Sunday, November 29, 2009

more scholarship of interest

Thanks again to LWI and LSN, here are more new articles, abstracts written by the authors, and links to the full articles:

"'Sending Down' Sabbatical: Lawyering in the Legal Services Trenches Has Benefits for Professor and Practitioner Alike" 
Journal of Legal Education, 2010
Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No 09-25
SUZANNE M. RABE, University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law
STEPHEN ROSENBAUM, University of California, Berkeley - School of Law, Disability Rights California
This article proposes that clinical professors, and legal writing professors in particular, consider practicing law - in real-life, non-clinical settings - during some significant portion of their sabbaticals from teaching. This proposal would (1) improve the learning experience for students in clinics, writing classes, and skills classes, (2) offer a vital public service to the under-represented, and (3) improve the overall administration of justice. At little cost, this proposal would foster a richer engagement by clinicians and legal writing professors with the world of legal practice. This idea could also infuse increased life and meaning into our law school classes. The Carnegie Foundation’s study of legal education and the Best Practices Project of the Clinical Legal Education Association – along with their recommendations of a greater emphasis on clinics and trial or practice simulations – have generated much discussion within the academy. By challenging readers to consider alternative sabbatical engagements that would later enrich the classroom experience with a practitioner’s focus, our article addresses many of the concerns expressed by the Carnegie Foundation and by the Best Practices Project.

"‘You Don’t Have to Speak German to Work on the German Law Journal’: Reflections on Being a Student Editor While Being a Law Student"
CLPE Research Paper No. 42/2009
DANIELLE E.H. ALLEN
BERNADETTE MAHEANDIRAN
By taking a backstage look at our experiences as student editors on the German Law Journal, we reflect on what being a student editor can add to a legal education. In order to rebut criticisms of student participation on law journals, we first argue that being a student editor provides students with invaluable skills and experiences that cannot be replicated it the classroom. Working on a journal not only allows students to refine their editing and research skills, but compels students to connect the technical knowledge learned in class with an understanding of the complexities and legacy of law as a project and a discipline. Secondly, we canvas the different forms of journal organization and student participation on law journals in different countries and argue that critics of student participation have ignored this wide spectrum. We conclude that just as the German Law Journal benefits from the involvement of English speaking student editors, new to European and international law, legal publications are far richer and more insightful the more they involve of fresh minds.

"Judgment Writing in Kenya and the Common-Law World" 
Kenya Law Review, March 2010
GERALD LEBOVITS, St. John's University - School of Law, Columbia University - Law School
This working paper, forthcoming in March 2010 in the Kenya Law Review, discusses judgment writing in Kenya and common-law jurisdictions other than the United States. This paper is based on a lecture the author presented to their Lordships of the High Court and the Court of Appeals of Kenya in August 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya.

 
(spl) 
 

November 29, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Terri LeClercq Named as First Ralph L. Brill Distinguished Visitor at Chicago-Kent College of Law

Brill, Ralph LeClercq, Terry .

The Chicago-Kent College of Law announced this year that is establihsing a Ralph L. Brill Professor of Law Chair.  This recognizes the contributions of one of legal writing’s most well-known and best-loved heros.  The law school plans for this to be a Chair at the school, but it is starting off now as a Ralph L. Brill Distinguished Visitor.  The first Ralph L. Brill Distinguished Visitor will be Terri LeClercq.

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Terri LeClercq is the former Fellow, Norman Black Professorship in Ethical Communications in Law (ret.) at the University of Texas School of Law.  She served in many other roles at Texas, including Senior Lecturer in Legal Writing, and Director of the University of Texas Law International Programs.  She also has been Distinguished Visiting Professor at The University of Alabama Law School and at The University of Nevada Las Vegas Law School.  Terri is the author of Guide to Legal Writing Style (4th ed. Aspen 2007), Expert Legal Writing (Univ. of Texas Press 1995), and perhaps 90 articles on writing in various publications (including the  Second Draft, Perspectives, Scribes, Bar Journals, and the  Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute).  She has been a speaker at countless programs, including the Plenary speaker at several of the National Legal Writing Institute conferences.   

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Terri will visit Chicago in February 2010.  Her husband, Jack Getman, the Earle E. Sheffield Regents Chair Professor at the University of Texas Law School and one of the country's most illustrious Labor Law professors, will also present two lectures at Chicago-Kent during that visit.  

Congratulations to Chicago-Kent, to Ralph Brill, and to Terri LeClercq and her husband Jack.

(mew)

November 27, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Scholarship alert: A noteworthy article called "The Clinic Effect"

Here's one of the more interesting practice-oriented articles I've had come across my computer screen in a while.  Authored by Professor Rebecca L. Sandefu of Stanford's sociology department and Professor Jeffrey Selbin of Berkeley School of Law, it's available at 16 Clinical L. Rev. 57 (2009).  From the abstract:

Lawyers, law professors and experts on professional education perennially proclaim that law schools teach students to think like lawyers but not to act like them. Legal education’s emphasis in the cognitive dimension comes at the expense of critical professional development in the skills (expertise) and civic (identity) dimensions. Clinical legal education has long been prescribed as a pedagogic corrective to these perceived deficits in law school training, but little research exists to inform our understanding of whether - much less how, when, why and for whom - clinics deliver on this promise.

With data from a new, nationally representative survey of early-career attorneys in the United States, this article explores evidence of clinical education’s impact in the skills and civic dimensions of lawyer training. In the skills dimension, new lawyers rate clinical training more highly for making the transition to the actual practice of law than many other law school experiences, particularly the doctrinal core frequently the object of the standard critique. In the civic dimension, the study finds no evidence of a relationship between clinical training experiences and new lawyers’ pro bono service, and no consistent evidence of a relationship between clinical training experiences and new lawyers’ civic participation. Although there is no evidence of a general relationship between clinical training experiences and public service employment, the study finds a strong relationship between clinical training and career choice for those young attorneys who recall that they came into law hoping to improve society or help individuals. For this group of new lawyers, clinical training may have been an important factor in sustaining or accelerating their original civic commitments.

As a result of these findings and the continued dearth of data on these important questions, the article concludes with a call for a new generation of research into the effects of clinical legal education on the preparation of students for the practice and profession of law.  

Hat tip to Professor Mary Beth Beazley.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

November 26, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

more scholarship updates

Here are some more intriguing abstracts from LSN.  To access on of these articles free, just click on the title, then click on the download sign you'll see.  

"Ambiguity About Ambiguity: An Empirical Inquiry into Legal Interpretation" 

The Journal of Legal Analysis, Forthcoming
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 280
Boston Univ. School of Law Working Paper No. 09-50

WARD FARNSWORTH, Boston University School of Law
DUSTIN F. GUZIOR, Boston University School of Law
ANUP MALANI, University of Chicago
Most scholarship on statutory interpretation discusses what courts should do with ambiguous statutes. This paper investigates the crucial and analytically prior question of what ambiguity in law is. Does a claim that a text is ambiguous mean the judge is uncertain about its meaning? Or is it a claim that ordinary readers of English, as a group, would disagree about what the text means? This distinction is of considerable theoretical interest. It also turns out to be highly consequential as a practical matter.

To demonstrate, we developed a survey instrument for exploring determinations of ambiguity and administered it to nearly 1,000 law students. We find that asking respondents whether a statute is “ambiguous” in their own minds produces answers that are strongly biased by their policy preferences. But asking respondents whether the text would likely be read the same way by ordinary readers of English does not produce answers biased in this way. This discrepancy leads to important questions about which of those two ways of thinking about ambiguity is more legally relevant. It also has potential implications for how cases are decided and for how law is taught.

Boyle, Robin "How to Critique & Grade Contract Drafting Assignments"
The Tennessee Journal of Business Law, Vol. 297, 2009
ROBIN BOYLE, St. John's University School of Law
This article represents the transcribed proceedings of Professor Robin Boyle’s speech given in May 2008, for the Center for Transactional Law and Practice at Emory University School of Law, at a conference entitled “Teaching Drafting and Transactional Skills - the Basics and Beyond.” Prof. Boyle’s presentation at the conference described course content for her upper-level seminar on contract drafting. She also suggests ways to critique students’ contracts submitted for coursework.

"Learning and Unlearning in the Legal Academy" 
MAKSYMILIAN T. DEL MAR, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lausanne
This paper argues that education, at its best, is based on a combination of learning and unlearning. Learning involves the development of sensory intelligence, a dynamic form of knowledge that is anticipatory and orientating. This sensory intelligence is always stylised, i.e., it consists in relations formed, over a certain period of time, by the senses with specific features of the environment. Unlearning, on the other hand, is the process of challenging this stylised sensory intelligence. These styles of seeing (and experiencing) are challenged by encouraging and facilitating different kinds of relations with these specific (or other) features of the environment. The paper is structured into three parts. The first part illustrates the principal themes of the paper by working through a number of examples of seeing (and experiencing). The second part elaborates and organises these themes into the above two concepts of learning and unlearning. The third part then applies the model of education (i.e., the combination of learning and unlearning) to the legal academy by focusing on two commonly engaged in activities: first, reading legal texts; and second, providing (hypothetical) legal advice.

Vorenberg, Amy "The Moral of the Story: The Power of Narrative to Inspire and Sustain Scholarship"
AMY VORENBERG, Franklin Pierce Law Center
This article describes how I discovered the power of story as a tool to inspire scholarship. We think of stories as a means to bring life to legal cases in a way that grounds them and makes them visceral and comprehensible. We use storytelling to teach our students - showing how the emotive power of a story can persuade. However, stories can also serve a different function. In my search for a way to inspire and sustain my own writing, I found out that a good story can be the source of a writer’s motivation to both create and sustain scholarship. Basing scholarship on a story essentially mimics the process that has been occurring all along in the formation of law. The common law develops and changes as new stories push the limits of existing rules. Thus, stories are natural and logical fodder for scholarship about current trends and doctrines.

(spl)


November 25, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Newsletter for the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research

Aalslogo Here's a reminder that the Fall 2009 newsletter of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research is now available.  Hard copies are not being mailed, so please download a copy.  Download AALS Legal Writing Newsletter Fall 2009 FINAL

The Fall 2009 newsletter is 18 pages long and contains an extraordinary list of names and accomplishments of section members.  I hope you will be able to find your own name and the names of many colleagues and friends as we celebrate our collective accomplishments.

The newsletter also has (on page 24) the "Legal Writing Dance Card" for anyone attending the AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans.  That "Dance Card" has the dates and correct times for the legal writing events you will want to attend, including the NEW time for the Blackwell Award (being presented by ALWD and LWI to Steve Johansen), the presentation of the AALS Section Award (to Joe Kimble), the new list of speakers for the AALS extended Section Program, and other programs of interest to those who teach legal writing, reasoning, and research.

Mark Wojcik
Section Secretary, AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research

November 25, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Bluebook publishes online "cheat-sheet"

The consortium of law reviews that publish the Bluebook has just launched a website called "Blue Tips" that serves as a "cheat-sheet," or FAQ if you prefer, for many commonly asked Bluebook questions.  The following topics are covered:

  • Cases
  • Citation Structure
  • Cross-References
  • Miscellany
  • Periodicals
  • Punctuation
  • Quotations
  • Signals
  • Statutes
  • Subdivisions

    Further, the Bluebook editors invite questions from readers that may become additional tips if the answers are of general interest: 

    The editors provide authoritative guidance to reasonable questions on subjects covered by The Bluebook. The most useful answers are gathered here as Blue Tips, classified by subject. These tips are searchable and linked to the Bluebook content they address. Send your questions to editor@legalbluebook.com. If our answer is useful to Bluebookers generally, it may be formulated into a new tip, below.

    A big hat tip to our good buddies at the Law Librarian Blog.  If you're not already subscribing to this one, you need to as it provides the best coverage on issues related to legal research, information management and social media in law school.

    I am the scholarship dude.

    (jbl)

  • November 24, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    Judge to Blackwater attorneys: "Don't single-space!"

    According to the Crime Scene Blog on the Washington Post, a D.C. federal district judge warned the attorneys representing criminal defendants in the Blackwater case that they need to comply with the court's standing order requiring that submissions be double-spaced.  Judge Ricardo Urbina found that defense counsel was circumventing the court's order - which requires all submissions to be double-spaced and use 12 point Times Roman or Courier font - as a way to cram more words into their memorandum.  The blog notes that the submission is under seal and thus its nature and content are unknown. 

    In a brief order filed in the case, Judge Urbina stated that counsel should consider this a warning since he was "loath to strike their submission" but the next time they violate the court's rules, they will indeed be sanctioned.  You can read the Washington Post's full coverage of this story here as well as the online ABA Journal's coverage here.

    I am the scholarship dude.

    (jbl)

    November 24, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    Workshops for Adjuncts and New Writing Faculty

    LWI 25 The Legal Writing Institute is holding One-Day Workshops for Adjunct Professors and New Legal Writing Professors.  The workshops will take place on Friday, December 4, 2009, in two locations:  Chicago and
    New York City.  The program will be held live in each location.  There will be four sessions:

    1.  Nuts and Bolts (Choosing books, creating assignments, syllabus issues, and other essential issues);

    2.  Grading Papers and Handling Student Conferences

    3.  Teaching Legal Research and Citation

    4.  Thinking Forward

    Click here to see the full program and speakers.  Download LWI New Teachers Workshop (Version 2.7)

    The cost of the one day workshop will be $100 for those who register in advance, and $120 at the door.  We recognize that even this relatively modest amount may be too much for some to pay, so partial tuition
    scholarships will be available for both locations.  Contact Mark Wojcik at The John Marshall Law School [7wojcik at jmls.edu] for more information.  
     
    Participants may register on line by following the links below.  The first link is for New York and the second is for Chicago:

    https://www.regonline.com/lwi-workshop-nyc

    https://www.regonline.com/lwi-workshop-chi

    This should be a great event, and we look forward to seeing you there.


    (mew)

    November 23, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Legal Writing Articles on SSRN

    LWI 25 The Legal Writing Institute sponsors a page on the Social Science Research Network (www.ssrn.com) for articles relating to legal writing and its teaching.  You can access the legal writing page by clicking here.  

     

    If you register for SSRN (which is free, easy, and does not subject you to anything evil), you can also subscribe to the LWI page.  If you do that, you’ll get an email about once a month with the latest postings for articles on legal writing.  You can access almost all of these articles for free.  (SSRN is also a great research tool to teach to your students.)  Enter the abstract number (or author name or article title), click on the link, click download, choose a location (doesn’t really matter which one), and you will have the article (again, for free!).  As of November 20, 2009, there are 629 articles in the LWI database of legal writing articles on SSRN.

        Here is a list of some popular legal writing articles you can find on SSRN.  Some of these articles are in law reviews, some in practitioner journals, and some in publications specifically for law students:

    · Kenneth D. Chestek, The Plot Thickens: The Appellate Brief as Story, http://ssrn.com/abstract=998388

    · Darby Dickerson, Reducing Citation Anxiety, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1117085

    · Susan Duncan, Thesis Paragraphs, http://ssrn.com/abstract=990435

    · Anne M. Enquist, Unlocking the Secrets of Highly Successful Legal Writing Students, http://ssrn.com/abstract=969526

    · Judith D. Fischer, Avoiding Plagiarism in Legal Documents, http://ssrn.com/abstract=992332

    · Laura P. Graham & Miriam E. Felsenburg, Beginning Legal Writers in Their Own Words: Why the First Weeks of Legal Writing are so Tough and What We Can Do about It, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1460738

    · Michael J. Higdon, From Simon Cowell to Tim Gunn: What Reality Television Can Teach Us About How to Critique Our Students' Work Effectively, http://ssrn.com/abstract=978312

    · Jan M. Levine, Designing Assignments for Teaching Legal Analysis, Research and Writing, http://ssrn.com/abstract=981019

    · Susan Liemer & Hollee Temple, Did Your Legal Writing Professor Go to Harvard? The Credentials of Writing Faculty at Hiring Time, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1033477

    · Michael A. Millemann & Steven D. Schwinn, Teaching Legal Research and Writing with Actual Legal Work: Extending Clinical Education into the First Year, http://ssrn.com/abstract=897554

    · Shawn G. Nevers, Legal Research Readings to Inspire and Inform Students, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1239379

    · Jessica Price, Imagining the Law-Trained Reader: The Faulty Description of the Audience in Legal Writing Textbooks, http://ssrn.com/abstract=929108

    · Suzanne E. Rowe, Legal Research, Legal Analysis, and Legal Writing: Putting Law School into Practice, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1223682

    · Jack Lee Sammons, The Lawyer’s Moral Obligation to Write Well, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1336542

    · Wayne Schiess, Ethical Legal Writing, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1324821

    · David E. Sorkin, Sex Ed for Legal Writers, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1100298

    · David Thomson, CaseMap as a Tool for the Research Log Function: Finally, a Technology that Can Help Us Teach Better,  http://ssrn.com/abstract=996739

    · Kathleen Elliott Vinson, Improving Legal Writing: A Life-Long Learning Process and Continuing Professional Challenge, http://ssrn.com/abstract=847644

    · Mark E. Wojcik, Add an E to Your IRAC, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1196462

    If you have particular favorites on SSRN, send us a note in the comment box.

    (mew)

    November 23, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    Sunday, November 22, 2009

    The Law Teacher newsletter

    The fall 2009 edition of The Law Teacher is now available on-line.  This newsletter is a publication of the Institute for Law Teaching and features short articles on law school teaching, learning, and curriculum.

    Here's how this edition of the newsletter ends:

    "On good days we are respectful, engaged, insightful, and eloquent.
     On great days our students are respectful, engaged, insightful, and eloquent."

    hat tip:  Frank Houdek

    (spl) 

    November 22, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    job opening in Oregon

    The University of Oregon School of Law is seeking candidates for a full-time Legal Research and Writing position beginning July 16, 2010.  LRW is a required, two-semester course taught in the first-year curriculum, including research, analysis, writing, and other professional skills.  LRW faculty work collaboratively in a supportive environment that encourages experimentation.

    LRW faculty rotate teaching upper-level courses in drafting, research, judicial writing, etc.  LRW faculty serve on faculty committees and vote at faculty meetings.  Each faculty member receives professional development funds for travel and research assistance.  During the sixth year of appointment, an LRW faculty member will undergo a promotion that brings longer contracts, a salary increase, and the opportunity for a paid sabbatical.

    Applicants for this position should have a strong record of academic achievement; excellent skills in legal writing, research, and oral communication; a J.D. or its equivalent; and at least two years of post-law school legal experience.  Applications should be sent to Professor Suzanne Rowe, Director of Legal Research and Writing, University of Oregon School of Law, 1515 Agate St., Eugene, OR 97403-1221.  Applications should include a letter of interest, a resume, a list of three references, and a law school transcript.  The appointments committee will begin reviewing applications on December 11, with the goal of conducting interviews in January, though submissions will be accepted until the opening is filled.

    1. The position advertised may lead to successive contracts of only one to four years in length.
    2. The professor hired will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings on virtually all matters (i.e., LRW professors vote on hiring of tenure-track faculty, but not on their promotion or tenure).
    3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the $55,000 to $70,000 range, plus 1/9 of the base salary for summer preparation work. LRW professors sometimes have the opportunity to teach summer school for additional compensation.
    4. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the LRW professor will be 35 to 50, depending on the model we adopt for teaching upper level writing and research courses.

    (spl)

    November 22, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Friday, November 20, 2009

    How to get students to read

    The problem with law students may not be that they don't read (it's pretty hard to avoid it in law school although many still try), but reading comprehension.  Thus, this article from Inside Higher Ed discussing techniques for getting students to read may have only limited appeal to this audience.  But as I (almost) always say, nothing-ventured-nothing-gained.

    Among the suggestions:

    There are scads of other ways to encourage reading. Discussion leaders can give quizzes, assign student presenters for each reading, or hand out advance questions in the form of a single sheet with blank spaces for really short responses. You can design tasks no more demanding than generating a list, applying one equation, or explaining a solitary concept. I’ve asked students to read material until they understand several identified ideas and can explain how they apply to examples that do not come from the reading. It really doesn’t matter what you devise so as that you do apply a stick to go with the reading carrot.

    I'm sure some of you are thinking “But what if students don’t know how to read critically? Isn’t all of this wasted on them?” Perhaps; and perhaps this is a way to separate learners from the halt and lame. Two quick thoughts — first, we should stop moaning about what students don’t know and teach them where they are. Thinking, reading, and writing critically should be a basic component of 100-level classes. Second, the right to an education isn’t the same as a guarantee of success. More on such matters in a future article. For now, let’s think like Edward Bellamy and remove non-reading as an option.

    You can read the rest here.

    I am the scholarship dude.

    (jbl)

    November 20, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    Google Scholar enters the open access legal research game

    Both the Law Librarian and the Adjunct Law Prof  blogs have been following the big story this week that cases and statutes are now searchable through Google Scholar.  From the Official Google Blog:

    Currently, Google Scholar allows you to search and read opinions for US state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791 (please check back periodically for updates to coverage information). In addition, it includes citations for cases cited by indexed opinions or journal articles which allows you to find influential cases (usually older or international) which are not yet online or publicly available. Legal opinions in Google Scholar are provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed lawyer. Google does not warrant that the information is complete or accurate." 

    There's plenty of good commentary about the pros and cons on the Law Librarian blog here, here and here as well as the Adjunct Law Prof blog.  Further, Brian Leiter points out on his blog that law review articles are also now searchable on Google Scholar.

    The story fits hand-in-glove with the debate we've been reporting on all week regarding the ability of open access legal research tools to compete effectively with the commercial folks.  If you don't know what I'm referring to, please scroll down the page.

    I am the scholarship dude.

    (jbl)

    November 19, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Student who filed suit over his legal writing grade loses

    Brother Mitch Rubinstein over at the Adjunct Law Prof blog sent me this link to a story he's been following about a New York Law School student who sued his school because he believed his legal writing course should be graded pass/fail since that's how they do it at Yale.  He was upset because he had gotten a "C" for his legal writing course.

    Here's the skinny from Professor Rubinstein:

    Keefe v. New York Law School, ___Misc. 3d___(N.Y. Co. Nov. 17, 2009), is an interesting case. A transfer student to New York Law School from Hofstra Law School was unhappy with being placed in Legal Writing II. As I understand it,his argument was that New York Law School breached an implied contract because it did not provide him with "the right program for every student" as indicated on the law school's web site. Out of the blue he argued that legal writing should be graded pass/fail because that is the way it is done at Yale Law School. The court did not have any trouble dismissing the case and finding that no implied contract existed. As the court stated

    "As a general rule, judicial review of grading disputes would inappropriately involve the courts in the very core of academic and educational decision making. Moreover, to so involve the courts in assessing the propriety of particular grades would promote litigation by countless unsuccessful students and thus undermine the credibility of the academic determinations of educational institutions. We conclude, therefore, that, in the absence of demonstrated bad faith, arbitrariness, capriciousness, irrationality or a constitutional or statutory violation, a student's challenge to a particular grade or other academic determination relating to a genuine substantive evaluation of the student's academic capabilities is beyond the scope of judicial review.

    Plaintiff is requesting this Court to intrude upon an area to which New York Courts have strongly refused to intervene. Here, Plaintiff has shown no evidence of "bad faith, arbitrariness, capriciousness, irrationality or a constitutional or statutory violation." id.NYLS clearly communicated through the student handbook that NYLS utilizes a letter grading system under which all of its students are evaluated. This Court declines to interfere with this quintessential function of an educational institution."

    Good luck passing the character and fitness test after this stunt. 

    You can read the rest of the story, including Brother R's personal observations about the case and the student involved, at his blog right here.

    I am the scholarship dude.

    (jbl)


    November 19, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    job opening at Texas Tech

    Texas Tech University School of Law seeks applicants for an opening in its nationally ranked Legal Practice Program for the 2010-11 school year.  The successful applicant will join a program that comprises four other full-time LP Professors, an adjunct professor, a writing specialist, and the tenured director.

     

    The Legal Practice Program offers a six-credit, two-semester course (Legal Practice I and II) that integrates research, writing, client interviewing and counseling, oral advocacy, and an extensive ADR component. While program faculty generally work from common texts, syllabus, and core assignments, each full-time LP Professor is responsible for drafting his/her own fact patterns and some related exercises. In addition, each LP Professor is assigned one student tutor per section to help with providing additional workshops, grading of research exercises, etc. LP Professors may also have the opportunity to teach other courses for additional compensation. They enjoy the same access to travel and research assistant funding as do all faculty members.

     

    The Program seeks applicants with a J.D., prior teaching and/or practice experience, demonstrated writing ability, strong academic credentials, the ability to work well within a coordinated program structure, and an interest in being involved in regional and national legal writing activities. Texas Tech is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all in every aspect of its operations and encourages applications from all qualified persons.

     

    Texas Tech University, with 30,000 students, is located in Lubbock, Texas, a city of 205,000 located in the high plains of West Texas. The law school has almost 700 students and 34 full-time faculty members. Lubbock enjoys a low cost of living with very affordable housing and offers easy access to other parts of the country via four major airlines that offer daily flights.

     

    For more information about this position, please contact Professor Nancy Soonpaa, LP Program Director, at nancy.soonpaa@ttu.edu or 806/742-3990, ext. 357. To apply for the position, please send application materials to Professor Jorge Ramirez, Chair of the Personnel Committee.

     

    To apply for this position, please send a cover letter, a resume, the names and contact information for 3 references, and a writing sample. Our mailing address is 1802 Hartford Avenue, MS 0004, Lubbock, TX, 79409. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and will be accepted until the position is filled.

     

    1. The position advertised:

    __ a. is a tenure-track appointment.

    __ b. may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.

    X c. may lead to successive presumptively renewable contracts that can be terminated only for cause.

    __ d. has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.

    __ e. is part of a fellowship program for one or two years.

    __ f. is a part-time appointment, or a year-to-year adjunct appointment.

    Additional information about job security or terms of employment, any applicable

    term limits, and whether the position complies with ABA Standard 405(c): complies with ABA Standard 405(c).

     

    2. The professor hired:

    X_ a. will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

    __ b. will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

    Additional information about the extent of the professor’s voting rights: can vote on all matters except tenure-track hiring, promotion, and tenure.

     

    3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range checked below. (A base salary does not include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other courses, or teaching in summer school; nor does a base salary include conference travel or other professional development funds.)

    __a. $90,000 or more (depending on qualifications)

    __ b. $80,000 to $89,999 (depending on qualifications)

    __ c. $70,000 to $79,999

    __ d. $60,000 to $69,999

    _X_ e. $50,000 to $59,999 (high $50’s, on the cusp of $60's DOE)

    __ f. $40,000 to $49,999

    __ g. $30,000 to $39,999

    __ h. this is a part-time appointment

    paying less than $30,000

    __ i. this is an adjunct appointment

    paying less than $10,000

    Additional information about base salary or other compensation:

     

    4. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research

    & writing professor will be:

    __ a. 30 or fewer

    __ b. 31 - 35

    _X_ c. 36 – 40

    __ d. 41 - 45

    __ e. 46 - 50

    __ f. 51 - 55

    __ g. 56 - 60

    __ h. more than 60

    Additional information about teaching load, including required or permitted teaching outside of the legal research and writing program: Depending on curricular needs, LP Professors may be able to teach during the school year or summer for additional compensation.

    November 19, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    recent scholarship

    Thanks to LWI's cooperation with LSN, a division of SSRN, we have these reports on recent legal writing related scholarship, with each author's abstract:

    "Thorough Academic Legal Research Will Improve Your Papers" 
    Student Lawyer, Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 8-9, October 2009
    SHAWN G. NEVERS, Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School
    When writing their first academic papers for law school, law students will quickly discover that academic legal research is a bit different than the legal research needed for a motion or a brief. Written for Student Lawyer Magazine, this column discusses some of the helpful tools and techniques used in academic legal research. Topics discussed include the use of law librarians, finding a topic, the literature review, interdisciplinary research, and fifty-state surveys.

    "How to Critique & Grade Contract Drafting Assignments" 
    The Tennessee Journal of Business Law, Vol. 297, 2009
    ROBIN BOYLE, St. John's University School of Law
    This article represents the transcribed proceedings of Professor Robin Boyle’s speech given in May 2008, for the Center for Transactional Law and Practice at Emory University School of Law, at a conference entitled “Teaching Drafting and Transactional Skills - the Basics and Beyond.” Prof. Boyle’s presentation at the conference described course content for her upper-level seminar on contract drafting. She also suggests ways to critique students’ contracts submitted for coursework.

    "Strategies to Increase the Availability of Skills Education in China" 
    Pacific McGeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal, Vol. 22, p. 45, 2009
    BRIAN K. LANDSBERG, University of the Pacific (UOP) - McGeorge School of Law
    For those who wish to promote experiential legal education, strategies for doing so can be roughly divided into internal and external strategies: those within the academy and those in the broader world. Examination of these strategies reveals that Chinese legal educators have the opportunity to learn from both the successes and the mistakes in other countries and to adapt experiential education to the Chinese system. Change may come incrementally, but we must be aware that a watered down version of experiential education would ultimately be counter-productive.

    "The Citation of Blogs in Judicial Opinions"
    LEE F. PEOPLES, Oklahoma City University School of Law
    This article reports the results of an exhaustive study examining the citation of blogs in judicial opinions. The article begins with an exploration of opinions citing blogs for their discussion of substantive legal issues. The unique status enjoyed by several boutique blogs is examined including the importance of Douglas Berman’s Sentencing Law and Policy blog in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Blakely and Booker decisions. The citation of blogs for factual information is discussed and the impact of these citations on litigants’ constitutional and procedural rights, the law of evidence, judicial ethics, and the judicial role in the common law adversarial system are explored.

    Serious questions about the preservation of blogs cited in judicial opinions have yet to be answered. The way that blogs are cited in judicial opinions varies widely. Some judges do not provide enough information to accurately retrieve the blog post viewed by the court. Blog entries frequently change after they are posted. Some blog entries and entire blogs disappear without warning. There is currently no uniform approach to archiving or preserving blogs. Detailed statistics on the completeness and accuracy of citations to blogs in judicial opinions are provided. A set of best practices detailing when and how blogs should be cited is proposed. The Judicial Conference’s recently released Guidelines on Citing To, Capturing, and Maintaining Internet Resources in Judicial Opinions are discussed and critiqued. Solutions explored at the Future of Today’s Legal Scholarship Symposium held at the Georgetown Law Center in July of 2009 are evaluated. The article concludes with a discussion of the impact of blogs on the future of the law.

     
    (spl)

    November 19, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    West makes textbook on persuasion available for Kindle

    This one comes to us from our good buddy Mitch Rubinstein of the Adjunct Law Prof Blog (which was recently named one of the 10 best blogs for legal news written "by and for law profs"). West is making 29 legal textbooks available in Kindle compatible format including Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges by Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner.  Amazon has also just dropped the price of a Kindle from to $259 from $299.  Jump on it!

    I am the scholarship dude.

    (jbl) 

    November 19, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research

    Aalslogo Here is a link to the Fall 2009 Newsletter of the Association of American Law Schools' Section of Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research.  Download AALS Legal Writing Newsletter Fall 2009 FINAL

    (mew)

    November 18, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    The words (and phrases) we love to hate

    In this recent column by Professor Stanley Fish in the NYT, the author catalogs several contemporary  expressions that give us fits like "Your call is important to us" (yeah, right) or "Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed" (as if I ever memorized them to begin with).

    You can read plenty of other wince-worthy examples right here but the best part is scrolling through the comments left by readers who describe their own hysterical (and exasperating) favorites.

    Enjoy!

    Hat tip to Doreen McKee.

    I am the scholarship dude.

    (jbl)

    November 18, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Professionalism alert: Tell your students that when it comes to their resumes, don't "gild the lily."

    The National Law Journal reports that given how desperate some job seekers have become in this market, employers are seeing much more resume fraud.  Here are some of the more egregious examples cited by the NLJ:

    • Claiming to be a member of the Kennedy family — or a former professional baseball player — or a member of Mensa.

    • Inventing a school that did not exist.

    • Claiming to be the CEO of a company where the person was actually an hourly employee.

    • Submitting a résumé with someone else's photo attached.

    According to a couple of surveys mentioned in the article, lying on one's resume is a fairly common practice depending on how one defines "misrepresentation:"

    A recent study by EmployeeScreenIQ, a Cleveland-based background screening company, found that roughly 50% of the résumés that it looks at have some kind of inconsistency. The Society for Human Resource Management puts the number even higher. It says 70% of all job applications provide information that is not fully accurate.

    You can read the rest of the article here.

    I am the scholarship dude.

    (jbl)

    November 18, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)