Saturday, July 12, 2008

Molly Lien

Lien_mollyMolly Lien, Professor of Law and Director of the Lawyering Skills Program at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, announced this week that she was stepping down as director of The John Marshall Law School Lawyering Skills Program and also retiring from the John Marshall faculty.  She wrote that it "did not seem right to use the word 'retire,' because this community will always be a part of me, but I am looking forward to what Anne Enquist so artfully termed 'the peak years.'"

Molly (and Ralph Brill) will receive the Terri LeClercq Courage Award this Monday evening in Indianapolis at the opening reception for the Legal Writing Institute Conference.  Click here for more information on the award presentations.

She'll also be presenting on "Changing Lives" in a session on Tuesday.  Click here for details.

Molly has been a leader in the field of legal writing for many years, both in the United States and abroad.  Her teaching includes work in Singapore and Russia.

After receiving her degree from Emory Law School, Molly Lien clerked for the Honorable Wilbur F. Pell Jr. (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit). She spent ten years in private practice, and in 1986 she joined the faculty at IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she directed the legal writing program from 1993-2001. Professor Lien is trained in technical legal Russian and has taught frequently in Russia, most recently devoting her summers from 2000-2003 teaching in the University of San Diego's program in Moscow.

From 1999-2001, she directed Project Ukraine for Chicago-Kent, where she administered a U.S. Department of State grant to purchase equipment for DNA testing for the University of Internal Affairs in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Professor Lien was named director of the Lawyering Skills program at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago in 2004. She has taught Lawyering Skills, Civil Procedure II, Public International Law, International Trade, and Comparative Law.

Glsiii_plenary_3 Molly has been a wonderful colleague at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, and I enjoyed particularly working with so closely on the Global Legal Skills Conferences held in Chicago and in Mexico.  (I bet you can pick her out right away from the photo on the left -- but here's a hint: she's standing next to the Consul General of the United States).

In a post to the Legal Writing Prof Listserve, she wrote:

"In the end, we all strive to do the greatest good.  Sometimes pursuing the good means leaving dear friends to focus on other areas of life, including family, friends, community, and causes.

"Please know that I am grateful beyond words for the support of the many, many wonderful colleagues in this organization.  You are the absolute best, and I will treasure these friendships forever.  God bless you all, and I hope to give many hugs in Indianapolis."

We at John Marshall are tremendously grateful for her leadership, vision, and collegiality.  We will miss her terribly.

Please feel free to post a comment for Molly. 




July 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

The Google Generation and Legal Research

And further to the post below . . . perhaps the winner in Westlaw versus Lexis is Google?  Click here for a link to the Google Generation and Legal Research.

Hat tip to our friends at the Law Librarian Blog


July 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Westlaw versus Lexis

Westlaw versus Lexis?  Which one wins?  Click here to see a post on the Law Librarian Blog about two recent surveys.

Hat tip to our friends at the Law Librarian Blog.


July 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A New Edition of the Bluebook

A new edition of the Bluebook is scheduled to be released in Summer 2010.  Woo-hoo!

Hat tip to Dean Tracy McGaugh

July 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

multi-tasking & learning

The London Times is reporting findings about students multi-tasking on-line while trying to learn.  The comments posted after the report are interesting, too.

hat tip:  Professor R.J. Robertson, Southern Illinois University


July 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


I couldn't make up the name if I tried.  If you go to the website for Screencast-o-Matic, you will learn (for free) how to capture a sequence of computer screen shots as a little video.  This can be really handy when teaching legal research class (or any other class where you might otherwise want to walk the students through various Internet steps).  You can show the students how the steps will look on-line, because they'll see exactly what you saw on-line as you went through the steps when preparing for class.  No more worries about whether there will be delay in a link opening or a glitch in your Internet service at the exact moment you need things to run smoothly in class.  And you can then make your step-by-step screen captures available to students after class, so they can review it as many times as they need to until they remember and understand the research steps. 


July 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

new book on legal analysis

Lawyerwritescover Carolina Academic Press has just announced publication of a new book, A Lawyer Writes: A Practical Guide to Legal Analysis. Co-authors are Christine Coughlin (Wake Forest), Joan Malmud (Oregon), and Sandy Patrick (Lewis & Clark). From CAP's announcement:

"A Lawyer Writes puts the reader in the place of a first-year attorney tasked with real life assignments. In doing so, it teaches law students not only how to succeed in law school, but also how to succeed in the practice of law. The book uses graphics and visual samples to demonstrate the variety of ways in which attorneys write effectively, showing best practices in both traditional and electronic environments."

Advance copies will be available for viewing at the Carolina Academic Press display during the LWI Conference.


July 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Grace Tonner named associate dean at UC-Irvine; Philip Frost promoted to director at Michigan

Grace_tonner_2 Grace Tonner, legal writing director at Michigan since 1995, has been named as a member of the founding faculty and Associate Dean of Lawyering Skills at the University of California-Irvine's new law school. Click here to read Grace's profile, and click here to see the press release with the full list of Irvine's founding faculty, led by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky. Says Grace, "The chance to work with Erwin Chemerinsky on building a law school for the future is exciting and irresistible."

Congratulations, Grace!

Philip_frost_umichigan Now comes news that Philip Frost, who has served as associate director, willRachel_croskeryrobertsmichigan_2 succeed Grace as director at Michigan. The new associate director is Rachel Croskery-Roberts.

Congratulations, Phil and Rachel!


July 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The New LWI Logo

Lwi_logo_2Here is the new logo for the Legal Writing Institute.  It's to be officially unveiled next week, and we were not going to post it until then, but copies appeared today on the Legal Writing Listserve so our self-imposed ban is lifted.  It is a great new logo, and one that undoubtedly took a great deal of creative energy.

The LWI website has also been updated, and includes this great description of the organization -- it is one that makes you tremendously proud to be a member:

The Legal Writing Institute (LWI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving legal writing by providing a forum for discussion and scholarship about legal writing, analysis, and research. LWI promotes these activities through its publications, workshops, specialty conferences, and the national biennial conferences held in even-numbered years.

The Legal Writing Institute has over 2,100 members and includes representatives from 38 different countries. We are the second largest organization of law professors in the United States. Only the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) involves more members of the legal academic community. LWI sponsors many different working committees and projects.

Congratulations to the LWI committee that helped choose the logo and design the website was chaired by Mimi Samuel and included Ken Chestek, Tracy McGaugh, Ruth Anne Robbins, and David Thomson

Thanks also to Joe Oppegaard from the design team at Montana B, who sent me a copy of the new logo to post here on the blog.


July 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

LWI Conference - Thursday Session 4

Lwi_2The fourth session on Thursday, July 17, 2008 comes just after the Hoosier Cookout Lunch on Thursday.  The session will run from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m.  After that, an ice cream social.  How great is that going to be?  A cookout, more legal writing presentations, AND ice cream!

Bowman_mary Dickson_janet Mary N. Bowman and Janet K.G. Dickson are Instructors of Legal Writing at Seattle University School of Law.  Their presentation is Communicating with the Millennials: Teaching and Preparing the Next Generation of Lawyers.  For the last few years, our law school classrooms have been filled largely with Generation X students . . . but we are now seeing the first wave of the next generation: the Millennial students.  Building upon Tracy McGaugh's work on Generation X and other generational research, their presentation will explore the transition to teaching the Millennials, to help participants understand the forces that have shaped this new generation of students.  The presentation will then focus on how we will teach Millennials the material we are covering now, and why we will need to focus more on teaching professionalism to prepare our students to enter the legal profession.

Ruth_anne_robbins Ruth Anne Robbins (President-Elect of the Legal Writing Institute, and a Clinical Professor at Rutgers School of Law in Camden, New Jersey) and Alison E. Julien (Associate Professor of Legal Writing at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Julien_alison) will present Why and How to Incorporate Visuals: Poster Presentations, Handouts, and Beyond. Using visual images for teaching or for scholarship facilitates learning.  The relatively new (in law) medium of poster presentations highlights visuals in scholarship.  LWI members will have a chance to see this exciting new type of presentation at this year’s biennial conference. You can do it too!  And yes, you should.  Gosh darn, I cannot think of a single reason why you wouldn't want to.  It is more fun than you would imagine a presentation could be. Moreover, we all use visuals in our teaching – whether it is with handouts or PowerPoint or drawings on the board.  The presenters will discuss how we can maximize their impact, and assure us that great visuals are attainable even if you aren’t a skilled artist. (Just ask the presenters, who can’t even draw a stick figure very well.) During this presentation, they will (1) Analyze the role of poster presentations and their place on the spectrum of legal scholarship by looking through the lens of marketing and graphic design principles; (2) Provide ideas about how to incorporate visual images (beyond outlines and charts) in your documents/posters and where to find those images; and (3) Address copyright concerns that may arise from using copyrighted images found on the Web or elsewhere.  Should be a good time.

Anderson_linda Linda S. Anderson (Assistant Professor of Legal Skills at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida) will make a presentation called Designing (or Re-Designing) Your Course to Improve Learning and Teaching -- Integrated Instructional Design Tools.  Engaging in thoughtful course design is essential to highly effective teaching, yet we devote little time doing this or learning how to do this. Linda will demonstrate how to use a series of materials (provided to participants) to guide course design decisions to create a dynamic and integrated course that allows us to teach well and our students to maximize their learning.

Massey_michael Michael G. Massey (Assistant Professor of the Lawyering Process at the University of Denver) will present a program on how to include practitioner-mentors in the classroom component of a legal research and writing program.  The title of his presentation is Mentoring in the Classroom: A Legal Writing Trifecta.

Brendel_jenniferThat will be followed by Jennifer M. Brendel (Clinical Professor and Director of the Academic Support Programs at Loyola University School of Law in Chicago) and Alice S. Perlin (Clinical Professor and Director of the Legal Writing Program and Instructional Services at the Loyola University School of Law in Chicago), whose presentation is called Selecting, Training, and Supervising Student Tutors.  This session will focus on using student tutors in the legal writing classroom in a way that Perlin_alice_s will benefit the students, the tutor, and the professor.  They will share strategies and practical suggestions to select, supervise, and evaluate student tutors.  They will also discuss the challenges involved in using student tutors and ways to address those issues. Our presentation will draw on our experiences in supervising an adjunct-taught program with 30 legal writing tutors each year. Our discussion will be relevant to professors/programs considering using a student tutor for the first time, as well as those looking for ways to enhance an existing tutor program.

Hartung_stephanie George_shailini Stephanie Roberts Hartung and Shailini Jandial George are both Associate Professors of Legal Writing at Suffolk University Law School in Boston Massachusetts. 
Their presentation will focus on methods of teaching students to incorporate analogical reasoning into their writing, in part by demonstrating that this type of reasoning is already used in everyday discourse.  They will also discuss ways of developing a more solid and sophisticated analysis using analogical reasoning once it is employed in legal writing.

Todd_adam_2 And last but not least is Adam Todd (Associate Professor at the University of Baltimore), whose presentation is called Aestheticism and Legal Writing. His presentation explores the aesthetics of legal writing and what are their implications for the teaching of legal writing. The presentation would serve as a primer about aestheticism and aesthetic theory and examines the “beauty” found in legal writing.  And what a beautiful way indeed to end a conference.

The LWI Conference Closing Celebration starts at 2:30 p.m. Thursday and will probably continue for several days, although not necessarily at the conference venue.  (As the bartenders say, "You don't have to go home but you can't stay here!")

Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School - Chicago

July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Thursday Session 3

Lwi This post continues the preview of sessions at the upcoming Legal Writing Institute summer conference in Indianapolis.  We're almost done!  The third session on Thursday, July 17, 2008 (the last day of the conference) will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. 

Algero_mary_garvey Wellford_slocum_robin Mary Garvey Algero (Professor at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, pictured here on the left) and Robin Wellford Slocum (Professor and Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California) present a panel called Beyond PowerPoint and Movie Clips: How to Reach Your Full Potential as a Teacher.  Research shows that the most effective teachers are those who bring their personal identities into the classroom, and who can show a connectedness between themselves, their students, and their subject.  Although technology and innovative teaching techniques can enhance effective teaching, they are not the most important ingredients.  What is the secret?  Come to this presentation to find out.

Rideout_christopher J. Christopher Rideout (Associate Director of the Legal Writing Program at Seattle University School of Law) will discuss the question "Doe Voice Exist in Legal Writing?"  Drawing upon recent work in academic literacies, he'll offer a framework for answering the complex question of whether a legal writer can have a voice.  The presentation will also pose some possibilities for the legal writing classroom.  Chris was a Co-founder of the Legal Writing Institute, and he chaired its board of directors for several years.  He also has been editor-in-chief of the journal Legal Writing and serves on its editorial board.

Spanbauer Green_sonia_bychkov Obviously I'm not biased . . . but here is a fantastic presentation with three superstars of the legal writing community.  Professors Julie Spanbauer (pictured here on the left), Sonia Bychkov Green, and Maureen Straub Kordesh, all of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, will make a presentation on Incorporating Learning Theory and Student Expectations in Problem Design for a First-Year Writing Course.  As professors we often fail to appreciate how students struggle to understand published cases.  Published cases were never intended to be teaching and learning tools -- rather, they are documents written by experts to resolve legal disputes.  This panel will present Kordesh_maureen_straub teaching and learning theory, samples of classroom techniques, and student surveys addressing how the real world of the law can be effectively incorporated into a first-year legal research and writing classroom.



Payne_sue Sue Payne (Clinical Assistant Professor in the Communication and Legal Reasoning Program at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago) will discuss how to Teach Basic Contract Drafting to First Year Law Students in Four Hours or Less.  Now her presentation won't be four hours, but in the time she does have she'll demonstrate how to introduce basic contract drafting concepts to student teams through interactive lectures and simulated interviews with clients and opposing counsel, guide teams through the process of drafting a basic contract, and conduct a spirited, in-class critique of student drafts.

Cobb_thomasThomas D. Cobb (pictured here on the left), Sarah Farley Kaltsounis, and Theodore Myrhe (pictured here on the right) are each lecturers at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, and that they are co-presenters on Re-imagining Collaborative Learning: New Techniques and Possibilities.  Myhre_theodore They will discuss how web-based social networking and collaborative drafting software have opened up new possibilities for collaborative learning in law school classes.  This interactive panel/workshop will survey new collaborative technologies, discussion how they have been used, and invite audience members to collaborate on further innovative applications. 

Soonpaa_nancy And finally for this session, Nancy Soonpaa (Director of the Legal Practice Program and Professor at Texas Tech, and one of the editors of this legal writing prof blog), will discuss the topic of Creating an Effective Syllabus.  Nancy's thought is that drafting an effective syllabus is part of designing an effective course.  A syllabus establishes expectations and defines relationships in the learning environment.  Its presentation, tone, and content require thoughtful attention as part of course development.

Wigal_grace She'll be followed by Grace J. Wigal (Lecturer and Director of Legal Research, Writing, and Appellate Advocacy at West Virginia University College of Law in Morgantown, West Virginia).  Her topic is Teaching Professionalism and Efficient Document Production With an Exercise in Timekeeping.  She'll explain an exercise that she conducted at WVU to teach students valuable lessons on how they spend billable time while teaching them valuable ethics lessons about professionalism, billing ethics, and their own research and writing skills.


July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Thursday Session 2

Lwi_8 This post continues the preview of the upcoming Legal Writing Institute Conference.  The second session on Thursday, July 17, 2008 will be from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Johansen_steve R2A
Steve Johansen (Director of Legal Writing and Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark) will present on This is Not the Whole Truth: The Ethical Limits of Storytelling.  Fresh from a storytelling conference in London, Steve will explore whether truth and justice are incompatible.  (I'm here with Steve in Philadelphia, and he tell's me that he's been on the Legal Writing Institute Board for 12 years now.  Wow.  Steve, is that just a story?)  Steve has been the driving force behind many good things in the legal writing community -- and that's the truth!  Come to this presentation to learn where the boundary is between legitimate persuasion and improper deception.  (Quick quiz -- true or false?  Steve is the author of Juridiska Analize Un Tekstu Rakstisana, the first legal writing textbook to be published in Latvia).


Danton Asher Berube (Assistant Professor in the Applied Legal Theory and Analysis Program at the University of Detroit Mercy) will present on Effective Presentation of Statistics in Legal Writing.  As the use of statistics continues to increase, we have a greater need to teach our students how to incorporate statistics into their legal writing.  If statistics is an area that you want to strengthen, you might consider coming to this presentation even if you would otherwise be afraid of numbers.  It's a very useful topic for many of us.


Temm_wanda You Had Me at "Hello" -- SWilson_barbaratructuring the Classroom Experience to Optimize Learning is the title of a presentation by Wanda M. Temm (Director of the Legal Writing Program and Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, pictured here on the left), Barbara E. Wilson (Associate Clinical Professor of Law, also at UMKC, pictured here with the books), and Judith Popper (Assistant Clinical Professor, also at UMKC, but whose photo I could not find).  They'll discuss how the learning environment (both verbal and non-verbal) impacts students.  They'll discuss specific teaching techniques through a brief presentation and a mock class with participants modeling the techniques.


Andrews_deanne Deanne Lawrence Andrews The_paper_chase (Associate Clinical Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law in East Lansing, Michigan) will present on Goodbye to Kingsfield? Increasing Student Autonomy in the Legal Writing Classroom.  She'll discuss research by Kennon Sheldon and Lawrence Kreiger that documents the ill effects that law school has on the emotional well-being of students.  She'll explore concrete teaching tips designed to increase stduent autonomy in the legal writing classroom.


R2D2 -- R2D2 isn't a session, it's a robot from the Star Wars Movie.  Just keeping you on your toes here.


Mercer_kathryn Kathryn Mercer (Associate Professor of Lawyering Skills at Case Western Reserve School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio) will discuss Dealing with Race, Culture, and Gender in the Classroom.  She'll discuss diversity and non-traditional law students, including video of students commenting on the law school environment and the critical learning moments in law school.  In the second part of the presentation, Venter_christine Christine M. Ventner (Director of the Legal Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana) will discuss Gender and Law School Performance: How Legal Writing Professors Can Bolster the Peformance of Women Law Students.  Her presentation will develop specific strategies that legal writing professors can implement to help women students in law school, and to create a more positive learning experience for students.  Christine is also an international law fan (like me).  She was raised in Zimbabwe and earned her law degree in South Africa.  Click here to learn more about her.

Brostoff_teresa Teresa Brostoff (Sinsheimer_ann Professor of Legal Writing and Diretor of the Legal Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law) and Ann Sinsheimer (Associate Professor of Legal Writing, also at the University of Pittsburgh) will present on a subject they know well, Using Comparative Legal Principals to Teach International Students in U.S. Law.  They will demonstrate their use of comparative case reading and briefing to help international students draw upon their prior knowledge of civil law reasoning to master U.S. common law reasoning.  They will illustrate this using decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice. 

Walter_marilyn Marilyn Walter (Professor and Director of thIndia e Legal Writing Program at Brooklyn Law School) will then share her experiences from teaching at the University of Delhi Law School in Spring 2008.  Her presentation is called Expanding Your Horizons: Going Global.

That's it for session 2 on Thursday!

Prof. Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School, Chicago

Appeal_4 For information about the law professors who will be visiting from Africa, click here.

July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Thursday Session 1

Lwi_9 This post continues the preview of this summer's Legal Writing Institute Conference in Indianapolis.  The Thursday morning sessions on Thursday, July 17, 2008 wisely start at Nathanson_mitchell 9:30 instead of 9:00 a.m. They go until 10:15 a.m.

Triscione_kristen_konrad Mitchell J. Nathanson (Associate Professor of Legal Writing at Villanova University School of Law in Villanova, Pennsylvania), Kristen Tiscione (Professor of Legal Research and Writing at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington DC) and Linda L. Berger (Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law; moving to Mercer University School of Law in Macon, Georgia), will present Defining the Purpose and Parameters of Scholarship for Legal Writing Professors.  Three professors from three different law schools will discuss why legal research and writing faculty should Berger_linda publish even in the absence of a scholarship requirement.  They'll also discuss a working definition of good scholarship (hey, does that include blogging?)  They will also discuss whether there is an identifiable field of legal research and writing for us to write about and whether we should publish in that field or in other fields of interest.  They hope to engage in a larger group discussion on how professors can make the best image possible in the legal academy. 
Here's a link to an article by Mitchell Nathanson that you might find to be of interest.  And do you see how closely these panelists work together?  He's thanked one of his co-presenters in the footnote!


WereshThe Real World: LPenland_lisa aw School: Professionalism in Electronic Communication will be the subject of this presentation by Melissa H. Weresh (Assistant Director and Professor of Legal Writing at Drake University School of Law in Des Moines, Iowa, who happens to be training for a marathon) and Lisa A. Penland (Associate Professor at Drake University School of Law and the mayor of Steamboat Rock, Iowa).  They will examine elements of electronic communication and professionalism, in law school and in practice.  They will illustrate an interactive workshop for students designed to help them be more thoughtful, deliberate, and professional in electronic communication.  I had a chance to visit both of them last week in Des Moines while I was teaching a bar review course.  They are wonderful hosts.  Their presentation will be a good one, with lots of practical tips that may save our students in the future. 


Laurie C. Kadoch (Professor at Vermont Law School in South Royalton, Vermont) will present on Mapping Thoughts and Deepening Student Analysis Via Diagramming.  Teaching involves much more than imparting knowledge.  We teach our students to absorb and integrate new knowledge and how to apply and communicate that knowledge with critical thought.  The learning needs unique to the current generation of law students support the notion that we must be open to the development of new approaches to the teaching and learning of legal writing.  The diagram can be used to provide an evolving visual representation for student understanding at each stage of research, analysis, and writing.  The diagram also provides a tool for self-assessment for each student.  Should be some useful information here, with some tools that are certainly new to me in the teaching context.


Ortlieb_allison Allison D. Ortlieb (Legal Writing Instructor at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, across the street from me) andThrower_susan Susan Thrower (Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Legal Analysis, Research, and Communication Program at DePaul) will present They're Not Enemies, They're Untapped Allies: Strategies for Handling Disruptive, Disaffected, and Plain-Old Bad Students.  They explore why some students behave so badly and provide some strategies for turning those problematic students into solid LRW citizens.  I'm tempted to post a picture of Bart Simpson here going to law school . . . .


Eichhorn_lisa Baker_janice_m Lisa A. Eichorn (Professor of Law and Director of the Legal Writing Program at the University of South Carolina School of Law, pictured here on the left) and Janice M. Baker (Legal Writing Instructor at South Carolina) will present on the subject Co-Dependent No More?  When Teaching Becomes Enabling.  In this session, they will ask attendees to discuss scenarios concerning particularly needy or demanding students and the amount of time, effort, and explicit assistance a teacher should offer in response to their demands.  They will also discuss suggestions to allow teachers to put reasonable time limits on their availability to students to avoid teacher burnout and foster student responsibility (without sacrificing student evaluation ratings).


Bisbee_dorothy R1F
There's a feast of presentations here in this session.  Dorothy Bisbee (Assistant Professor of Legal Writing at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts) will speak on Finding Time for Scholarship.  She'll provide tips for optimal time management, finding time for scholarship and a balanced life.  (You can also be pretty sure that with three other presenters, she won't go over her time during this presentation!)

Gibson_brenda Blevins_timothy_2 Timothy D. Blevins (Visiting Assistant Professor at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University -- better known as Florida A&M -- in Orlando, Florida) and Brenda Gibson (Director of Legal Writing at North Carolina Central School of Law in Durham, North Carolina) will speak on Grading: Using Spreadsheets and Rubrics.  They will discuss two tools that make grading more objective and less subject to criticism as the whims of the professor. 

Rollins_christine And Christine E. Rollins (Director of Legal Research and Writing at St. Louis University School of Law) will wrap it all up with Effective and Efficient Electronic Commenting, including a discussion of bubble comments, highlighting text, inserting text, and pasting comments from a scoring rubric.


R1G Posters
Stephenson_gail Gail S. Stephenson (Director of Legal Writing and Assistant Professor of Law at the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana) will have a poster on Student Body Diversity: A View from the Trenches.  She'll examine ABA Standard 212, which requires law schools to "demonstrate by concrete action a commitment to diversity."  She'll also discuss her scholarship on the issue.  Look for a poster with a large scale -- on one side will be the benefits of diverse student body and the other side will be the challenges.  What is your prediction as to which side the scales will favor?

Wallinger_carolCarol Lynn Wallinger (Clinical Associate Professor at Rutgers School of Law in Camden, New Jersey) will have a poster on Moving from First to Final Draft -- An Empirical Study on Motivating Students to Move Through the Writing Process.  Her research is the result of a 2007 ALWD Scholarship Grant.  She measured the participation of 20 first-year legal writing students in two "interventions" during their final exam projects.  The interventions were (1) unlimited and self-scheduled "live critiquing" conferences and (2) the self-selected opportunity to obtain a provisional grade before the final exam submission.  Come see what she learned from that research.

Horn_jennifer_bJennifer B. Horn (Assistant Professor of Legal Practice at Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock, Texas) will have a poster on Not-So-Magnificent Obsession: Performance v. Professionalism.  She'll present strategies to help students understand that professionals much constantly work to improve their mastery of legal skills.  Her poster will include information on

  • Designing assignments that simulate work-related matters
  • Demonstrating how professionals use legal resources
  • Using grading rubrics
  • Clarifying how students will use knowledge in practice
  • Providing frequent specific feedback that encourages change
  • Providing assignments that show students they can incrementally improve their performance if they are willing to work

Mark E. Wojcik - The John Marshall Law School - Chicago

July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Silver Anniversary Celebration

LwiNext year the Legal Writing Institute will be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of its first national conference in Seattle. 

The anniversary celebration will begin at the Golden Pen and Blackwell Award Ceremonies in San Diego on the evening of Friday, January 9, 2009, during the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools.  That celebration is likely to take place from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. that evening (to allow people to stop in at the various law school receptions that will be starting at 6:30 p.m.).  More details are sure to come on that -- just save the date for now as you make your AALS travel plans. 

The silver anniversary celebration of the Legal Writing Institute will likely continue until April 3, 2011, which will mark the 25th Anniversary of when the Legal Writing Institute was incorporated in the State of Washington.  Celebrating the anniversary for two years will help ensure that everyone has a chance to join in the festivities for this great organization, and to celebrate its achievements and contributions over the years.

My fellow LWI board members have entrusted me with organizing some of the events that will take place.  The board would welcome your suggestions as to events that the LWI might undertake during this anniversary celebration.  We want to celebrate the institute and its many accomplishments, including conferences, publications, and its profound influence on how the legal academy views the professional contributions of legal writing faculty. We also want to use the anniversary to promote the interests of its fantastic membership, and to set a strong course for the next 25 years (and beyond!).

We'll have more information on the anniversary celebration during the LWI Conference in Indianapolis, but please start thinking about activities that you would like to help organize to celebrate the LWI Silver Anniversary.


July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Global Legal Skills Conferences -- Dates Set for Numbers 4 and 5

Logo_globalpathThe first two Global Legal Skills Conferences were held in Chicago.  The third was held in Monterrey Mexico.  Here are the dates of the next two.

GLS-IV will be held at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington DC on June 4-6, 2009.

GLS-V will be a return to Mexico, at the Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey.  The conference dates will be February 25-27, 2010.  Save the dates now and plan to attend if you can.


July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A note to our readers

We've had a massive number of posts this week in anticipation of next week's LWI Conference. To see all of the posts, you should click here or click on the WEEKLY ARCHIVE list (in the right hand column) for this week.


PS - If you are not a regular subscriber to this blog, you can also subscribe by entering your email address in the box at the right (above where it says "Subscribe me!")

July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Wednesday Evening Museum Gala

Lwi The Wednesday evening event at the Legal Writing Institute Conference will be a Gala Celebration at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.  The museum, which opened in 1989, showcases Western and Native American art and cultural objects.  The Gala is sponsored by by Aspen Publishers, and it will run from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m.  Wow.  Click here for more information about the museum.   And click here for a preview of some of the things you'll see.


July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Wednesday Session 5

Lwi_2 The fifth session on Wednesday will be from from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.  I only have the titles of the three sessions, but these titles are fairly descriptive.

W5A - Getting Involved with LWI: Committee Fair

W5B - Traveling with LWI (Writers Workshop, Other Conferences)

W5C - Show Me the LWI Money (Grants, Innovations)


July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Wednesday Session 4

Lwi_4 The fourth round of sessions on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 will be held from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. 

Neumann_richard Beazley_marybeth 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 Brill_ralph 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.


Vorenberg_amy 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 leftSparrow_sophie ), 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?) 

Hoch_mark_3   Mark E. Hoch (Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Grace H. Barry Barry_grace (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.

Chin_bill_2 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.)


Wise_jane Hiemer_linda 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.)


W4G (Posters)

There are three concurrent poster presentations to close out this session.

Piccard_ann 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?)


Sampson_kathryn 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.


Smith_craig 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. 


July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Wednesday Session 3

onLwi_5 This post continues the previews of sessions at this summer's Legal Writing Institute conference.  Here are the third round of sessions on Wednesday, July 16, 2008, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.  (The LWI Membership meeting will be at 1:00 p.m.)

Richard K. Neumann (Professor of Law at Hofstra University School of Law in Hempstead, New York) is one of the nicest people in the entire world.  The planet is a better place because he's here.  Did you know that he did part of his education in Sweden?  It's true.  Did you know that HIS CHILDREN have read the Legal Writing Prof Blog?  Also true!!! At the conference in Indianapolis he'll be presenting with Amy K. Langfield, whose picture unfortunately I don't have to share with you.  Their topic is Developing a Methodology for Comparing Discourse Communities.  They will examine why faculty talk as they do at faculty meetings, seeking audience assistance in designing a methodology to measure remarks that invoke hierarchy, shut down discussion, obfuscate issues, or protect turf or at the other end of the spectrum.   Using this information, they might do an exhaustive social science discourse analysis, or instead write a satire . . . .

Cameron_catherine Boyle_robin W3B -- Teaching to Different Learning Styles in the LR&W Classroom
This presentation is by Catherine J. Cameron (an Assistant Professor of Legal Skills at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida, pictured at the top left of this paragraph), Jeff Minneti (Director of the Academic Success Program at Stetson), and Robin A. Boyle (Professor of Legal Writing; Coordinator of Academic Support Program; and Minneti_jeffrey Assistant Director of the Writing Center at St. John's University School of Law in Queens, New York, pictured here on the right).  They will discuss data suggesting that law students are diverse in their learning styles and, therefore, may also learn best when professors vary their teaching methods. Their presentation will compare law students at two law schools and provide a model lesson for an engaging legal writing class.

Croskeryroberts_rachel Rachel Croskery-Roberts is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Law in the Legal Practice Program at the University of Michigan School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Her topic will be From Aristotle to Abraham Lincoln to Clarence Darrow and Everything In Between: Bringing Persuasive Techniques Alive in the Classroom by Using and Analyzing Political Speeches, Courtroom Arguments, Supreme Court Briefs, and Historical Reenactments as Teaching Tools.

W3D -- Podcasting in LRR&W: Downloading the Greatest Hits
Vinson_kathleen Tracy_judith Kathleen Elliott Vinson (Professor of Legal Writing and Director of Legal Practice Skills Program at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts, pictured here at the left) and Judith B. Tracy (Associate Professor of Legal Reasoning, Research and Writing at Boston College Law School) will discuss the ubiquitous nature of ipods.  They'll look for and identify the "greatest hits" to download.  They will examine how to use ipods to give written feedback on student performance.

Weigold_ursula Ursula Weigold (
Visiting Clinical Professor of Law in the Lawyering Program at Cornell University Law School) will discuss Teaching the Unwritten Rules of Lawyering.  She'll discuss how legal writing professors can teach about the professional expectations that our students will face, including the lawyer's quality of work, attitude, and conduct.

Telfeyen_edward W3F
Blais_william William E. Blais (pictured here standing in a law library) is a Legal Writing Instructor at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. His presentation is on A Narrative Approach to Teaching Grammar.  With him on the program is
Edward H. Telfeyan, a Legal Process Instructor at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California.  (On the legal writing listserves Professor Telfeyan is better known as "Grumpy Ed."  It is a term of endearment within the legal writing community, and his posts most often show that he isn't really as grumpy as he makes himself out to be.  Nonetheless, that nickname has made him one of the legends of legal writing, and you might want to go to his session just to meet him.  His photo is on the right, and as you can see, he's not so grumpy after all.)  His presentation is on The “Grammar Bee” – Taking the Pain Out of One-Ls’ Grammatical Deficiencies.  His presentation "is guaranteed to take to agony out of that part of the LRW prof’s work that is not included in the job description."  How can you pass up a deal like that? 

Bach_tracy W3G
Tracy Bach is a professor at Vermont Law School in South Royalton, Vermont.  Her presentation is on Using Live Cases to Teach Legal Research, Analysis, and Communication: Problem-Based Service Learning.  Problem-based service learning (PBSL) has become a core teaching strategy in undergraduate education and has even made its way into professional learning via medical and business schools. This presentation will explain what PBSL is and how it can help law students learning LRW, and then take you through a hands-on workshop to help you incorporate a PBSL problem into your next LRW course.  

The LWI Membership Meeting will be at 1:00 p.m.

Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School

July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (3)