Tuesday, July 8, 2008
W4A is a session where Richard Neumann (Hofstra) will provide an ABA Update, followed by a presentation by Ralph Brill (Chicago-Kent College of Law) and Mary Beth Beazley (The Ohio State University School of Law) on ABA Site Teams. These are the teams that the ABA puts together to inspect law schools every seven years. If the law school is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, one of the team members will be designated as the AALS person. I had the chance to do one of these site visits this past academic year, and I've been named to another team for this coming November (hey, I'm supposed to be on sabbatical!). It's a great opportunity to help out the legal community, and everyone who has served on one of these inspection teams knows that you learn a great deal while inspecting a law school. Attend this session to learn how to be named to one of these teams, and what will be expected of you if your name is chosen to serve on a team. If you are new to the legal writing field you might also want to attend this session just to meet Richard, Ralph, and Mary Beth. They're all famous. Ralph, for example, has his own entry on Wikipedia. He is past chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research, and a former director of the Legal Writing Institute and the Association of Legal Writing Directors. I haven't checked if others are also listed on Wikipedia, so sorry if I am overlooking you.
Redesigning the Mold: An Alternative Approach to Teaching First Year Legal Skills is the title of a presentation by Amy Vorenberg (Professor of Law at Franklin Pierce Law Center in New Hampshire, pictured here on the right) and Sophie Sparrow (Professor of Law and Director of Legal Skills at Franklin Pierce, pictured here on the left ), and others (not sure exactly who -- it must be a surprise!) In this session participants will learn about recent empirical research that revealed discrepancies between categories of writing in practice and writing in law school. Based on the research, the presenters will give advice about ways to change first year legal writing curricula to prepare students for practice in line with the Carnegie Foundation, Educating Lawyers (2007) and Roy Stuckey's Best Practices for Legal Education (2007)
Meredith L. Schlalick will present on Legislative Writing: Why the "New" Legal Writing Frontier Should Be Explored. This presentation on legislative writing will review examples of legislative writing (hopefully not too scary) and discuss the writing skills necessary for legislative writing. The discussion will include why this area is important for law students, and how to incorporate legislative writing into existing curricula. (Sorry I don't have a photo of Meredith and I am not sure where she is from - can anybody help out with that?)
Mark E. Hoch (Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Grace H. Barry (the Director of Legal Writing and Research and an Associate Professor of Professional Practice, also at Louisiana State University), and William Monroe will present The You Tube of Professional Practice -- Instant Oral Advocacy Review and Feedback Through Revolutionary Web-Based Technology. This presentation will urge us to communicate more effectively with our students about their oral argument skill development by using internet-based technology. We can review and critique entire practice and final oral arguments instantaneously from home, work, or anywhere else you can access the web. Students can receive and review personal feedback just as easily whenever they wish.
William Y. Chin (Professor of Legal Writing and Analysis at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland Oregon) will discuss Race and the Law School Classroom. His presentation is about being aware of the races of characters used in legal writing problems, the inclusion of racial slurs in legal writing problems, factors to use in your grading system, and the criteria you use to judge effective first-year moot court advocates. (Bill has also organized a roundtable luncheon on Tuesday. Click here for more information about that. Unfortunately it is at the same time as the Pink Ink luncheon, but that is just an unavoidable scheduling conflict made necessary by a packed conference schedule.)
Linda J. Hiemer (Professor of Law and Director of Legal Analysis and Writing for Concord Law School of Kaplan University, pictured here on the left) and Jane Wise (another professor who teaches for Concord Law School, pictured on the right) will present VoiceLynx - a PAR 83 Course: Tee-Ching Through Time-Saving Technology. Using verbal comments through VoiceLynx allows an instructor to record verbal comments as an MP3 file uploaded with a graded assignment. This marries visual and audio teaching modalities to enhance the learning experiences of students, regardless of their learning styles. (This presentation seems to me to have many of the benefits of live grading as well, without it having to be live -- we'll be talking about Live Grading the previous night during the not-to-be-missed popcorn sessions.)
There are three concurrent poster presentations to close out this session.
Ann M. Picard (Assistant Professor of Legal Skills at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida) will have a poster called From One Part-Time Student to Another: A Lesson Plan from the Trenches. This poster presentation stems from Ann's experiences as a part-time student, currently enrolled in the University of London's LL.M. program, and from teaching part-time students. Experienced and part-time students have higher expectations in terms of class content and efficacy of presentations. The lesson plan that is the subject of this poster demonstrates a successful effort to address multiple learning objectives and learning styles using the case of Miles v. City of Augusta. You might also know that case as "Blackie the Talking Cat." (Perhaps we'll get an answer to that timeless question of whether cats also have a right to freedom of speech?)
Kathryn A. Sampson (Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law) will have a poster on Statutory Construction and the Life Cycle of Disability Definition. The poster will provide a visual illustration of the life cycle of the concept of disability over an average life span, starting with a child in pre-school (who may be exposed to the possibility for a disability designation under the Individuals with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) and ending when an elder is exposed to the possibility of a disability designation under a guardianship or conservatorship statute.
Craig T. Smith (Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Legal Writing Program at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee) will have a poster on Illustrated Instruction: Using Images to Help Teach Basic Organizational Structures of Legal Writing. To a first-year law student and novice legal writer, the language of legal analysis, rhetoric, and instruction can seem foreign. One promising form to present ideas to these students (and particularly for visual learners) is imagery. His poster will suggest how imagery (linked to analogies and briefly explained by text) might help novice legal writers to visualize, understand, and use typical organizational structures of legal writing.