July 5, 2008
When you least expect it, a question of state constitutional law may come up in teaching or in practice. An excellent source for any U.S. state constitution you may ever need to consult, including historic ones, is made available by the Maryland State Constitutions Project.
hat tip: Professor Chris Green
ideas for legal writing problems
If you're looking for ideas for legal writing problems, take a look at Kathleen Miller's article on Creating an Appellate Brief Assignment. The first section of her article explains the various sources of ready-made appellate brief problems, which often can be adapted for use as memo problems or trial brief problems, too. She also includes sources for current controversies within the law, which can be helpful in designing your own problem from scratch.
July 4, 2008
no rocket surgery
As legal writing professors, we occasionally get into heated discussions on our listservs about grammar and usage. We aren't the only ones who get worked up about others' indelicate errors or downright awful transgressions. Following the recent Bashman/Posner debate about ostrich heads, the ABA Journal's blog asked readers to identify their pet peeves in grammar and spelling. If yours isn't there, add it.
I have to share one comment (#50):
LRW-related panel at ABA meeting in August
At the ABA meeting in August, there will be a panel presentation that includes a speaker from Great Britain, Louise Stoker, who will be talking about the qualifications process required before practicing there and the outcomes-based process to legal education that includes demonstrating skills mastery; a professor from Temple, Eleanor Myers, who will discuss that school’s transactional practice skills course and creative ways to incorporate practitioners into law school teaching other than traditional adjunct roles; and a partner at Dorsey Whitney, Bryn Vaaler, who is in charge of all in-house skills training for new associates and will discuss that law firm’s development of a list of "core competencies" around which to structure that training curriculum.
If you’re going to attend or know some who might be interested, please share the information! Here are the details:
ABA Section of Business Law
ABA Annual Meeting, August 8 - 11, 2008
Grand Hyatt New York
Sponsors: The Business Law Education Committee of the Business Law Section and
The Communication Skills Committee of the Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
Saturday, August 9, 2008
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Program: Law Students and Practitioners - Students Showing What They Know and Practitioners Teaching What They Know
Program: Law Students and Practitioners -
Students Showing What They Know and
Practitioners Teaching What They Know
Broadway, Conference Level
Co-chairs: Nancy Soonpaa and Tina L. Stark
July 3, 2008
tempted to "edit" your student evals?
Student evaluations sometimes seem like the bane of the law professor's existence, and it might be just barely understandable that one might be tempted to "edit" one's student evaluations. Well, here's a really good example of why that would be a bad idea: Download disciplinary_proceedings.pdf .
hat tip: Susan Fortney, Texas Tech
July 2, 2008
Another "thank you" in advance to the LWI Conference Team
Legal Writing Institute Conferences are big events. Huge. And a lot of fun. But behind the scenes there is always a lot of work that got done to make the conference a success. So here, in advance, are the names of the people who contributed to the certain success of the LWI Conference in Indianapolis. Please thank them in person when you see them in Indianapolis. (Hope I'm not missing anybody!)
Deb McGregor, Chair
Ruth Ann Robbins, Co-Chair
Mel Weresh, Co-Chair
Poster Mentoring Committee
Lisa Penland, Co-Chair
Jim Levy, Co-Chair
Kirsten Dauphinais, Chair
Critiquing Workshop Organizer
See you all in Indianapolis!
new book on writing memos
Congratulations to Wayne Schiess (Texas), who reports that his new book, The Legal Memo, has just been published by Kendall/Hunt.
July 1, 2008
and you thought laptops were only distracting to students
The BBC reports that the Speaker of the Parliament of Bhutan has banned its members from bringing laptops to its sessions because too many members of that august body were playing games with their computers instead of paying attention to the proceedings.
June 30, 2008
Today a federal court quoted Lewis Carroll, apparently with more accuracy.
hat tip: Professor Ralph Brill
It's not every day that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court quotes Bob Dylan in a decision. So people are likely to notice. Too bad the quote was not accurate. Too bad the Chief Justice's law clerks did not do a careful cite check on this one.
hat tip: Professor Mary Ray
June 29, 2008
When the American Bar Association holds its annual meeting in New York City in early August, the programming will include a special Day of Equality. The ABA's Commission on Women in the Profession will end that day with an Equalitea, marking the Commission's 20 years of work towards equality for women in the legal profession and calling for future action. Since about 75% of the lawyers who teach legal writing in the United States are women and legal writing professors disproportionately hold the lowest levels of academic appointments in United States law schools, that future action must not overlook the legal academy. To ensure legal writing and other women law professors are on the Commission's future agenda, legal writing professors who plan to attend the ABA annual meeting might want to put the Equalitea on their calendars now.