Tuesday, July 8, 2008

LWI Conference - Wednesday Session 2

Lwi_6 This post continues the preview of sessions that will be held at the Legal Writing Institute summer conference in Indianapolis.  The sessions here will be held on Wednesday, July 16, 2008, from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.Stanchi_kathryn 

W2A -- Kathryn M. Stanchi (Associate Professor at Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia). Kathy will present on Playing With Fire: The Science of Confronting Negative Information in Persuasive Legal Writing.  She'll summarize the social science research on the effectiveness of disclosing adverse information in a persuasive message.  She'll then analyze how the results of that research can shed light on strategies for handling adverse information in persuasive legal writing.

.

W2B -- Thomson_david Effective Methods for Teaching Legal Writing Online
David I.C. Thomson, newly appointed director of the Legal Writing Program at the University of Denver College of Law, will explore how to teach legal writing online. He'll describe how to adjust generally accepted LRW pedagogy and deliver it in an online environment. Part of his presentation will also demonstrate and explain the myriad technologies that are currently available to deliver online content. He will also present results of his empirical research into the effectiveness of these methods.

.

W2C -- Clearly, Using Intensifiers Is Very Bad
Lance N. Long is a Visiting Legal Research and Writing Professor at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon.  I couldn't download his photo but you can look at it here.  (He previously taught legal writing at Brigham Young University and at Stetson). 
Click here for an abstract of an article by Professor Long and William F. Christensen on the subject of this presentation.  It examines whether there is any correlation between success on appeal and the overuse of intensifiers in appelllate briefs.  If I understand this correctly, his research shows that the more you use intensifiers, the more likely you are to have a negative outcome on appeal.

.

W2D
Lou_sirico_2 Louis Sirico and some others (not sure who, but let one of use know and we'll add the names in) will present on Teaching How Legal Writing Fits Into Law Practice.  Lou is the current chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research.  He's also a professor at Villanova University School of Law in Villanova, Pennsylvania.  He and the other presenters will discuss how to better connect legal writing with the practice of law by coordinating lawyering skills exercises in other classes.  They will illustrate this connection with a drafting exercises connected to a doctrinal course (Property) and a skills course (Mediation).

.

W2E
Kimble_joe Fajans_elizabeth Joseph Kimble (a professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan) will briskly cover 10-20 techniques for better drafting, drawn from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  The techniques will be useful for all forms of drafting and anyone who teaches it.  (They will likely be helpful in other forms of legal writing as well).  Joe's presentation is called Techniques for Better Legal Drafting: Lessons from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  That will be followed by Dr. Elizabeth Fajans (Associate Professor of Legal Writing at Brooklyn Law School), who will speak on Lessons Learned from Administrative Law Writing.  She'll describe an administrative law practicum that she co-taught last year, designed to give students hands-on experience with drafting legislation and regulations.  Students in the practicum drafted the legislation and regulations while students in the administrative law class acted as sponsors of the bils and commentators on the regulations.

.

W2F
Panikowski_kris Kris B. Panikowski (pictured at left) and Nicola Kean (sorry, couldn't find a photo) are Lawyering Skills Instructors at the University of San Diego School of Law.  Thier topic will be Politics and Persuasion: Lessons in Logic and Argument from Political Communication.  They'll focus on bringing the theories behind and application of political communication techniques into the legal writing classroom.  They hope to increase their students' understandings of legal lines of argumentation, audience, fact development and separation, logic sequences, and organization.  They will examine lines of argumentation, word choice, logic, intended audience, and political theories driving paid television and print political communication.  I suspect they'll have a lot of material from the elections this year.

.

W2G
Becker_ted Ted Becker (Clinical Assistant Professor at The University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a school that previously hosted the LWI Summer Conference) will present on Religious Lawyering and Legal Writing or Do Religious Perspectives Help Teach Students Anything About IRAC?  He'll discuss whether religious perspectives might broaden students' exposure to several topics often covered in LRW classes, including legal ethics, interacting with clients, and reconciling personal values with professional obligations.

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

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

LWI Conference - Wednesday Session 1

Lwi_7 Here are the choices for program sessions during the Levine_jan first session on Wednesday morning, July 16, 2008. Each of these programs will be from 9:00 to 10:15 a.m.

Kenneth_d_chestek_2 W1A -- Geek 101: Using Technology Effectively (Without Having to Learn the Difference Between Star Wars and Star Trek). Three self-confessed computer geeks will do their impersonations of Bill Gates and present the absolute latest in technology for the classroom. Mollenkamp_john The presenters are Jan Levine (Associate Professor and Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program at Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pictured on the right), Kenneth D. Chestek (Clinical Associate Professor at our conference host school, Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, pictured on the left), and John Robert Mollenkamp (Associate Clinical Professor at Cornell Law School in Ithaca, New York).  The Three Geeks (sort of like The Three Tenors, but the only thing they'll be singing is the praise of new technology) will share their techniques for overcoming obstacles (such as inexperience, cost, lack of support, and lack of time) to use technology effectively to teach legal writing and do other things needed for our work.  Jan Levine also tipped off attendees that they will be distributing a disc with a lot of content, including demonstration software and freeware.  They'll also be giving away several hundred dollars' worth of registration codes for licensed versions of four applications -- these will be given to 20 lucky attendees of this session.  Bring a business card to make it easier to enter the contest to win!

W1B -- Sheila Rodriguez will present a program on how to help students overcome resistance to criticism of their legal writing during conferences. Her program is called Taming Hubris: Using Feedback Theory to Ease the Triumphant Undergraduate Writers' Transition to Novice Legal Writer

Ramsfield W1C -- The Student Initiative is the title of a program being presented by Jill J. Ramsfield (previously director of the writing program at Georgetown University Law Center, until she thought better of it and moved to become a Professor or Law and Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu). She will discuss the idea that law students, as sophisticated and talented graduate students, can design and implement an innovative legal writing curriculum. She will show how members of a Student Initiative can magnify the impact of any legal writing curriculum. The session is sure to be filled with lots of aloha.

Romig_jennifer W1D -- "A Matter of Style": Preparing First-Year Students to Write to Audiences with Distinct and Diverse Stylistic Preferences.  In this presentation, Jennifer Murphy Romig (Instructor in the Legal Writing, Research, and Advocacy Program at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia) will explain how introducing first-year students to specific stylistic preferences they may see in practice can help them to imagine real legal readers, debunk the monolithic view of the legal reader, and prepare them to change writing conventions that are not effective.

W1E
Trudeau_christopher Mind the Gaps: Teaching Students to Recognize and Address Flaws in Their Analysis.
Christopher R. Trudeau
(Assistant Professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan) noticed that poor analysis is one of the main problems that prevent students from becoming effective lawyers. He believes that students often fail to include enough law, which leads to making logical leaps in their analysis. He will explore various techniques to teach students to find and fill in gaps in their analysis.

W1F
Schmedemann_deborah Priming for Pro Bono and Public Service: LRW's Role
Deborah A. Schmedemann
(Professor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota) will present the results of her empirical research into pro bono, involving over 1,000 law students and lawyers. She's discovered that LRW has a central role and potential for priming students for pro bono and public service. She'll facilitate a discussion on incorporating the role of public citizen into LRW courses.

W1G
The Embedded Rule
David S. Romantz
(Associate Professor and Director of the Legal Methods Program at The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law) will present how first-year students must develop early the intellectual flexibility to recognize embedded rules -- rules not expressly stated within an opinion. He will demonstrate how to introduce the idea of the embedded rule at first-year orientation. 

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

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

Donate Law Books to Africa

Appeal You have too many books.  You know you do.  Old editions, books from earlier writing projects, and that stack of books in the corner that you've never even had a minute to look through.  What to do?  Donate them to law schools in Africa.

Colleagues in the United States, Kenya, and other countries are organizing donations of law books to law libraries around Africa.  You can send your books as a contribution to that effort.

The project is organized by APPEAL (Academics Promoting the Pedagogy of Effective Advocacy in Law), a group you should probably join to promote legal education in Africa.  APPEAL is partnering with Boeing to deliver the books to Kenya.  There is a relatively short window within which to have the books transported.  If you have books to donate, please send them to:
Africamap
Law Books for Africa
c/o Professor Anne Enquist
Seattle University School of Law
901 12th Ave., Sullivan Hall
Seattle, WA 98122-1090

This call for books is not limited to legal writing texts.  Our colleagues in Africa need texts in all law school subjects.

APPEAL is an organization that promotes the exchange of ideas and resources about how to teach effective legal writing advocacy among academics in the United States and Africa.  If you would like more information about APPEAL, click here. 

Put your books in boxes (up to a maximum weight of 40 lbs per box).  Include a packing list inside the box and on the side of the box to make things easy.  Your books will be sent first to Kenya (sometime around August 7, 2008, so get your books in before then).  Boeing is donating the transportation costs to Kenya.

I do not know if there is an address where you can also send books directly to law schools in Africa, but if we get that we will pass it on.

A number of professors from Africa will be attending the Legal Writing Institute Conference next week in Indianapolis, Indiana.  You can meet them there if you will be attending the LWI conference, and have a better idea about how you can help a great number of students and professors in Africa (while making your own office a better place as well).

(mew)

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

Association of Writing Specialists

Click here for information on a meeting of the Association of Writing Specialists at 3:30 on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 during the Legal Writing Institute Conference.  Scroll down to the description for session T4H.

(mew)

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

deadline approaching for Golden Pen nominations

2497 The Legal Writing Institute's Awards Committee has issued a call for nominations for the Golden Pen Award, which will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools in January 2009 in San Diego, California.  Any member of the Legal Writing Institute may nominate someone for the award. Submit your nominations directly to Susan Thrower at sthrower@depaul.edu on or before July 11, 2008.

The Golden Pen Award recognizes those who make significant contributions to advance the cause of better legal writing. These contributions may take any form, such as promoting the use of clear language in public documents, outstanding scholarship or journalism about legal writing, exceptional writing in law practice, improving the quality of legal writing instruction, or advocating for better writing within the legal community. The award is normally given to someone who is not an active member of the Legal Writing Institute, but active members are considered in exceptional circumstances.

Previous recipients of the award are Arthur Levitt, Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Don LeDuc, Dean of the Thomas Cooley Law School; Linda Greenhouse, Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times; the late Honorable Robert E. Keeton of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts; Richard Wydick, Professor at the University of California at Davis School of Law; the late Joseph M. Williams, author of Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace (and pictured above with Terry Jean Seligmann at the 2006 awards ceremony); the Honorable Ronald M. George, the Honorable Carol A. Corrigan, and the Honorable James D. Ward, Justices of the Supreme Court of California and the California Court of Appeal; and the Honorable Ruggero J. Aldisert of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

(cmb)

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

ALWD annual membership meeting

The Association of Legal Writing Directors is holding its annual membership meeting next Monday, July 14, 2008, at 2:00 p.m.  The meeting will take place in room 300 of Indiana University School of Law, in Indianapolis.  All members of ALWD are encouraged to attend to hear about the work of the organization in the past year and contribute to its plans for the next year.  Other legal writing professionals who will be in town for the LWI conference are welcome to attend as well.

(spl)

   

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

job opening at Rutgers-Camden

Rutgers School of Law–Camden has begun a national search to fill a 405(c) clinical professor position in its Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing Program (LAWR). Each LAWR clinical professor teaches approximately 40 first-year students in a two-semester, graded, four-credit hour course (covering legal research, analysis, writing, and oral advocacy skills), with the help of approximately four teaching assistants. The professor will also teach an additional course each year, with considerable flexibility in choosing the other course offering.

Successful candidates may be hired at the clinical assistant, clinical associate, or clinical professor level as of July 1, 2009, or as early as January 2009, depending upon availability. Three- or five-year contracts are available. Clinical professors can vote on all matters other than tenure hiring/promotions; their own promotions; and promotions to positions for contracts of longer length or titles higher than their own. They serve on faculty committees and have travel/research budgets.

The ideal candidate will have a law degree from an accredited law school, excellent written and oral skills, legal practice experience, and recent legal research and writing teaching experience. The application deadline is August 1, 2008.  Selected applicants will be invited to campus for presentations to the faculty. Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, three references who can comment on teaching or conferencing and writing ability, a writing sample, and samples of teaching materials, if any.  Send applications to Sarah E. Ricks, Clinical Associate Professor, Chair, Clinical Appointments Committee, Rutgers School of Law-Camden, 217 N. Fifth Street, Camden, NJ 08102.

(cmb)

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

Monday, July 7, 2008

LWI Conference - Tuesday Evening POPCORN SESSIONS!!!

Popcorn_1 Popcorn_5 "Popcorn Sessions" are a new feature of the Legal Writing Institute Conference.

These are longer, informal sessions (90 minutes!) with lots of group conversation and interactions.  The purpose is to foster more dialogue among conference Lwi attendees.  These sessions will be conducted at the Hyatt Hotel.  And call me crazy, but I wouldn't be surprised if they had popcorn there as well.  That's the official snackfood of my home state of Illinois, by the way. See 5 Ill. Comp. Stat. 460/80 ("Popcorn is designated the official State snackfood of the State of Illinois.").

Popcorn_2 T5A: Live Grading with Mark E. Wojcik (Professor of Law at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago).  OK, this is undoubtedly going to be the best session of the entire Mark_e_wojcik_photo_6 conference, so you won't want to miss it.  In fact you might even skip dinner to be sure that you can get inside the room!  (You can always eat some popcorn if you DO skip dinner . . . .)  During this session, I'll discuss "live grading," which is something I learned years ago from Joe Kimble.  Joe tells me that he's planning to come that evening, so he will be around to share his insights as well.  Doing "live grading" of student papers can lessen the time you spend grading while at the same time providing students with a stronger pedagogical experience.  It's a win-win situation when done correctly.  The students absolutely love it, for a number of reasons that I will talk about that evening.  Attend this presentation to learn how to do live grading and to discuss both appropriate uses and potential pitfalls to avoid.

Ricks_sarah_2 Murray_michael T5B: Publishing Books in LRW and Beyond: How We Did It and How You Can Too is a perfect panel for aspiring authors.  Come listen to the publishing success stories of Sarah E. Ricks (Clinical Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Pro Bono Research Project at Rutgers School of Law in Camden, New Jersey), Michael D. Murray (University of Illinois College of Law right now, moving to the very lucky Valparaiso University School Desanctis_christie of Law next year), Mckinney_ruth_ann Christy Hallam DeSanctis (Associate Professor of Legal Research and Writing and Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program at the George Washington University School of Law in Washington, D.C., pictured here on the left), and Ruth Anne McKinney (Clinical Professor of Law and director of the Writing and Learning Resources Center at the University of North Carolina Law School).  Dickerson_darby

T5C: Simon_michelle As befitting a popcorn session, this one is a double feature!  First up are two law school deans, speaking on Beyond Caps and Long-Term Contracts -- The Path to Full Status.  The session will be with Dean Darby Dickerson (the ALWD citation goddess) of the Stetson University College of Law in Florida and Dean Michelle S. Simon, the newly appointed Dean of Pace Law School.  Both deans started their academic careers as legal writing professors!  Following that (or maybe mixed in right along with it -- these popcorn sessions could get wild!) is the Transition to a Directorless Program with the award-winning Dejarnatt_susan_2 Susan DeJarnatt Coats_kim (Associate Professor at the Temple University Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia, pictured here on the left), Kim Flanery Coats (Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law at Fayetteville, pictured here on the right), and the magnificent Daniel Barnett (Associate Professor of Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing at Boston College of Law).  Why do I say Dan is magnificent?  Who else do you know that spent a semester in France, teaching in French Le Barnett_daniel Droit du Contrat aux Etats-Unis?  It's a great lineup.  Now, the transition to a directorless program is not just about getting rid of your director . . . .  Find out more about it by attending this session.

.T5D: Finally, a panel of experienced editors representing several major legal writing publications will discuss how you can improve your chances for publishing an article.  The panel of editors will also answer your questions and provide information about how to become involved as a participant on one of these outstanding journals.  Publications to be represented in this popcorn session will include: 

  • The Journal of Legal Writing;
  • The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process;
  • Perspectives; and
  • The Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (JALWD).

There may be other journals as well.  The session is intended to provide broad-based, informal advice about getting published in a variety of legal writing publications.  That sounds like a good investment of time to me!

(mew)

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Tuesday Evening New Member Dinners

Lwi_8

Tuesday evening features "New Member Dinners," starting at 5:30 p.m.  This is when more experienced LWI members take new members out to dinner so that the new members can feel more personally welcomed into the legal writing community.

Interested new members should sign up at the registration desk sometime Monday or
Tuesday, to give us a rough idea of head count.  (A new member is anyone with zero, one, or two years of experience teaching legal writing.)

The groups will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening in the Champs room of the Hyatt Regency.  We will form groups mixing experienced members and new members, and the groups will disperse to various restaurants around Indianapolis.  Each person pays his or her own way, and the dinner groups are expected to finish early enough that people may still attend the popcorn sessions later that evening.

There will also be several tables marked "for new members" at the Thursday luncheon session.  These tables are another forum for new members to share ideas and ask questions.   

(mew)

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Tuesday Session 4

Here are the presentationsLwi_7  being held during thEdwards_lindae fourth round of sessions on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at the Legal Writing Institute Conference in Indianapolis.  These sessions are from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m., so you have to pick just one from this great list of choices.

T4A: Changing Schools, Changing Lives: How to Get Out There, Get Noticed, and Get the Job You Want.  A panel with Linda H. Edwards (Macon Professor and Director of the Certificate Program in Advance Legal Writing, Research, and Drafting at Mercer University Law School in Macon, Georgia, pictured here on the left), Lisa T. McElroy (Associate Professor at the College of Law Davis_kirsten at Drexel University, pictured here on the right), Kirsten K. Davis (Associate Professor and Director of the Writing Program at Stetson University College of Law, who I had a chance to visit last week when I was at Stetson, pictured here on the left -- it was sort of a "hey, shouldn't you be in Arizona moment," but that of course is the whole theme of this panel), and Molly LienLien_molly (Professor of Law and the fabulous Director of the Lawyering Skills Program at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago).  The four panelists will discuss the interest that schools have in hiring the best and brightest candidates for tenure-track and long-term contract positions, and the best strategies for candidates who are interested in making a change.  They will also discuss how appointments committees identify and evaluate candidates for these positions.  (No, it is NOT done with a dart board.) 

Bratman_ben Bakhshian_susan T4B: Bar Exam Prep Course Seeking Long Term Relationship: Legal Writing, Academic Support, Both, or Something Else.  Here's a session with Benjamin E. Bratman (Associate Professor of Legal Writing at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law) and Susan Smith Bakhshian (Clinical Professor at Loyola University School of Law in Los Angeles, and someone who have I had the pleasure of presenting with previously at an LWI Conference).  They will discuss the for-credit bar examination preparation courses now offered by many law schools.

Higdon_michael Scharf_rebecca T4C: Harnessing the Power of Nonverbal Persuasion: How You Can Make Your Students Better Advocates and Yourself a Better Teacher.  A session with Michael Higdon (Lawyering Process Professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and he's also--like me--just elected to the Board of Directors of the Legal Writing Institute)and Rebecca Scharf (also a Lawyering Process Professor at UNLV).  The presentation discusses the idea that when audience members evaluate a speaker's ethos, they are largely influenced and persuaded by nonverbal cues, including gestures, voice quality, stance, and even dress.  Using film clips as illustrations (always fun), they will discuss studies about those nonverbal clues, and tell us how to (1) help our students gain a more in-depth understanding of how to persuade their audience; and (2) help ourselves to better understand how nonverbal persuasion can help us become stronger and more effective classroom teachers.

Oseid_julie TChristensen_leah 4D: Sex, Lies, and Law Reviews: Uncovering the Mysteries of Those Who Have All the Power -- Student Editors.  A tell-all session with Julie Oseid (Assistant Professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minnesota) and Leah M. Christensen (also an Assistant Professor at the same school).  They will discuss how law review editors select articles for publications in their journals.  (No, again, it isn't with a dart board.)  The presenters note that their project is particularly important to those attempting to elevate and bring awareness to the rich scholarship within the writing discipline.

Neville_amy T4E: Rosenbaum_judy Two presentations here.  The first is Anatomy of an Appellate Brief Problem by Amy Neville (Legal Writing Instructor at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Michigan, pictured here on the left).  She'll focus on how to build an effective appellate brief problem--from issue and jurisdiction selection to building a factual record.  She focus on the factors that should influence critical decisions at each step.  The second is Mapping the Way: A Guide to Creating Memorandum Assignments with Judy Rosenbaum (Director of Communication and Legal Reasoning at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago). She'll give both a conceptual and step-by-step framework to help new LRW faculty create memorandum assignments.  Although she will focus primarily on closed universe assignments used early in the first semester at many schools, the framework can be easily adapted to more complex memorandum assignments, including even advocacy assignments.

Daily_melody_2 T4F.  Grade Disputes and How to Prevent (or Win) Them.  A session with Melody Richardson Daily (Director of Legal Research and Writing and Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in Columbia, Missouri).  She'll discuss how to prevent or resolve grade disputes and how courts decide post-secondary grading challenges.  She will also report on the results of a survey sent to legal writing professionals throughout the nation, and describe the standards that courts apply to grade-dispute cases.

.Chesler_susan_2 Fruth_ann_e T4G: Engaging, Entertaining, and Effective: Using Handheld Response Pads in the Legal Methods Classroom. 

A session with Susan Chesler (Legal Writing Professor at Widener University School of Law, which has campuses in Wilmington, Delaware and in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania -- she teaches at the Harrisburg campus, and she's pictured here on the left), Ann Elizabeth Fruth (also a Legal Writing Professor at Widener's Harrisburg campus, pictured on the right), and ASmith_amandamanda L. Smith (Legal Method Professor at Widener's Harrisburg campus, pictured here on the left).  They will focus on the use of an interactive teaching technology that uses handheld response pads (clickers) to permit students to participate anonymously in classroom discussion.  What's cool about this program?  They're bringing the clickers!  See how easy they are to use for yourself. 

Ray_mary_barnard_2 T4H: Taking Off in a New Direction: Ground Rules and Flight Patterns for Legal Writing Specialists.  A session with the fabulousAnne_enquist  Mary Barnard Ray (Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, Wisconsin -- she's also the primary author of Getting It Right and Getting It Written, the first reference book specifically for legal writing, and Beyond the Basics, for advanced writing techniques).  She's joined by the equally fabulous Ann Enquist (Associate Director of Legal Writing at Seattle University School of Law and Co-Director of Faculty Development and Programming, pictured here on the right -- she also serves on the boards of ALWD and LWI and is the co-author of Just Research, Just Briefs, Just Writing and The Legal Writing Handbook).  They each have more than 25 years of experience as legal writing specialists, and they will share tips, anecdotes, and resources on the exciting, varied, and intellectually challenging position of legal writing specialist.  NEW:  The Association of Writing Specialists will meet at 3:30 p.m. directly after this presentation in the same room.  All writing specialists are invited.

(mew)

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Tuesday Session 3

This post continues the preview of sessions at the Legal Writing Institute Conference in Indianapolis.  These are the seven choices for session 3 on Tuesday (1:30 to 2:15 p.m.).

Pollman_terry Gordon_sara T3A: There are two presentations in session T3A.  The first is "Have You Got a Minute to Talk?": How Novice and Experienced Legal Writing Professors Can Learn From Each Other presented by Terry Pollman (Director of the Lawyering Process Program and Ralph Denton Professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas) and Sara Gordon (a Lawyering Process Professor also at UNLV School of Law, pictured on the right).  They'll discuss the dynamics of the mentor-mentee relationship. 

.

The second presentation in session T3A is Forming a Clinical/Legal Writing Scholarship Colloquium which will be presented by Katz_harriet Harriet N. Katz (Clinical Professor and Director of the Legal Externship Program and Director of the Lawyering Program at Rutgers-Camden, pictured here on the left).  She'll talk about how she developed a regular monthly meeting model centered on scholarship.  These meetings are designed to foster collaboration among legal writing, clinical, pro bono, and student services departments.  She'll describe this clinical faculty scholarship colloquium and discuss wheter other schools can develop a similar model.  She'll talk about general concerns that might arise from such a group and how to respond to those concerns.

.

.

Rabe_suzanne T3B is another session with multiple topics and presenters.  Suzanne Rabe (Director of Legal Writing and Associate Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Arizona, pictured here on the right)will present on Accomplishment, Independence, and Assessment: Final Exams in the Legal Writing Context, in which she'll discuss her years of experience using a spring-semester final exam as both an instructional and an assessment tool.  Knolton_christine Cristina C. Knolton (Assistant Professor at the University of LaVerne College of Law in Ontario, California) will speak on Incorporating Performance Exams into a Legal Writing Course in which she'll discuss the benefits of performance exams, compare different types of performance exams currently being used, and provide sample fact patterns for exams.

.

.

Trammell_rebecca T3C is a presentation by Rebecca S. Trammell (Director of the Law Library and an Associate Professor at Stetson University College of Law, pictured here on the rightBowman_brooke ) and Brooke J. Bowman (Assistant Professor of Legal Skills at Stetson University School of Law). They'll discuss integrating law librarians into the Legal Research and Writing Program to teach research in a presentation called Putting the R into LRW.  They will show how playing to the strengths of our research colleagues enhances the students' learning experience and allows the writing faculty to emphasize writing instruction.   

.

.

Burge_mark T3D iSimon_rogers another combined session. First, Mark Burge (Writing Instructor at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Forth Worth, pictured here on the left) and Roger Simon (also a Writing Instructor at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Forth Worth) will present on Integration of Statutory-Interpretation Skills Into Your Existing Writing and Analysis Curriculum: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives.  After that (unless the guys from Texas let her go first) will be Blum_joan E. Joan Blum (Associate Professor of Legal Reasoning, Writing, and Research at Boston College) presenting on Analysis as More Than Case Synthesis: Teaching Statutory Analysis in a First-Year Legal Writing Course.

.

.

Parker_carol_2  White_penny Cornett_judy T3E is a session called Ethics and Professionalism in Legal Writing: Blawgs, Briefs, and Professional Identity with Carol McCrehan Parker (Associate Professor and Director of Legal Writing at Tennessee, pictured on the left), Judy M. Cornett (Associate Professor at Tennessee, also pictured on the left, wearing glasses) and Penny J. White (Associate Professor and Interim Director of the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution).  They will discuss the issues of ethics and professionalism that arise in both old and new forms of legal writing, and on reflective writing as a means of developing professionalism.  They will discuss the ethics of "blawging," professionalism in written advocacy, and methods for using reflective writing to help students develop their professional identities and professional voices.

.

.

T3F is the Poster Session with four posters.

  • Portrait of a Writing Specialist by Kim M. Baker (Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island - sorry, couldn't find a photo).  She'll present on the role of writing specialist in a law school.  The presentation will give encouragement to law schools that do not yet have writing specialists.  (We have had writing specialists at my school since as long as I can remember, and my students absolutely love them!)  She'll also share anecdotal evidence about the difference that a writing specialist can make in the success of a law student.      

.

  • Fischer_judith Judges and Gender-Neutral Language: Whether They Use It and What Can We Learn from Their Practices by Judith D. Fischer (Assistant Professor at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville).  Her poster presents results of an empirical study of judges' use of gender-neutral language.  A sample of U.S. Court of Appeals opinions from the years 1965 and 2006 shows an increase in the use of gender-neutral language between those years.  The study concludes that lawyers should consider this trend when writing for the federal courts.

.

  • Jones_travis_dale "Plays Well With Others": What Contract-drafting Exercises Can Teach First-Year Students about the Practice of Law and Themselves by Travis Dale Jones (Legal Practice Professor at Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock, Texas) and Rosemary L. Dillon (Legal Practice Associate Professor, also at Texas Tech, but sorry, no photo!).  Their poster focuses on how a group assignment to negotiate and draft a contract can build first-year students' research and writing skills.  In addition to providing an avenue for practical skills development during the first year, the assignment also introduces a different form of legal writing to students who do not envision life as a litigator.  Students also learn to work in team negotiations and come to appreciate the different legal standards of professional responsibility and their own moral compasses.

.

  • Centeno_candace Connecting the Dots: Using Connected Legal Writing Assignments to Help Students Think Outside the Assignment and About the Bigger Picture by Candace Mueller Centeno (Assistant Professor at Villanova University School of Law in Pennsylvania).  She'll show how she took 13 years of law practice and put it into the classroom to create "connected" legal writing assignments for students to expand their thinking.  She'll show how to incoporate more practical lessons into existing programs to challenge students to problem solve and expand their thought process beyond the assignment so that they can be successful lawyers.

Ritchie_david Sheppard_jennifer T3G is a session called Advanced Writing Instruction in Small Group Sessions with Dr. David Ritchie (Associate Professor at Mercer University Law School in Macon, Georgia), Suzianne Desiree Painter-Thorne (also an Associate Professor at Mercer - sorry, couldn't find a photo yet!), and Jennifer Sheppard (an Assistant Professor at Mercer, pictured on the right).  They will share their experiences of working with students in small group settings.

(mew)

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Moot Court Lunch

Greipp_melissa Barger_coleen_7 On Tuesday, July 15, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., a lunchtime roundtable about moot court-related issues will be held at the LWI Conference.  This roundtable discussion will be led by Melissa Greipp of Marquette University School of Law (pictured at left), Coleen Barger of UALR William H. Bowen School of Law (one of this blog's co-editors, pictured here on the right), and Jim Dimitri of Indiana University School of Law–Indianapolis (pictured below). The panel plans to introduce three to five topics for discussion. These topics may include—

      • judge recruitment and management,
      • motivation and training of students for national competitions, and
      • problem creation.

Dimitri_jim All conference attendees are welcoLwi_6me to attend, especially those who are involved in their school’s moot court program.  To participate, pick up your box lunch and head to Room 259.

The roundtable leaders welcome your suggestions for specific issues to discuss.  You may contact Jim at jddimitr@iupui.edu with your suggestions.

(cmb)

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Pink Ink Lunch on Tuesday

Lwi_5 Pink_ink Pink Ink is the LGBT caucus of the Legal Writing Institute.  In addition to the Diversity Luncheon on Tuesday, there will also be a Pink Ink luncheon.  I think it will work the same way (you pick up a box lunch from the conference and go to the room assigned), but it wouldn't surprise me if we end up having it catered instead with some fabulous 10-course luncheon, live music, and dancing.  Anyway, keep the event on your calendar, and remember that "membership" in Pink Ink is not restricted to members of the LGBT community.  It is for allies and friends (and anyone who likes a 10-course luncheon, live music, and dancing). 

Discussion topics at the Pink Ink luncheon may include:

  • Using issues of sexual orientation and gender identity in memoranda and advocacy assignments, particularly in light of California now allowing same-sex weddings (and that California does not require persons getting married there to be from California);
  • Latest research resources for LGBT scholarship;
  • Mentoring and support for LGBT professors and students;
  • Hiring practices of law schools;
  • Attending the AALS Hiring Conference as an openly LGBT candidate (or recruiter); and
  • A preview of an all-day program at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego on Sexual Orientation Issues Across the Curriculum.

And hey, since we're talking about Pink Ink, click here for Pink Ink Items at the Bad-ass Legal Writing Store.

(mew)

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI - Tuesday Lunch - Legal Writing Faculty of Color

After a full morning program (with a plenary and then two sessions) it will be time to eat!

One of the lunch breakout sessions will be a roundtable luncheon to discuss issues facing legal writing faculty of color on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at the Legal Writing Institute Conference in Indianapolis, from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

Bannai_lori To participate, pick up the undChin_billoubtedly quite delicious box lunches that LWI will provide to conference attendees and go to Room 245 of Inlow Hall.

Potential discussion topics include:
1. strategies for increasing diversity among faculty who teach legal writing;
2. whether potential barriers to increased diversity exist in recruitment/hiring processes;
3. retention, pay, status, and related concerns;
4. sharing ways to connect issues of race and race awareness to teaching; and
5. any other issues.

If you would like to attend or have suggestions for specific issues to discuss, contact
Bill Chin from Lewis and Clark Law School or Lori Bannai at the University of Seattle School of Law.

(mew)

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Tuesday Session 2

Lwi_4 Session 2 on Tuesday of the Legal Writing Institute Conference offers seven concurrent programs.  Read the descriptions below and pick the one that you'll attend.  Each of the following programs will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15, 2008. 

Tracy_mcgaughT2A: Responding to Academic Misconduct of Millennial Students.  Here's a session with Tracy Leigh McGaugh (Associate Professor of Legal Process at the Touro College, and a brand new dean of Academic Advisement at the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in Central Islip, New York).  Many of you will recognize Tracy as the name behind the Millennial Law Prof Blog that we wrote about here back in February.  Tracy wrote that millennials "don't seem to understand what's wrong with plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, or outright cheating."  Her presentation will show you why that is and how a new model of responding to academic misconduct might cure some headaches for professors, academic support professionals, and administrators.  Tracy was recently re-elected as a board member of the Legal Writing Institute.  She's also the main organizer of a legal writing conference next month in Istanbul, Turkey.

.

Susan_duncan T2B: Demystifying the SSRN Process: How to Make it Work for You.  Susan Hanley Duncan (formerly Kosse), an Associate Professor of Law at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, will explain the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), and how to use it.  It is one of the key places for scholars to post academic papers. Susan is president of the Legal Writing Institute.  Click here to see her LWI President's message.

.

Kevin_rand_photo_3 Martin_allison T2C: The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades: A Study of Hope, Optimism, and Well-Being in Law School.  Do hope and optimism predict future performance and well-being in law school?  This interdisciplinary presentation will be made by Allison D. Martin, Clinical Associate Professor at Indiana University at Indianapolis, and Dr. Kevin Rand, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Indiana University School of Science.  His primary area of research is "positive psychology."  In this presentation, Professors Martin and Rand will reveal their findings about first-year law students' measured hope, optimism, and well-being during their first semester, and compare those measures to their law school grades.  (I notice that they are NOT wearing shades in these photos . . . .)

.

Narko_kathleen T2D: Life-Long Legal Writing: Developing Attorney Writing Skills Within Law Firm Practice.  How do you provide a bridge between law school writing and real practice legal writing development?  Part of the answer to that question includes a dialog between law schools and law firms to understand how legal writing is taught in both sessions.  This presentation is by Kris Butler, Mike Cavanaugh, and Kathleen Dillon Narko (Kathleen, pictured here at the left, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Communication and Legal Reasoning Program at Northwestern University School of Law -- sorry, I don't have more information about Kris or Mike, but send it to us and we'll add it in!)

.Stratman_jim

T2E: Law Students' Case Reading and Reasoning Study: Final Results and Tools for Legal Writing Teachers.  A presentation by Dorie Evensen, Ph.D., an associate professor of higher education at the Pennsylvania State College of Education, and Jim Stratman, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of the Technical Communication at the University of Colorado at Denver to show off the final results of a three-year study (sponsored by the Law School Admissions Council) of case reading and reasoning.  Their research indicates that law students are able to locate and understand canonical parts of single cases, but that they struggle when asked to synthesize among related cases and often fail to recognize nuances in cases to promote advocacy.  Panelists will discuss how legal writing professors can better assess student reading development.  (Trivia question: Did you know that Jim Stratman was one of the original board members of the Legal Writing Institute?)

.

Mcdonnell_thomas_2 T2F: Enhancing the Pedagogy of Oral Argument and First-Year Moot Court.  Here's a program with the superstar team of Mary S. Lawrence (Professor Emeritas at the University of Oregon, winner of the 1996 AALS Section Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession, winner of the 2000 Rombauer Award from the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and all-around magnificent person who you simply MUST meet if you don't already know her) and Thomas McDonnell (of Pace University, who was recently elected as Co-Chair of the American Society of International Law Interest Group for Teaching International Law).  Mary and Tom will share their thoughts on oral argument and moot court programs for first year students.  They note that many programs for first-year students fail to follow sound pedagogy, and that attorney judges are often ill-prepared, harsh, and ineffectual providers of feedback . . . while at the same time not challenging the students appropriately.  Mary and Tom will address these problems and propose how to deepen the oral argument experience by posing ethical issues.

.Suzanne_rowe

T2G: The Science Behind the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Understanding the ADA and appropriate accommodations for law students with disabilities requires some familiarity with science.  Suzanne E. Rowe (Associate Professor and Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program at the University of Oregon, and editor of the state law research book series published by Carolina Academic Press) will explain disabilities, diagnosis, and the reasons for various accommodations.  And the best thing about it all is that she'll explain all of that in non-scientific, accessible terms.

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

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Tuesday Session 1

Lwi The 13th Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute is fast upon us.   After the opening plenary session with the Ha-Ha Sisterhood, we'll travel to the conference site for the first session of the Legal Writing Institute.  Programs during this first time slot are each only half an hour long.  They will be finished before you know it, so don't go late!  This means you should make your choice in advance of the program, to be sure you get to room on time.  You might even make a second choice for each time slot in case a program is so popular that you no longer can fit into the room.  (I expect MY session to be that crowded of course!)

So here are your choices for Session 1 (Tuesday, July 15, 2008).  You can attend only one of the following panels (so pick in advance!)

Gerdy_kristin Barger_coleen_4 T1A:  Advice from the Editors: Getting Your Legal Writing Article Published.  The panel is geared towards professors who are thinking about their first legal writing article, but it will also contain advice for more experienced authors.  On the panel are James B. Levy (Associate Professor at Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center, and whose photo I do not have here), Kristin Gerdy (Director of the Advocacy Program and Associate Professor at Shapo_helene Brigham Young University, pictured on the left), Coleen M. Barger (yes, the very same Coleen Barger who is an editor of this Legal Writing Prof Blog; Lindaberger_thosjefferson she is an Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock -- her picture is on the right), Linda L. Berger (Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law; moving to Mercer, at right), and Helene S. Shapo (Northwestern University School of Law - Chicago, in the black and white photo to the left).  The session will be quite useful for any of you who need to publish an article in the field of legal writing.

Margolis_ellie T1B: The Changing Nature of Legal Research and Legal Authority in the Electronic Age.  This program explores how the easy availability of information through electronic means has brought changes in the nature of legal research and the nature of legal authority.  Ellie Margolis (Associate Professor at Temple University Beasley School of Law, pictured here on the right) will discuss some of the changes and their implications for teachers of legal research and writing.

T1C: An Exploration of the Elements of Expert Performance in Legal Writing.  This session describes results from exploratory and descriptive research into the elements of effective legal writing in the early years of professional practice.  Shelly Kiierstead will discuss how understanding the effective transition from writing at school to writing at work can better inform legal writing professors about setting appropriate goals for students.

Terry_jean_seligmannZimmerman_emily T1D: We're Quacking as Fast as We Can: Building a Oates_kevin Tenure-Track Legal Writing Program from the Ground Up.  Three professors from the new Drexel University College of Law explain how they have handled hiring, curriculum, workload, course package, scholarship, and other near-and-dear issues for a tenured and tenure-track legal writing professors.  Quack, quack!  Come and hear Terry Seligmann (pictured on the left), Kevin Oates (also left), and Emily Zimmerman (pictured on the right) from Drexel.  This program will be of interest to many people, and not just those of you who are thinking of starting your own law schools!

Sneddon_karen T1E: Beyond Chalk and Talk: Active Learning Activities for the Classroom.  This presentation by Karen J. Sneddon (an Associate Professor of Law at Mercer, she is pictured here on the left) promises to provide active learning activities that can easily be incorporated into the legal writing classroom.  Each activity uses 20 minutes or less of class time.

Jewel_lucille T1F: Class in the Classroom.  Drawing upon contemporary sociology and class theory, Lucille Jewel (of Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, pictured here on the right) will discuss class and the role it plays in legal writing and legal skills education.  The session will include a discussion of the historical role that class played to create a division between casebook teaching and practical teaching, and will conclude with a discussion of critical pedagogy and approaches to build student awareness (and probably professors' awareness too I bet!) of class in law and legal education.

Wilensky_beth T1G: Using "Real World" Documents to Teach Persuasive Writing.  This presentation by Beth Hirschfelder Wilensky (a clinical assistant professor in the Legal Practice Program at the University of Michigan) will provide practical advice on how to use motions and briefs filed in actual lawsuits to teach specific writing skills (such as small-scale organization, drafting effective point headings, introductions, and other cool stuff).  She'll warn of pitfalls to avoid when using "real world" documents and share ideas for sources of materials to use in class.

OK, those are your choices for Session 1 of the Legal Writing Institute Conference.  A special note for presenters -- you can add additional information to your descriptions above by contacting any of the blog editors.  We'll add in the additional information, photos, links, or other information that you would like to share in advance of your panel.

For descriptions ofthe opening plenary on Tuesday morning, July 15, click here.

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

For descriptions of session 2 on Tuesday, click here.

For information on the Tuesday Diversity Lunch, click here.

For information on the Tuesday Pink Ink Lunch, click here.

For information on the Tuesday Moot Court Roundtable, click here.

For descriptions of session 3 on Tuesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 4 on Tuesday, click here.

For information on the Tuesday evening dinners for new legal writing professors, click here.

Popcorn_1 For descriptions of the not-to-be missed (because that's when I'm presenting) Tuesday evening Popcorn sessions, click here.

For descriptions of session 1 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 2 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 3 on Wednesday, click here.

For information about the Wednesday afternoon LWI Membership meeting, click here.

For descriptions of session 4 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 5 on Wednesday, click here.

For information on the Wednesday evening museum gala, click here.

For descriptions of session 1 on Thursday, click here.

For descriptions of session 2 on Thursday, click here.

For even more information about the conference--including other activities, committee member names, a printable program, and registration information (in case you still are deciding whether to come to Indianapolis), click here

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

P.S. For information on the 25th Anniversary of the Legal Writing Institute, click here.

(mew)

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Opening Plenary at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday

Hollee_s_temple Sheila_simon The opening plenary of the Legal Writing Institute Conference begins at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday Morning, July 15.  Keep that early time in mind when you decide how late you are going to stay out celebrating Bastille Day the night before! 

The plenary session will be the Divine Secrets of the Ha-Ha Sisterhood, with Sheila Simon (Southern Illinois University School of Law), Mary Beth Beazley (The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law), and Beazley_marybeth Hollee Temple (West Virginia University College of Law).

I'm looking forward to it alreadyLwi_3 .  I had the opportunity to present at the last LWI Conference with Sheila Simon (who, by the way, has just published a book that I have heard about but not yet seen).  We were also joined by Melissa Weresh.  Sheila made superhero capes for us -- each with an "MW" on the back (for Mark Wojcik and Melissa Weresh) and then she tossed out extra capes to members of the audience attending our session.  If you still have YOUR cape, I suspect it would be appropriate attire for this very promising opening plenary session at the 13th Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute.

(mew)

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Congratulations, Tracy McGaugh!

Tracy_mcgaughTracy McGaugh (of the Touro Law Center in Central Islip, New York) has been
promoted to Assistant Dean for Academic Advisement.  Dean Lawrence Raful of Touro called Tracy one of the foremost authorities in American legal education on Millennials, an outstanding speaker, and a legal writing expert.  Tracy serves on the Board of the Legal Writing Institute.

In addition to her new duties at Touro, Tracy will still teach one section of Legal Process.

Tracy will be presenting in the second session next Tuesday during the Legal Writing Institute Conference in Indianapolis.

Hat tip to Professor Heather Melniker

(mew)

P.S. Tracy is also the organizer of the Legal Writing Walkers (well, I think they are coming up with a much better name than that).  Click here for more information about that event, which will raise money for breast cancer research.

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference - Next Monday!

Lwi_2 Indianapolis_artsgardenThe Legal Writing Institute Biennial Conference starts one week from today in Indianapolis. 

The conference begins at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 14, 2008 at the Indianapolis Artsgarden.  This opening night event will have scholarship and awards presentations, and the opening of the posters.

One of the awards being presented is the Terri LeClercq Courage Award, named for Dr. Terri LeClercq of the University of Texas at Austin.  Here is the description of the award that will be given out next Monday night: 

ProLeclercq_terryfessor LeClercq retired in 2006 from her position as a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Texas at Austin after a distinguished career in language and the law.  She holds a Ph.D. in English and taught students at the University and at the Law School for nearly two decades.  Terri is the author of Guide to Legal Writing Style and Expert Legal Writing, two of the first reference books specifically for legal writing. Her expertise in language and the law has made her a sought-after expert witness in language interpretation for statutes and contracts.  But it is Terri's daring spirit that led her to create LWI's Courage Award. Whether deciding to leave the English Department 23 years ago and teach in a law faculty, or standing up for colleagues fighting battles against their school's hierarchies, or being arrested for peacefully protesting foreign military officer education at Ft. Benning's School of the Americas, Terri's words and deeds embody the courage that this award seeks to foster.

Nominees are members of the Legal Writing Institute who have demonstrated an act of courage by doing something, despite fear, that most people could not or would not do. Ordinarily, one person will be selected for this award per year except in situations in which several people are responsible for a specific act of courage.

Courage for the purposes of this award might be demonstrated in the following ways:

Personal Courage: The recipient might have done something extraordinary that reflects a commitment to the profession. A professor who overcame great adversity to teach legal writing or who overcame such adversity while continuing to teach legal writing would exemplify personal courage.

Moral Courage: The recipient might have stood up to authority for a principled reason and despite personal or professional risk of ostracism or other negative consequences. Another example of moral courage might include a professor who stood up to a major publisher in order to get a new type of text published.

Civil Courage: The recipient might have done something for the world at large despite personal adversity or other circumstances that required courage as defined above. For example, a recipient may have worked in a developing or emerging nation. 

So, that's an exciting award indeed. WHO ARE THE WINNERS?

Lien_mollyThe first award will be presented to two recipients -- Molly Lien, Brill_ralphProfessor of Law and director of the Lawyering Skills Program at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, and Ralph Brill, long-time legal writing leader and professor of law at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

.

A second award being given out on Monday evening will go to Dr. Natalie Tarenko of Texas Tech University School of Law will be the first recipient of an award honoring the late Deborah Hecht, a writing specialist who contributed regularly to the Second Draft.  Click here to read more about that award.  You can also click here to read more about Natalie Tarenko, in a post that includes a link to the article for which she is being honored. (Still no picture of Natalie to share with you, sorry!)

.

.

Easton_eric_3AalslogoAnd third, Eric Easton from the University of Baltimore will receive an award from the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research.  Click here for more information on that award.  Eric was supposed to have received this award back in January during the AALS section luncheon, but he was out of the country at the time, so the Legal Writing Institute is allowing the AALS Section to present the award here in this great venue.

There may be other presentations on Monday, such as introducing the international visitors from Africa and the tiny nation of Belarus.  I'm not sure what the program is because I'm just going to be a participant there, just like you. I do know that it is going to be a fantastic event, and I look forward to seeing you there.

For descriptions ofthe opening plenary on Tuesday morning, July 15, click here.

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

For descriptions of session 2 on Tuesday, click here.

For information on the Tuesday diversity lunch, click here.

For information on the Tuesday Pink Ink lunch, click here. 

For descriptions of session 3 on Tuesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 4 on Tuesday, click here.

For information on the Tuesday evening dinners for new legal writing professors, click here.

Popcorn_1 For descriptions of the not-to-be missed (because that's when I'm presenting) Tuesday evening Popcorn sessions, click here.

For descriptions of session 1 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 2 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 3 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 4 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 5 on Wednesday, click here.

For information on the Wednesday evening museum gala, click here.

For descriptions of session 1 on Thursday, click here.

For more general information about the conference, click here.

(mew)

July 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

the plural of thesaurus?

I once cited to an edition of Webster's dictionary in a brief to a state supreme court, to bolster a plain-meaning-of-the-language argument.  But I have never thought to cite to a thesaurus.  And I counsel my first-year law students who are former English majors to leave the thesaurus on the bookshelf.  Lawyers prefer to use the same term over and over again, avoiding elegant variation so as to avoid confusion.  The meaning of a specific term may be developed through layers of statutes, regulations, and cases, so it's risky to use a synonym that lacks the same pedigree.

Now along comes attorney and adjunct legal writing professor Brian Craig, unveiling the many ways a thesaurus can strengthen legal research and written legal analysis. In Beyond Black's and Webster's: The Persuasive Value of Thesauri in Legal Research and Writing, he explains how a thesaurus has aided the construction of statutes, regulations, contracts, and even constitutional provisions.  He also reminds us how handy a thesaurus can be for finding synonyms for on-line searches.  English majors can take heart.

(spl) 

July 6, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)