Thursday, May 8, 2008
The Global Legal Skills Conference is an international conference that focuses on international legal education and teaching legal writing to lawyers and law students who speak English as a second language. Over the past three conferences the Global Legal Skills Conference has grown in its scope and in its importance to the community of educators who are interested in international skills education, including legal writing, legal research, advocacy, translations, international legal exchanges, and related fields. I started this conference several years ago, recognizing that in our community there are now lots of people who are directly involved in teaching lawyers and law students who speak English as a second language. I was amazed, however, at just how many of you there are!
The first two Global Legal Skills Conferences were held in Chicago at The John Marshall Law School. They were both tremendously successful and attracted attendees from around the world -- experts (like Craig Hoffman) who have been working in this field for years, and persons who were looking to enter the field (including persons who had taught ESL before going to law school, never thinking that they would later be teaching ESL to lawyers). I planned to hold the conference every two years, but this thing took off on its own (helped by the vision and energy of two law deans at a school in Mexico), and now we're doing it every year (and in some future years, maybe even more than that in different parts of the world).
The third Global Legal Skills Conference was held earlier this year in Monterrey, Mexico, at the Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey. The conference was so successful that some attendees doubted that they could ever attend another conference without thinking back to how wonderful this one was. Click here for photos from that conference.
The fourth Global Legal Skills Conference will be held next June in Washington DC at the Georgetown University Law Center. Craig Hoffman, a Professor of U.S. Legal Discourse at Georgetown, has now told me that the tentative dates are Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6, 2009. I imagine that as we get closer to those dates you might also see some "pre-conference" events scheduled on Thursday, June 4, 2009 as well -- maybe even a full day program. My advice? Plan to come to DC on Wednesday or Thursday, and don't plan to leave until Sunday. Block out June 3-7 on your calendars!
There is no more information to share right now about GLS-IV, other than to encourage you to save those dates for another amazing conference. Craig Hoffman, Peter Cramer (pictured here on the left behind the German flag, speaking at the conference in Monterrey), and the rest of the Georgetown team will do a great job, and of course many of the attendees and organizers from the first three conferences will be on board again (including, of course, me).
I'm looking forward to it already.
Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School - Chicago