Monday, August 11, 2008
The Istanbul Legal Skills conference just concluded at Bahcesehir University on Thursday and was a huge success by all accounts. http://www.istanbulskills.com/. Handouts from the conference will be available shortly on the website. In addition, Bahcesehir University will be publishing later this year the conference proceedings and making that available to Turkish lawyers.
The conference, organized by Professors Tracy McGaugh of Touro School of Law and Kathy Bergin of South Texas College of Law, was jointly sponsored by the Legal Writing Institute and Bahcesehir University.
Dr. Feridun Yenisey, Department Chair of the Bahcesehir law faculty, was a most gracious host who attended to every detail including arranging court visits for the US law professors, hosting lunch at his home one day and arranging dinner for speakers on the faculty roof top club.
Those in attendance heard from a variety of speakers including Turkish judges, senior members of the Istanbul bar and skills professors from both Latvia and the United States. Topics covered everything from how to create an effective legal writing program for foreign academics, to international arbitration exercises, to a mock mediation demonstration, the principles of IRAC, and the use of narrative in skills pedagogy and law practice.
Attendees included members of the Bahcesehir University law faculty, students and several members of the bar including a jurist who presides over a special terrorism court in Istanbul.
The conference itself was deemed such a success that Professor Feridun asked the organizers to begin planning another conference for 2010. He also announced that Bahcesehir University would be implementing its own legal writing program shortly, the first one in Turkey.
As this conference proved, there is tremendous interest overseas in how United States law schools train students in practice skills. This conference was a very successful contribution to that continuing dialog.
Legal writing professors chillin' in Istanbul, Turkey at the roof top faculty club of Bahcesehir University overlooking the Bosphorus