February 16, 2008
debut of Millennial Law Prof
Touro Law Center's Tracy McGaugh has just launched her new blog, Millennial Law Prof. Tracy is well-known for her expertise on the generation gap and the problems arising when law professors (boomers, Xers, etc.) encounter strange beings from another generation. As Tracy's introductory post explains, we have a lot of questions about how to deal with students from another generation:
Do we give them the same kind of legal education we've always offered? How do we keep up with the technology we can use for teaching? What technology should we be using? What are our future law students learning in elementary and secondary schools right now? Do we finally acquiesce to the multi-tasking, technology-savvy expectations that Generation X introduced us to? How do we handle the dark side of their need for high achievement: plagiarism, cheating, use of stimulant drugs? Are there particular generations that seem to deal better with Millennials than others? And what about the Xers? Are they gone from legal education, or do we still have to figure out what to do with them (or "us" as the case may be)? And most important of all, in the future, will we all be on MySpace?
This blog will be a place to discuss these issues and more. Add it to Google Reader. Or come back to find out what Google Reader is and whether or not you have to use it to teach Torts.
Looks like a promising blog to read and bookmark.
job openings at Suffolk, Southwestern
Suffolk University Law School may have an opening for a full-time, non-tenure-track Assistant Professor of Legal Writing to teach three sections of a required first-year course on legal research, analysis, writing, and oral advocacy. The position is a one-year contract subject to renewal, with the opportunity for long-term contracts, beginning on July 1, 2008. Applicants should have outstanding academic credentials. Judicial clerkships and experience in practice or teaching are strongly preferred. Send a resume, law school transcript, and short writing sample, by March 7, 2008, to Professor Andy Perlman, Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108.
Southwestern Law School seeks entry-level or experienced applicants for the full-time position of Associate Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing, and Skills (LAWS), beginning in Fall 2008, and instructing first-year law students in our year-long (six credit hours) legal analysis, writing, and skills course. One-year contracts are awarded for the first three years of the professor’s appointment, and faculty thereafter may apply for renewable five-year contracts as Professors of LAWS; LAWS professors have full faculty voting rights. Applicants must have a law degree, strong academic record, and at least two years of post-law school experience, demonstrating the potential for excellence in teaching legal writing and lawyering skills. Send application by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 14, 2008
I love you, for now
Boilerplate language of undying devotion in courtship letters in which future husband promised to care for future wife and to look after her did not create an express contract to support her for life.
Bridgeman v. Bridgeman, 182 W.Va. 677, 391 S.E.2d 367 (1990).
This headnote courtesy of West's Headnote of the Day, a free subscription service.
hat tip for Headnote of the Day: Sue Liemer
February 13, 2008
Global Legal Skills Conference III - Mexico
Here is a link to the preliminary conference program, including speakers and panel topics.
Here is a link to information about the conference.
The conference is attracting experts from around the world who will share their knowledge, experience, and ideas on the best practices for teaching legal writing, legal research, and other legal skills to international lawyers and students who speak English as a Second Language. The conference is being held for the first time outside the United States, and one track of the program will be in Spanish (for those who speak Spanish, or who want to practice their own "Legal Spanish").
The fourth Global Legal Skills Conference is planned for June 2009 at Georgetown University in Washington DC.
Mark E. Wojcik
The John Marshall Law School - Chicago
(Global Legal Skills Conference Co-Chair)
mindfulness meditation retreat
If you're interested in mindfulness meditation, please see Download 2008_law_retreat_flyer.pdf with information about a retreat in early April in California for law students and law professionals.
odd "appellate" courtrooms
In a national moot court tournament conducting several preliminary rounds, "courtrooms" are of course at a premium, but in many instances the student teams find themselves facing very odd configurations. Sometimes the rounds are conducted using trial courtrooms after hours. In those situations, I've often seen one judge on the bench, one in the witness box, and one in the court reporter's seat. At least that arrangement puts them more or less in the advocate's same visual field.
Then there are the law school classrooms. Where do the judges sit? On "benches" in which three judges wedge themselves behind a single desk, with a student advocate standing before them and looking down? In a row of classroom seats, with the advocate behind the professor's lectern? And where is the timekeeper? Within view, or off to one side--which forces the student attorney to make furtive sidelong glances to determine how much time remains?
If national moot court tournaments are intended to promote and improve appellate advocacy, let's start by doing a better job of arranging the moot courtrooms. Do readers have suggestions for tournament organizers?
headline writers has grammar problem
Headline for Associated Press story make writing teachers wonders what they teaches in J-school these day.
February 12, 2008
debut of Faculty Lounge blawg
How do you like the idea of "sitting" around and chatting (or gossiping) with faculty colleagues? Ever wish you could expand that space to include colleagues across the country? That's part of the appeal of a new blawg, Faculty Lounge, hosted by Dan Filler (Drexel), Laura Appleman (Willamette), Al Brophy (Alabama), Kathleen Bergin (South Texas), Kevin Noble Maillard (Syracuse), and Calvin Massey (Cal-Hastings).
For a blog just born this month (Feb. 6), it already features an interesting variety of posts, making me wonder how long some of the posters have been saving up ideas. Current posts include new of profs' lateral moves, speculation about what happens to Hillary if no nomination, a Harvard proposal to put faculty scholarship into open-access repository. Welcome to the blogosphere, and best of luck!
February 11, 2008
primer for student appellate oral arguments
It's almost time for the annual rite of passage for first-year students--the appellate oral argument. For a fresh take on advice to give your students, take a look at “Stepping Up to the Podium with Confidence: A Primer for Law Students on Preparing and Delivering an Appellate Oral Argument,” a work-in-progress written by Indianapolis prof James Dimitri. Here's the abstract on SSRN:
Virtually all law students are required to learn oral advocacy skills at some point during their legal education. Typically, these skills are cultivated through at least one oral argument assignment, which often consists of an appellate oral argument that is given as part of the students' first-year legal research and writing course or as part of a moot court competition.
While appellate courts do not grant oral argument as often as they used to, oral advocacy remains a critical skill for law students to learn and cultivate, no matter which facet of law practice they enter upon graduation. Unfortunately, the prospect of learning this critical skill can be disquieting to students. Students may, however, ease their anxiety and ultimately deliver an excellent oral argument if they fully understand the purposes of the argument and if they thoroughly prepare for the argument.
This article is targeted at oral argument novices. It discusses how a beginner to appellate oral argument may effectively prepare and deliver an argument, particularly if the argument is given as part of a law school's legal research and writing course or as part of a moot court competition.
Law Students and Online Outlines
Law students today have access to resources that would surely surprise many law professors.
Here is a two minute video advertisement for a website called OutlineDepot.com, "your only friend in law school." The website allows students to get outlines from professors and law schools all across the country. Students get access to an outline by posting one of their own outlines, or by purchasing an outline.
Mark E. Wojcik, filling in for Sue Liemer.
Law School Musical
A short video, "Law School Musical."