February 24, 2009
Congratulations to Laurel Oates!
Congratulations to Laurel Oates for her innovative use of legal writing assignments in support of her school's immigration clinic at Seattle University School of Law. Because of her involvement and support, the students won T-visas (for victims of Trafficking) for two women from East Africa. Click here to read a post on the International Law Prof Blog, which has a further link to a story in the February issue of the February Issue of the National Jurist. She created fact patterns that were analyzed by 70 students in their writing classes.
Hat tip to Anne Enquist.
February 23, 2009
A new perspective on curbing student plagiarism
This week's edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education has a pair of interesting columns on student plagiarism. In the first, "Academic Integrity and Student Plagiarism: A Question of Education, Not Ethics," a professor offers her advice that the best way to deter student plagiarism is to treat "academic integrity . . . as a set of skills to be learned. [It] . . . has both philosophical and practical dimensions: Students must be persuaded of the value of citation — which is far from self-evident — and instructed over time in how to do it."
In the second column called "A Student's View: Why Cheating Matters," a graduate student implores professors to take student cheating seriously: "The future of our nation depends on it. America is in the midst of one of the worst economic environments since the Great Depression, and the fallout from dishonest individuals from Wall Street to Pennsylvania Avenue has been breathtaking. . . . [It's too easy] for people to begin rationalizing dishonest behavior at the earliest parts of their careers."
The Legal Writing Institute has been a leader within the legal academy in educating both faculty and students about the dangers of plagiarism and how to avoid it. Several plagiarism resources are available online through LWI here.
Hat tip to Associate Dean John Edwards.
I am the scholarship dude - giving credit where credit is due.
bad writing in briefs
Want some real-life examples of bad writing in briefs and other lawyers' reactions? Go to this blog. While the last post was in 2008, the examples are still good.
Or maybe writing has improved so much that there are no more-recent examples to add?
A sobering list of BigLaw lay-offs to date.
It's a stark indicator of the present state of the legal marketplace. Especially when you consider these employers typically hire well credentialed candidates from highly selective law schools and thus their entry into the applicant pool makes the competition for remaining jobs ferocious.
I am the scholarship dude - hoping this crisis gets solved soon but worried it might not.
Blind law school applicant sues LSAC over equal access.
As reported by the National Law Journal, a suit was filed last Thursday by the National Federation of the Blind on behalf of a law school applicant in a California state court. The suit alleges that the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), which administers the LSAT, has violated "two California laws requiring equal access to disabled persons because [the LSAC's] web site" and admissions test prep materials are inaccessible to the blind.
For an excellent article that explores the obligations to accommodate disabled law students, especially in the legal writing classroom, see Reasonable Accommodations for Unreasonable Requests: The Americans with Disabilities Act in Legal Writing Courses by Professor Suzanne Rowe in Volume 12 of the Journal of the Legal Writing Institute.
I am the scholarship dude.
Follow up - National Coalition of Adjunct Faculty is a reality
To follow up on a story we brought you last Friday courtesy of Inside Higher Education, the National Coalition of Adjunct Faculty became a reality yesterday (Sunday, February 22, 2009) when Deborah Louis of Eastern Kentucky University and Maria Maisto of University of Akron were elected co-chairs of the nascent group. They released a statement saying:
"Current economic conditions have made adjunct faculty even more vulnerable than usual. We believe it is imperative that a national organization dedicated only to contingent faculty be formed to educate the public about the need for just and equitable treatment of what is now 70 percent of the teaching faculty nationally.”
I am the scholarship dude.
Microsoft funds project to explore pedagogical application of video games
SiliconValley.com is reporting that Microsoft has ponied up $1.5 million to start "The Games for Learning Institute," a joint venture with NYU and other colleges to see if video games can be used to better teach students math, science and other subjects.
"We want to figure out what's compelling about the games," said John Nordlinger, head of gaming research for Microsoft. "If we can find out how to make the games fun and not make them so violent, that would be ideal."
Some think that video games have great potential to teach students problem solving skills. There's an obvious potential tie-in to teaching problem solving in law school. Video games could certainly be used to make legal research instruction more entertaining and fun.
Of course, there are also skeptics like Vince Repesh, a counselor at the University of Minnesota at Duluth, who is quoted in the article saying that he "fears that gaming is replacing education, not adding to it. He recalled a couple of students coming to him for help after they got hooked on 'World of Warcraft.' One student had gone from straight A's to flunking out. 'I accused him of coming in loaded from smoking dope, he looked so bad,' Repesh said. 'Turns out he had been up for 28 hours straight playing the game.'"
You can read the full article here.
I am the scholarship dude.
February 22, 2009
visitorship at Baltimore
The University of Baltimore School of Law has an opening for a visitor to teach the Introduction to Lawyering Skills (ILS) course next fall. The course is integrated with a doctrinal subject. The school is looking for someone to teach ILS integrated with Contracts, Torts, or Civil Procedure. Both ILS/Contracts and ILS/Civil Procedure are 6-credit courses; ILS/Torts is a 7-credit course. Students get 3 or 4 credits of doctrinal instruction and 3 credits of ILS instruction integrated together into a single course. The school would prefer hiring someone who has taught an integrated course, but is also interested in someone who has taught both legal research and writing and Contracts, Civil Procedure, or Torts and who is willing to give the integrated course a try. The class will have about 40 students. An adjunct professor and teaching assistants are available to assist in teaching the course and grading the assignments. The ILS class is only offered in the fall semester, although the school has other teaching needs for the spring. A full year visitor will teach two courses in the spring semester, which could include writing or non-writing courses. The school is open to considering either a 1-semester or full-year visitor. The expected salary range for a full-year position is $80,000 to $90,000.
If you have questions about the visitorship, contact either Professor Amy Sloan (410-837-6529) or Professor Eric Easton (410-837-4874). Applicants should forward a letter of interest and curriculum vitae to either Professor Sloan or Professor Easton at the Legal Skills Program, University of Baltimore School of Law, 1420 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21201.