Monday, April 20, 2009

The magic moment when the blog broke 200,000 - photos included

Although Professor Wojcik posted earlier today about this blog breaking the magic 200,000 hits/300,000 page views mark, I wanted all of our faithful readers to be able to share with us the excitement we felt as we watched the site-meter roll those big numbers on Sunday afternoon.  Below are photos (click on them to zoom) documenting the historic moment as we watched from our secure location (note the super-deluxe twin monitor set-up in the bottom photo - it's what helps us stay abreast of all the breaking legal writing news across the globe, 24/7).

I should also add that over the past weekend, we had visitors from nations around the world including, but not limited to, Australia, Canada, China, England, France, India, Malaysia, and the Ukraine.  Legal writing has truly gone global!  Thanks again to all our loyal readers! 

BlogPic#1     BlogPic# 2 

BlogPic#3 

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)                                                                                    

 

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

UCLA creates new "Transition to Practice" skills course for jobless graduates

This is a great idea and kudos to Dean Michael Schill at UCLA for spearheading an approach that not only responds to the (we hope) temporary economic circumstances facing new law grads but also addresses concerns raised by the Carnegie Report regarding the relative dearth of skills training in law school.  Here's a description of UCLA's planned program courtesy of our good buddies at Above the Law via the ABA Journal blog:

For the new practice skills program, 'the law school expects to develop curriculum in conjunction with leading law firms and corporate legal departments and to draw on the expertise of the Los Angeles legal community' the release adds. 

. . . .

A core component of the Transition to Practice program will be capstone courses that will draw heavily on practice-oriented projects in addition to substantial research and written work. Capstone courses will include part-time externships within corporate legal departments, as well as clinical simulations, where students work with real legal problems in a controlled environment that permits reflection and generalization of lessons learned. The Transition to Practice program will also include a required workshop series designed to introduce students to the practical issues that confront new lawyers, ranging from how to define a work-product to understanding a client's business and goals, and handling practical problems of ethics and confidentiality. Capstone classes will be taught both by the core faculty of the law school and prominent practicing lawyers. The law school expects to develop curriculum in conjunction with leading law firms and corporate legal departments and to draw on the expertise of the Los Angeles legal community

My guess is that this program will give UCLA grads a competitive advantage in the local job market.  Other schools better hup-two or they may get left in the dust.  As a commentator we once quoted on this blog said:  "Adapt or die."

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

A primer on "deep web research" - you need to know this.

Ever hear the phrase "deep research" before?  I hadn't until I read this post from the Legal Intelligencer via Law.com.  "Deep research" is about accessing information within the "deep web" which is the part of the world wide web that conventional search engines, like Google, can't reach.  It's estimated that the "deep web" is 500 times larger than the "surface web" which is the portion we normally navigate when we "surf" the web.

According to this story Dive into Deep Web Research:

At present there is not one search engine that can sort through all of the available data that is part of the entire World Wide Web, deep or otherwise. There are hundreds of thousands of databases that contain Deep Web content.

A couple Deep Web databases that you should be familiar with are http://www.lexis.com/ and www.westlaw.com. These databases contain content that is not searchable by the traditional search engines. These are examples of fee-based or subscription-based databases. Most law offices have access to Lexis and Westlaw. What about other Deep Web resources? Where are they? How can you get there?

Some common, though less familiar Deep Web databases are ProQuest, EBSCOhost and ThomsonReuters. ProQuest provides access to more than 200 scientific journals covering a wide range of topics from the physical and life sciences. EBSCOhost provides access to more than 4,500 full-text journals in biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, psychology, religion and theology. ThomsonReuters provides access to millions of records that include company profiles, industry rankings, investment reports and financial statistics.

You can access these databases and many other Deep Web databases quite easily with a library card. If you don't have a library card -- get one. If you take classes at a college, be sure you apply for access to the online library, a college library will have even more Deep Web databases available. Much of the content housed on these databases is available free to library subscribers through the online database. At the very least, you will find where the information is housed and then decide whether it is prudent to purchase a subscription or purchase the article you need.

Read the full article here.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

The thrill of grading, the agony of da' valuations (student evals, that is)

It's that time of year again - when legal writing profs across the land immerse themselves in the end-of-the-semester grading marathon (some think of it instead as the pen and paper version of the "Bataan Death March").   And with the thrill of finishing that last paper and turning in one's final grades comes the agony of the student evaluations.  Here's a light hearted essay from the Chronicle of Higher Ed. called "They Love Me, They Love Me Not" in which an English professor learns that he is both "awesome!" and the "worst teacher in the university!" from students in the same class.  Go figure.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

Here's an essay you might find helpful: "Building a better lecture."

OK, lectures are supposed to be as passe as analog TV - so, like, last week.  But the reality is that all professors still have to lecture from time to time in order to impart some foundation principles, provide important background information or merely explain the ground rules for an assignment.  And if you're going to lecture, you might as well do it right, right?

That's why we're giving you this link to a helpful essay from Inside Higher Ed. about how to do make your lecture a good one.  Here's an excerpt:

Bad lecturers violate nearly every rule of good communication. They never vary voice timbre or pitch. They either stare at their notes or ignore them altogether and ramble onto whatever topic comes to mind. They never make eye contact with their audience or use visual aids and handouts. Everything comes out at the same speed, and they never, ever show the slightest bit of life when discussing the very subject that supposedly excites them. Check for a pulse; if you can stay awake!

Step one to improving your lecture skills is to purge yourself of bad communication habits, but the rest of lecturing is a formula. Mix with enthusiasm and repeat the following:

  • Stated Objective(s)
  • A Plan
  • Hook
  • Body
  • Repetition
  • Summary
  • Restated Objective(s)

Read the whole thing here.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

USNWR "Top 10" legal writing programs leaked

This list comes to us from our good buddy Professor Paul Caron at the TaxProf Blog.  I can't independently verify the list, but Professor Caron says it appears legitimate.

Here it is:

  1. Seattle
  2. Mercer
  3. UNLV
  4. The John Marshall Law School (Chicago)
  5. Stetson
  6. Oregon
  7. Temple
  8. Indiana (Indianapolis)
  9. Boston College
  10. Northwestern

Keep in mind a brief article we told you about a month ago that was critical of the USNWR rankings of specialty programs since a single vote, according to that author, can change the results.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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

China-U.S. Conference on Legal Information and Law Libraries

China The inaugural China-United States Conference on Legal Information and Law Libraries is scheduled for 27-30 May 2009 in Beijing. Click here for more information.  

Hat tip to the International Association of Law Libraries.

(mew)

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

A Course in Istanbul for International Law Librarians

Turkey The International Association of Law Libraries (IALL) will hold its 28th annual course on international law librarianship in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 11-15, 2009.  Click here for more information in a post on the Law Librarian Blog.

Hat tip to Roy L. Sturgeon (The Foreign and International Law Librarian at Touro)

(mew)

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

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our 200,000th Visitor!

 200,000 The Legal Writing Prof Blog celebrated its 200,000th visitor earlier today.  The visitor (we are not sure WHO you are, but it was someone from the United States) was drawn to our blog by a post (from March 2008) on an article posted on SSRN by Susan Hanley Duncan on thesis paragraphs.  Click here to see that post.  Thank you, everyone, for your visits to the Legal Writing Prof Blog!

(mew)

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