Friday, June 27, 2008

U.S. News and World Report Law School Rankings

Should U.S. News law school rankings include the LSAT scores of part-time students? Some law schools force students with weak LSAT scores into part-time programs so that they will not have to report those LSAT scores to U.S. News and World Report. I think the rankings should include the scores of part-time students as well as the LSAT scores of transfer students.

And how should bar passage rates be reported for various jurisdictions? Should it be based only on the scores of those who graduate from law schools that are accredited (or, perhaps, also provisionally accredited), because the magazine is ranking only accredited law schools?

If you have thoughts on either question, you have an opportunity to comment by clicking here.

Hat tip to Tracy McGaugh


June 27, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

the power of fonts

Images One of my college friends landed her first job after graduation, working for an academic press, because in the interview she mentioned that she could identify a dozen common fonts. She'd gained this knowledge setting type for ads in the daily college newspaper. Fast forward to the current millennium, and today the New York Times reports on the widespread knowledge and use of fonts, of all kinds.

hat tip: Professor Richard Neumann


June 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

occupational hazard of LRW profs: conjobulation

Here's a fun posting proposing a new word:  conjobulation.  Have so much to do that you can't keep track of it all?  Pick up the phone to make a call, but can't remember whom are you calling?  You're conjobulated!!

hat tip:  Chris Wren


June 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

conference on integrating the law school curriculum

The University of Washington School of Law is hosting a working conference, Legal Education at the Crossroads — Ideas to Accomplishments: Sharing New Ideas for an Integrated Curriculum, September 5-7, 2008. The conference is intended to respond to suggestions from the Carnegie Foundation's report, Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law.

Almost 90 deans and professors from around the U.S. will present at the conference. There will be three types of presentations:

1) On Saturday, September 6, Showcase Stations organized around six themes will demonstrate what, why and how schools or individual faculty have accomplished curriculum innovations and provide materials to help other schools build on these efforts.

2) These Showcase Stations will be followed by Workshops organized around the same themes to discuss proposals for innovation and provide assistance in developing those ideas.

3) On Sunday morning, plenary sessions and small group discussions will address How to Make it Happen.

Registration is required and closes August 22, 2008.  Apparently hotel rooms are going fast for that weekend in Seattle, due to the UW vs. BYU football game.

hat tip:  Professor Debbie Maranville


June 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Many legal writing professors are familiar with the Idea Bank operated by the Legal Writing Institute.  Basically, you contribute a legal writing assignment, you get a password, and then you can use what others have contributed.

This week for the first time everyone attending the New Law Professors Workshop, presented by the Association of American Law Schools, will learn about another, brand-new  database that also makes teaching materials from experienced professors available to other law professors.  The Teaching Materials Network includes contact information for law professors who are willing to share their teaching notes, PowerPoints, handouts, etc., with other law professors.  Many areas of law teaching are represented, including legal writing.  And if you're an experienced professor, it's not took late to add yourself to the resource list.

hat tip:  Professor Susan Rozelle, Capital University Law School


June 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

it isn't Styrofoam®

Foamcup A column in today's Baltimore Sun explains that the crisp white stuff that hot-drink cups are made of and that seems to never disintegrate is not "Styrofoam®," but rather is some funny substance called polystyrene. Who knew? It's like Xerox®  and Kleenex® all over again. What's next? Bluebooking?


June 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Call for Papers - Annals of Health Law

Legal writing professors have many scholarly areas of interest.  Here's a message to those of you whose interests touch upon the broad field of health law.

The Annals of Health Law Editorial Board is seeking submissions for the Winter 2009 issue.  Annals of Health Law is the Health Policy and Law Review of Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  The editors are seeking articles relating to health law topics of interest.  Past articles have focused on corporate, regulatory, bioethical, and pharmaceutical issues, as well as patient rights and advocacy.  To submit an article to Annals, please email the article and a curriculum vitae to by August 15, 2008.

The Editorial Board is also seeking submissions for the Summer 2009 Colloquium issue.  The theme of the Colloquium will be:  "Do patents inhibit or promote health care access and innovation?”  The Colloquium will identify and explore the key issues connecting patents, innovation, and health care access in both domestic and global arenas.  Please submit any articles on this topic to

For further information on article submission, contact Ann Weilbaecher, Editor-in-Chief, at 312.915.6304 or


June 24, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Plain Language in Government Communications

The Law Librarian Blog included a posting on a number of new articles on LLRX.  One that caught my eye was on pending federal legislation that would require the use of plain language in government documents.  Click here to read that blog entry.

The proposed legislation is the Plain Language in Government Communications Act of 2008 (H.R. 3548, S. 2291).

What struck me most about this effort to mandate the use of plain language in government documents is that seemed so familiar--from ten years ago. 

On June 1, 1998, President William Clinton sent a memorandum to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies requiring the use of plain language in government writing.  This memorandum was published at 63 Fed. Reg. 31,885 (1998). 

I liked the order so much that I included a copy of it in my own book (Introduction to Legal English, published by the International Law Institute).  [I happen to have a copy of that here with me in Mexico right now, where I am teaching an introductory course on U.S. law at the Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey.]

The battle for plain language in government documents obviously continues.

Here are the other new articles from LLRX, as listed by our helpful friends at the Law Librarian Blog.  (Really, what WOULD we do without librarians!)

  • The Art of Written Persuasion: The Rise of Written Persuasion, by Troy Simpson
  • The Government Domain: Plain Language in Government Communications, by Peggy Garvin
  • Keeping Up with Class Actions: Reports, Legal Sites and Blogs of Note, by Scott Russell
  • A Little Grafting of Second Life into a Legal Research Class, by Rob Hudson
  • CongressLine: Running for Congress, by Paul Jenks
  • LLRX Book Review by Heather A. Phillips - A Guide to HIPAA Security and the Law, by Heather A. Phillips
  • Conrad Jacoby's E-Discovery Update: Attorneys, Experts, and E-Discovery Competence, by Conrad J. Jacoby
  • FOIA Facts - My Proposal: FOIA Litigation Reporting Requirements, by Scott A. Hodes
  • Burney's Legal Tech Reviews - Gadgets for Legal Pros: Ergotech "Convertible" Monitor Arm and Canary Wireless Digital Hotspotter, by Brett Burney
  • Commentary: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007

Click here for a link to the Law Librarian Blog, which will take you to links to each of the articles listed above.

Hat tip to the Law Librarian Blog.


June 24, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 23, 2008


Every once in awhile, I come across a quote that is particularly relevant to legal prose.  I can think of a few 1L papers I'd like to write this on:

"Flaubert said, 'Prose is architecture,' and this isn't the baroque era."

- Raymond Carver


June 23, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)