Saturday, May 10, 2008
This post continues the preview of sessions that will be held at the Legal Writing Institute summer conference in Indianapolis. The sessions here will be held on Wednesday, July 16, 2008, from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.
W2A -- Kathryn M. Stanchi (Associate Professor at Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia). Kathy will present on Playing With Fire: The Science of Confronting Negative Information in Persuasive Legal Writing. She'll summarize the social science research on the effectiveness of disclosing adverse information in a persuasive message. She'll then analyze how the results of that research can shed light on strategies for handling adverse information in persuasive legal writing.
W2B -- Effective Methods for Teaching Legal Writing Online
David I.C. Thomson, newly appointed director of the Legal Writing Program at the University of Denver College of Law, will explore how to teach legal writing online. He'll describe how to adjust generally accepted LRW pedagogy and deliver it in an online environment. Part of his presentation will also demonstrate and explain the myriad technologies that are currently available to deliver online content. He will also present results of his empirical research into the effectiveness of these methods.
W2C -- Clearly, Using Intensifiers Is Very Bad
Lance N. Long is a Visiting Legal Research and Writing Professor at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. I couldn't download his photo but you can look at it here. (He previously taught legal writing at Brigham Young University and at Stetson). Click here for an abstract of an article by Professor Long and William F. Christensen on the subject of this presentation. It examines whether there is any correlation between success on appeal and the overuse of intensifiers in appelllate briefs. If I understand this correctly, his research shows that the more you use intensifiers, the more likely you are to have a negative outcome on appeal.
Louis Sirico and some others (not sure who, but let one of use know and we'll add the names in) will present on Teaching How Legal Writing Fits Into Law Practice. Lou is the current chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. He's also a professor at Villanova University School of Law in Villanova, Pennsylvania. He and the other presenters will discuss how to better connect legal writing with the practice of law by coordinating lawyering skills exercises in other classes. They will illustrate this connection with a drafting exercises connected to a doctrinal course (Property) and a skills course (Mediation).
Joseph Kimble (a professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan) will briskly cover 10-20 techniques for better drafting, drawn from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The techniques will be useful for all forms of drafting and anyone who teaches it. (They will likely be helpful in other forms of legal writing as well). Joe's presentation is called Techniques for Better Legal Drafting: Lessons from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. That will be followed by Dr. Elizabeth Fajans (Associate Professor of Legal Writing at Brooklyn Law School), who will speak on Lessons Learned from Administrative Law Writing. She'll describe an administrative law practicum that she co-taught last year, designed to give students hands-on experience with drafting legislation and regulations. Students in the practicum drafted the legislation and regulations while students in the administrative law class acted as sponsors of the bils and commentators on the regulations.
Kris B. Panikowski (pictured at left) and Nicola Kean (sorry, couldn't find a photo) are Lawyering Skills Instructors at the University of San Diego School of Law. Thier topic will be Politics and Persuasion: Lessons in Logic and Argument from Political Communication. They'll focus on bringing the theories behind and application of political communication techniques into the legal writing classroom. They hope to increase their students' understandings of legal lines of argumentation, audience, fact development and separation, logic sequences, and organization. They will examine lines of argumentation, word choice, logic, intended audience, and political theories driving paid television and print political communication. I suspect they'll have a lot of material from the elections this year.
Ted Becker (Clinical Assistant Professor at The University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a school that previously hosted the LWI Summer Conference) will present on Religious Lawyering and Legal Writing or Do Religious Perspectives Help Teach Students Anything About IRAC? He'll discuss whether religious perspectives might broaden students' exposure to several topics often covered in LRW classes, including legal ethics, interacting with clients, and reconciling personal values with professional obligations.
OK, those are the choices for the second Wednesday session at the Legal Writing Institute Conference. Here's a link to the first Wednesday session in case you missed that preview.
My understanding is that 600 or so people will be attending the LWI Conference in Indianapolis. You're really missing out if you are not going to be there.
Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School - Chicago