 2000 Rombauer Award from the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and all-around magnificent person who you simply MUST meet if you don't already know her) and Thomas McDonnell (of Pace University, who was recently elected as Co-Chair of the American Society of International Law Interest Group for Teaching International Law).  Mary and Tom will share their thoughts on oral argument and moot court programs for first year students.  They note that many programs for first-year students fail to follow sound pedagogy, and that attorney judges are often ill-prepared, harsh, and ineffectual providers of feedback . . . while at the same time not challenging the students appropriately.  Mary and Tom will address these problems and propose how to deepen the oral argument experience by posing ethical issues.

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T2G: The Science Behind the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Understanding the ADA and appropriate accommodations for law students with disabilities requires some familiarity with science.  Suzanne E. Rowe (Associate Professor and Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program at the University of Oregon, and editor of the state law research book series published by Carolina Academic Press) will explain disabilities, diagnosis, and the reasons for various accommodations.  And the best thing about it all is that she'll explain all of that in non-scientific, accessible terms.

Did you miss the preview of session 1?  Click here.

Did you miss the previews of the opening plenary?  Click here.

Do you need to register for the LWI Conference?  Click here.

Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School-Chicago (mew)

 

April 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

warning: grading distraction #1

The semester is over or winding down, and you have a huge stack of briefs to grade. When you need a break, come see your friends at the Legal Writing Prof Blog. For the next several days, we will post a grading distraction for your edification or amusement.

Today's grading distraction is the Word of the Day at the online Oxford English Dictionary. While there are many "word-of-the-day" sites on the Internet, this site is particularly instructive, providing not only every definition the OED has for the selected word, but also its pronunciation, etymology, and a cool chart that shows when the word came into the English lexicon.

(cmb)

April 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bluebook Editors Ask for Input on the Next Edition

Bluebook The editors of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation are preparing the next edition of their citation guide.  They are asking users to complete a rather long and tedious survey on what to improve in The Bluebook

I made it through only 40% of the survey myself.  But if you are in the mood to help out the Bluebook editors and you have a few minutes to complete the survey (for example, you will do ANYTHING to avoid grading papers), then click here.

As an "incentive" to fill our the survey, the editors will select 10 responses at random to receive a free copy of the next edition and a one-year subscription to the online version.  Although surveys must be received by June 30, 2008, it will take the Bluebook editors two months to select 10 random responses -- they say that they will notify the winners of the contest by September 1, 2008. 

I asked one of my students what suggestions he would have for the editors of The Bluebook -- he said that he would suggest giving them copies of the ALWD Citation Manual, which is much easier to use

Hat tip to Ed Richards and Tracy McGaugh, and thanks to my student for his good advice to the Bluebook editors!

(mew)

April 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)