October 30, 2009
job opening in Kansas
The University of Kansas School of Law seeks applicants for a faculty position in its first-year Lawyering Skills Program. Lawyering Skills is a full-year program which includes a two-credit course in the fall and a three-credit course in the spring. Lawyering Skills I focuses on legal reasoning, writing, and research. Lawyering Skills II continues to teach these skills and introduces students to other professional skills such as client interviewing, negotiation, mediation, and oral argument.
The position is full-time during the nine-month academic year. The faculty member will teach two sections in the Lawyering Skills Program and will also work with the Director of Academic Success and assist in KU’s academic success program.
Applicants must have a J.D. from an accredited law school, membership in the bar of at least one state or the
Interested candidates should apply no later than November 20, 2009 through KU’s website at the following link: https://jobs.ku.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=90999. You may also contact Pam Keller, Lawyering Skills Director, email@example.com, with any questions.
1. The position advertised may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years.
2. The professor hired will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings (with some limitations).
3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range $55,000 - $65,000.
4. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be 41 - 50.
October 29, 2009
Professionalism alert: How not to behave in court
Here are two stories, one from Texas and the other from Pennsylvania, that are topically related, if not geographically. The first of these comes from our good buddy Professor Mitch Rubinstein at the Adjunct Law Prof blog. He tells us about a federal district judge in Pennsylvania who sanctioned an attorney for calling his opponent an ""ass h . . ." in open court. The punishment? The offending attorney has been ordered to attend a civility class as well as have dinner with the attorney he insulted.
The second case is being reported by the online ABA Journal in which a Texas criminal defense attorney made an obscene gesture directed at his opposing counsel and was sentenced to 90 days as a result. Although he appealed the sentence, the Texas Appeals Court denied his habeas petition stating that even though the gesture was not aimed at the judge, it was “a purposeful act of disrespect and an affront to the dignity of the court.”
The lesson? Treat your opponents with respect unless you want to cool your heels in jail (or pick up the dinner tab for someone you really don't like).
I am the scholarship dude.
job openings at Hofstra
Hofstra University School of Law invites applications for one or more positions as Professor of Legal Writing and Research. This is full-time faculty position with a renewable contract potentially leading to a long-term renewable contract. Hofstra’s Professors of Legal Writing and Research serve on faculty committees and vote in faculty meetings.
Applicants must have a J.D. degree and have demonstrated excellence in legal research, writing, and oral communication skills. In particular, we seek applicants who have substantial experience teaching legal writing and have made recognized contributions to the field. Experience and interest in at least one of the following would substantially enhance an application (but are not required): leadership in a legal writing program; international or comparative law teaching (including professional scholarship in a foreign language); teaching non-English-speaking students; teaching contract drafting; teaching in or assisting with an academic support program; or teaching practice skills through externships or simulation.
Applications should be sent by email (not hard copy) to Professor Roy Simon. Please attach a cover letter, a curriculum vitae and a writing sample. The subject line of your email should include the words “Legal Writing.”
Inquiries can be directed to Professor Simon or to Professor Richard Neumann (516-463-5881).
Hofstra University is an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering diversity in its faculty, administrative staff and student body, and encourages applications from the entire spectrum of a diverse community.
ALWD/LWI required disclosures: The position advertised may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years. The professor hired will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the $80,000=$99,999 range. (A base salary does not include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other courses, or teaching in summer school; a base salary does not include conference travel or other professional development funds.) The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be between 30-40 (dependent on other responsibilities).
October 28, 2009
job opening in Seattle
This is the time of year that we're getting word of a lot of job openings for legal writing teaching jobs that start next August. As we have time, we'll post the announcements here.
Seattle University School of Law is currently accepting applications for two positions teaching in its Legal Writing Program. Seattle University is looking for candidates with a strong academic record, experience working as a judicial law clerk or as an attorney, teaching experience, excellent writing skills, and excellent interpersonal skills. The Hiring Committee will begin reviewing applications as it receives them, starting in October 2009. The positions will close when both positions are filled.
Individuals interested in the position should send a letter of application, a resume or vitae, a writing sample that has not been edited by another person, and the names and contact information for three references either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Seattle University’s writing program, see http://www.law.seattleu.edu/Academics/Legal_Writing_Program or contact Professor Laurel Currie Oates at email@example.com or Professor Chris Rideout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. The position advertised may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.
2. The professor hired will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range $70,000 to $79,999.
4. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be 51 - 55.
hat tip: Chris Rideout
October 27, 2009
Scholarship alert: "Moving from First to Final Draft: Offering Autonomy-Supportive Choices to Motivate Students to Internalize the Writing Process"
This one showed up in the 'ol scholarship dude's mailbox this a.m. so I wanted to pass it along to all of you. The article is by Professor Carol Wallinger of Rutgers-Camden and can found at 54 Loy. L. Rev. 820 (2008). From the introduction:
This Article discusses a year-long project I conducted during the 2006-2007 school year of nineteen first-year law students. New empirical research shows that law students who perceived more "autonomy support" from their faculty fared better psychologically while in law school and scored better on the Multistate Bar Exam after law school. The purpose of this project was to observe and document students' responses to two autonomy-supportive curricular choices, provided as part of their Legal Analysis, Writing, and Research (LAWR) class.
Autonomy support theory is one of many tools available when applying the self-determination theory of human motivation. Self-determination theory proposes that all humans have universal needs for feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness with other humans. When any of these needs are unmet, motivation suffers. Law students have been shown to suffer extreme declines in their motivation during their first year, even though they start law school highly motivated. My personal experience showed that first-year law students often submitted LAWR final drafts reflecting their failure to complete the writing process, despite appearing highly motivated to do so at the beginning of each semester.
I wondered what caused students to hand in incomplete, unpolished drafts, especially after repeatedly emphasizing in class that their grades would be determined by how well they moved their drafts through the writing process. Was it simply that some students procrastinated or underestimated the amount of work involved in the project, then fell behind, and failed to catch up? Or had law school in general, or possibly some teaching method or LAWR course-design issue in particular, affected their motivation?
Research on human motivation led me to the rich psychological theory of self-determination and to Sheldon and Krieger's research about the positive effects of providing law students with autonomy support. However, that research reported only that students felt more autonomy support from the faculty; it did not provide specific examples of autonomy supportive teaching techniques that faculty can implement. Therefore, in this project, I took the next step by designing and offering the students two choices I hoped they would find to be autonomy-supportive. First, I offered them three to five thirty-minute conferences immediately before their final graded drafts were due. Second, I offered them the opportunity to submit the final draft for a provisional grade, if it was completed before the due date. I also collected some pre-law school data about them, as well as documenting their choices and grades in my class.
This Article has three parts. Part II explains autonomy support and the self-determination theory of human motivation in detail and discusses the studies which have applied the theory to law students. Part III analyzes the results of the project and discusses the implications for LAWR teaching as well as directions for future research. Part IV, the Appendix, describes the project's design and procedures in detail.
I am the scholarship dude.
October 26, 2009
Does student comprehension differ depending on whether they're reading on the screen or the printed page?
Researchers are just beginning to understand how the digital world affects both the mechanics of how we read and whether comprehension is dependant on the medium. Here are a couple of stories that report on some of this early research. First is an interview with Dr. Anne Mangen, "a reading specialist at the National Centre for Reading Research and Education at Stavanger University in Norway," and author of an article entitled Hypertext fiction reading: haptics and immersion published in the 2008 edition of the Journal on Research and Reading.
Dr. Mangen concludes that reading digitally "makes us read in a shallower, less focused way" than reading a hardcopy. Asked whether that means "screen-reading" undermines critical thinking skills, she answered:
"This question is a too general – but very important also–and it cannot be dealt with in such a general, either/or manner, as you phrase it. The precise reading situation, context, purpose, kind of text, reader dispositions, device characteristics, and other variables, would have to be specified in order to yield any constructive and interesting answers to your question. So your question is too general, but it's an important one."
And here's an opinion piece from the NYT called "Does the Brain Like E-Books" that solicits opinions from five experts on the subject. Among the observations are that screen reading presents far more distractions (i.e. email, surfing, etc.) that can interfere with the reader's ability to deeply engage in the material. In the case of young readers, "screen-reading" may prevent them from learning in the first place how to deeply immerse themselves in the material. As Professor Gloria Mark, a member of the Department of Informatics from the University of California, Irvine, says:
Reading online is thus not just about reading text in isolation. When you read news, or blogs or fiction, you are reading one document in a networked maze of an unfathomable amount of information. My own research shows that people are continually distracted when working with digital information. They switch simple activities an average of every three minutes (e.g. reading email or IM) and switch projects about every 10 and a half minutes. It’s just not possible to engage in deep thought about a topic when we’re switching so rapidly.
You can read the rest of the NYT's piece here.
I am the scholarship dude.
Here's another website you might be interested in - "Grammar Girl"
Grammar Girl is blog that "provides short, friendly tips to improve your writing. Covering the grammar rules and word choice guidelines that can confound even the best writers, Grammar Girl makes complex grammar questions simple with memory tricks to help you recall and apply those troublesome grammar rules. Whether English is your first language or second language, Grammar Girl’s punctuation, style, and business tips will make you a better and more successful writer."
You can sign up for her newsletter or just search through the archive of past topics like this one on the ever pesky "active versus passive voice."
I am the scholarship dude.
hat tip: Anne Rector