Friday, May 2, 2008
Continuing on with the preview of this summer's legal writing conference, here are the choices for program sessions during the first session on Wednesday morning. Each of these programs will be from 9:00 to 10:15 a.m.
W1A -- Geek 101: Using Technology Effectively (Without Having to Learn the Difference Between Star Wars and Star Trek). Three self-confessed computer geeks will do their impersonations of Bill Gates and present the absolute latest in technology for the classroom. The presenters are Jan Levine (Associate Professor and Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program at Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pictured on the right), Kenneth D. Chestek (Clinical Associate Professor at our conference host school, Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, pictured on the left), and John Robert Mollenkamp (Associate Clinical Professor at Cornell Law School in Ithaca, New York). The Three Geeks (sort of like The Three Tenors, but the only thing they'll be singing is the praise of new technology) will share their techniques for overcoming obstacles (such as inexperience, cost, lack of support, and lack of time) to use technology effectively to teach legal writing and do other things needed for our work.
W1B -- Sheila Rodriguez will present a program on how to help students overcome resistance to criticism of their legal writing during conferences. Her program is called Taming Hubris: Using Feedback Theory to Ease the Triumphant Undergraduate Writers' Transition to Novice Legal Writer
W1C -- The Student Initiative is the title of a program being presented by Jill J. Ramsfield (previously director of the writing program at Georgetown University Law Center, until she thought better of it and moved to become a Professor or Law and Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu). She will discuss the idea that law students, as sophisticated and talented graduate students, can design and implement an innovative legal writing curriculum. She will show how members of a Student Initiative can magnify the impact of any legal writing curriculum. The session is sure to be filled with lots of aloha.
W1D -- "A Matter of Style": Preparing First-Year Students to Write to Audiences with Distinct and Diverse Stylistic Preferences. In this presentation, Jennifer Murphy Romig (Instructor in the Legal Writing, Research, and Advocacy Program at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia) will explain how introducing first-year students to specific stylistic preferences they may see in practice can help them to imagine real legal readers, debunk the monolithic view of the legal reader, and prepare them to change writing conventions that are not effective.
Mind the Gaps: Teaching Students to Recognize and Address Flaws in Their Analysis.
Christopher R. Trudeau (Assistant Professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan) noticed that poor analysis is one of the main problems that prevent students from becoming effective lawyers. He believes that students often fail to include enough law, which leads to making logical leaps in their analysis. He will explore various techniques to teach students to find and fill in gaps in their analysis.
Priming for Pro Bono and Public Service: LRW's Role
Deborah A. Schmedemann (Professor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota) will present the results of her empirical research into pro bono, involving over 1,000 law students and lawyers. She's discovered that LRW has a central role and potential for priming students for pro bono and public service. She'll facilitate a discussion on incorporating the role of public citizen into LRW courses.
The Embedded Rule
David S. Romantz (Associate Professor and Director of the Legal Methods Program at The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law) will present how first-year students must develop early the intellectual flexibility to recognize embedded rules -- rules not expressly stated within an opinion. He will demonstrate how to introduce the idea of the embedded rule at first-year orientation. (Sorry, couldn't find a photo of David to include here).
It's a great group of sessions to start off a very busy day at the LWI Conference.
Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School -- Chicago