Saturday, April 25, 2009

techno-differences

ImagesIf you wonder just how differently Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millenials view and use technology on the job, you can see the results of a LexisNexis survey.

hat tip:  John Mollenkamp

(spl)

[Edited to repair broken link. (cmb)]

April 25, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

LRW at OSU

Beazley_marybeth Legal writing veteran, Professor Mary Beth Beazley, has won the Teacher of the Year award at Ohio State University's law school.  And legal writing teacher, Monte Smith, has won the Staff Member of the Year award at the same school.  Congratulations!

hat tip:  Pam Lysaght

(spl)

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

Friday, April 24, 2009

Twitter the video: Wherein our young hero struggles against the pressure to Twitter.

You've got to watch this - a very funny video that pretty much sums up the whole Twitter 'thang for me.

If the embedded video below doesn't work, here's the direct link


"Pick your next words wisely!"

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

USNWR legal writing rankings - love or hate 'em, Deans embrace 'em

It hasn't taken long for Deans at those schools with legal writing programs ranked by USNWR to begin touting their place on the list.  Here's a partial run-down of press releases:

If the rankings have led to more resources for your program or other tangible benefits, you need to thank Professor Jan Levine.  Although he took a lot of heat for lobbying USNWR to include legal writing among the specialty program rankings, his intent was always to help legal writing gain more legitimacy in the academy.  I consider Professor Levine to be the Dark Knight of legal writing - and I mean that with the utmost respect and admiration.

Remember - we're soliciting your thoughts on the rankings here and we'll publish the most interesting ones (anonymous comments are just that - we really don't know who you are - really).

Hat tip to our good buddy Professor Paul Caron at the TaxProf Blog for compiling a partial list of law school USNWR press releases - either that guy never sleeps or he's got one heck of an efficient webcrawler.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

Go (mid)-west young lawyer - they be hirin'!

Unlike the coasts, where legal jobs are as scarce as a well-performing mutual fund, the National Law Journal is reporting that things are better in the country's mid-section. 

Midsize law firms in the Midwest, outside the biggest cities, are hiring lawyers, opening offices and bringing on new associates this fall as they fare better than many larger urban rivals in the face of the recession.

Law firm leaders at the firms, with between 100 and 450 lawyers, say their better fortunes are mainly tied to being less dependent on capital markets and big mergers and acquisitions work than their megafirm brethren. Less expensive overhead, lawyers with broader skill sets and lower billing rates have also helped the Midwest firms escape the need to ax employees and expenses, unlike their coastal and big-city counterparts.

Read the full story here.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

Looks like Facebook doesn't want you that much after all

Following up on a story we blogged about in February called Facebook wants you! (to help them draft a user's bill of rights) in which the social networking giant asked its members draft a new user's agreement following a PR fiasco resulting from Facebook's surreptitious efforts to grant itself a perpetual license in all user-posted content, turns out there was a catch.  Apparently Facebook was only willing to assent to user input if at least 30% of its 200 million members voted on the new bill of rights (if you don't have a calculator handy, that equals 60 million votes).

The Silicon Valley News is reporting that as of yesterday morning, only about 609,000 members have cast votes.  For now, at least, it looks like Facebook glasnost is over.  A company spokesman said they plan to announce the next steps shortly.  Until then, post content at your own risk.

Hat tip to BNA Internet Law News.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

Maira Kalman illustrated tribute to Justice Ginsburg

This one comes to us from Professor Mary Beth Beazley - a NYT's piece called "And the Pursuit of Happiness" which is a tribute to Justice Ginsburg and other women who have fought for the rights of others.  Written and illustrated by Maira Kalman, whom some of you may know as the illustrator of a special edition of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style.

Somethin' a little different from the scholarship dude this Friday, eh?

(jbl)

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

Scholarship alert: "Using feedback theory to help novice legal writers develop expertise"

Professor Sheila Rodriguez, a clinical professor at Rutgers-Camden, authored the above article which is available at 86 U. Det. Mercy L. Rev. 207 (2009). .  From the abstract:

The theoretical premise is that students are more likely to develop legal writing expertise when teachers use a feedback method that: (1) reinforces students' feelings of autonomy and competence; and (2) minimizes students' perception of the power imbalance between student and professor. ... Other students feel defeated by the challenges of the writing process, or by the experience of law school itself, and come to conferences disengaged or unprepared. ... While researchers continue to investigate what variables are most likely to promote and maintain students' intrinsic motivation, most teachers would agree that not all students are inherently interested in learning a subject or a skill. ... Although this Article focuses on using the Six-Step Feedback Model to help novice writers develop expertise, teachers can use the model in many other contexts.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

Scholarship alert for students: "How to Create a Writing Sample"

My good buddy Professor Gabe Teninbaum at Suffolk tipped me as follows:

A colleague of mine, Prof. Herb Ramy (he directs the Academic Support Program at Suffolk), has posted a piece on "How to Create a Writing Sample" on SSRN. It's going to be included in the second edition of his book, Succeeding in Law School.

I think it might be blog-worthy because our students LOVE this piece and I thought it might do some good for others to have it available to pass along to their own students.

I agree - so here you all go.  This link is so hot, you'll need asbestos undies to click it.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

Top 100 recommended Twitter feeds for law students

The list covers a range of those who Tweet including law students, law profs, law schools, librarians, law firms, individual attorneys, and even paralegals.

You can make up your own snarky comment here.

Hat tip to Deborah McGovern, Nova law librarian extraordinaire.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

I'm not one to judge, but even judges make typos - and this one is a whopper

I don't want to judge, um, a judge when it comes to typos because I've been known to make a few myself but this one is a real boner.  A Michigan trial judge forgot to include a "not guilty" option on the verdict form given to the jury which not-so-surprisingly resulted in a guilty verdict for the defendant on his  manslaughter charge.  The prosecutor, the defendant's lawyer and jury foreman all caught the mistake during deliberations but the judge declined to issue a new verdict form.   A Michigan appellate court this week overturned the verdict due to the judge's error but think of the poor defendant who had to cool his heels in prison while this case worked its way through the system all due to the apparent obstreperousness of the trial judge. 

Actually, the case raises some interesting double-jeopardy issues given that the verdict form was correct with respect to the other crimes the defendant had been charged with (and for which he was found innocent) and thus he cannot be retried for those matters.

You can read the full story here.

Hat tip to the National Law Journal.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

Thursday, April 23, 2009

On the lighter side - bra deflects bullet, saves woman's life!

Madonna's cones

I've heard of a bullet bra but never a bra stopping a bullet until this headline (which sounds straight out of the New York Post but instead comes to us from the Motorcity).  Here's the full story from the Detroit Free Press:

An underwire brassiere may be credited with saving the life of a 57-year-old Detroit woman who was shot by thieves after she spotted them breaking into her neighbor's home in northwest Detroit on Tuesday. 

The thin metal piece beneath Faustina Green's bra cup deflected the bullet.

She noticed three teenage boys burglarizing her next-door neighbor's empty house on the 17500 block of Huntington around 11 a.m., according to police.

Leola Brock-Reese rushed home after her alarm company phoned her daughter, she said. The thieves took some of the 72-year-old's jewelry.

Police are looking for three boys, ages 16-18, two of whom wore dark-colored hooded sweatshirts with red and black stitched designs, according to Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens Bell. They left in a four-door burgundy Dodge Neon with no hubcaps.

I never knew a Neon came in a 4 door.  Anyhow, I'm sure there's a good law school hypo in this somewhere.

Hat tip to the online ABA Journal Blog.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

Fear and loathing in the law firm - the new legal economy

The title of this online ABA Journal Blog article says it all: "Fearful Associates Opt for Partner Face Time Over Work at Home."

Can you guess why they are afraid to not be seen as much as possible at the office?  Loyal readers of this blog already know the answer.  If you don't, you should probably stop Twittering for a moment and read our blog instead - it'll do you some good.   

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl) 

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

Scholarship alert: "Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals"

Levit

Professors Nancy Levit and Allen Rostron at UMKC School of Law alerted me to the fact that they have just updated their 2008 article on submitting scholarship to law reviews.   As Professor Levit tells me:

This [article] contains information about submitting articles to law reviews and journals, including the methods for submitting an article, any special formatting requirements, how to contact them to request an expedited review, and how to contact them to withdraw an article from consideration. It covers about 188 law reviews. The document was fully updated on June 8, 2008 and was revised on March 5, 2009.

You can access their piece on SSRN here.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)


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

USNWR's methodology for ranking legal writing programs - your comments welcomed

There's obviously a lot of interest in the specialty rankings among legal writing folks since the 'ol site-meter nearly blew a gasket this past week recording all the "edu" hits after we leaked the top 10 list on Monday and then published the full list last night

That list, posted here, includes the programs one would generally expect to find although, to this casual observer/blogger, Northwestern's top 10 ranking seems odd given their adminstrators' well publicized Jihad against job security for clinicians, librarians and legal writing profs.  That ranking undoubtedly reflects the voters' opinions about NW faculty, not the actions of their bosses, although one can understand the potential mixed message this sends about the relationship between job security and having a top program. 

Surprisingly, some topflight programs didn't make the list this year.  Ones that immediately come to mind include:  U. Denver, U. of Louisville, Marquette, Thomas Cooley (TC's Dean won the 2002 Golden Pen Award . . . duh!), Texas Tech, and Touro, among many others. 

Here is the criteria, copied from the password protected USNWR website, for ranking legal writing programs. 

These specialty rankings are based solely on votes by legal educators, who nominated up to 15 schools in each field. Legal educators chosen were a selection of those listed in the Association of American Law Schools Directory of Law Teachers 2007-2008 as currently teaching in that field. In the case of clinical and legal writing, the nominations were made by directors or members of the clinical and legal writing programs at each law school. Those programs that received the most top 15 nominations appear in descending order.

Please comment below about whether you think the legal writing program rankings are a good thing or not and we may later post the best responses on this blog.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl).

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

law school in the "postprint era"?

I had to laugh (and cry a little) when I read Robert Lanham's satiric course description and syllabus on Timothy McSweeney's website. The course, titled "Writing for Nonreaders in the Postprint Era," is geared for the 21st-century "minimalist" whose favored genres include "Instant messaging. Twittering. Facebook updates."

Gee, I am thinking, the kids in this course are the law students of tomorrow. What kind of 21st-century law school curriculum should we be developing in a postprint era? Step aside, Carnegie Foundation. Here are some possibilities:

(cmb)

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

Observations of a Would-Be Juror

Jury It arrived in the mail a few days ago, a summons for jury service. In my state, jurors are selected for a four-month term during which they are obligated to serve in the venire as many as ten times. That is a good thing, as I cannot imagine that many lawyers will want to seat a law professor on the jury, no matter how interesting the law professor in question may think the experience will be.

I report for juror orientation, along with a couple of hundred other good citizens. We fill out juror questionnaires, revealing our occupations, marital and parental status, and even our past experiences in suing or being sued. This is a criminal court, trying everything from DWI to capital murder, although the judge tells us he has no capital cases "presently" on his docket. And as felons are disqualified from jury service, he asks for anyone in that category to raise his hand and be identified. No one does.

The judge tries to be upbeat and entertaining: "If you or a loved one were a defendant in this court, wouldn't you want someone like you to be on the jury?" I am thinking, "You bet, and I would be struck for cause in a heartbeat."

And we are told that although there are no reserved parking spaces for jurors, we should feel free to park at any "legally metered" spot near the courthouse. Literally . . . free, as in "put no money in the meter." If we get a ticket, we're told to bring it to the judge's bailiff, who will see that it's taken care of, even if that may take a few tries.

This is going to be interesting, I think. I'll post periodic observations from each venire I participate in--and who knows, maybe even from an actual jury, although should that happen, I'll wait until the trial concludes to share my thoughts.

(cmb)

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

Professionalism alert: Yes, Virginia, you can get fired for posting on Twitter and Facebook during personal time

Every law student should know the answer to this one, says our good buddy Mitchell Rubinstein over at the Adjunct Law Prof Blog, but how many actually do?

Here's the rest of Mitchell's post:

[S]ome employees out there might be wondering if they could lose their job based on their online posts.

The answer is a pretty clear "yes" in the majority of circumstances. Because most states have "at will" employment laws, getting fired for online behavior of almost any sort is probably legal, with a few possible exceptions. To be more blunt about it, an employee probably doesn't even have to write negatively about their employer (or consort with criminals) in order to be fired. The noteworthy exceptions primarily involve an employee's: 1) union activicties; 2) pre-existing employment contracts or workplace policies; and 3) whistleblowing or protected activities.

But what if you're doing your posting on your own time and in the privacy of your own home? That won't make a difference considering the material being viewed was posted online for the whole world to see. Employees and those looking for work should also take note that it is getting quite common for supervisors and employers to use search engines to look up existing and prospective employees.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

ATL's David Lat on Fox News talking about the plight of laid-off attorneys and deferred 3L's

Above the Law has been a very good friend to this blog - so we're excited and pleased to provide you with the link below to David Lat's, ATL's founder and editor, recent interview on Fox Business News discussing the current legal marketplace, more specifically, the plight of the thousands of laid-off attorneys and the hundreds, if not thousands, of 3L students sent to the bullpen.

See the whole interview here.

Go David!

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An inspirational story of how a teacher can have a profound impact on the lives of students

This one comes to us from one of our favorite readers, the redoubtable Chris Wren.  It's a story about how a college professor's brief encounter with a high school student inspired and changed that student's life forever.  Here's Chris' explanation about why he thought I should pass this along to all of you:

I thought this item might interest you for a couple of reasons, both found toward the end of the article: first, the description of how a single teacher can influence the life direction of a student, with even with only a brief contact (here, an encounter in high school with a college professor); second, the description of the contrasting approaches to graduate education in China and the U.S. Not directly law-related, but perhaps a bit inspirational for those occasions LRW folks doubt their impact. Ya never know where and when the effects will show up.

Amen, brother.  Read the article here.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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