Monday, May 31, 2010
At least 525 persons have already registered for the LWI Conference as of today.
After Tuesday, the registration fee goes up from $495 to $540. The LWI conference registration page can be found at: http://indylaw.indiana.edu/LWIconference/2010/registration.cfm.
The overflow hotel, the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort (just half a mile from the conference hotel) has extended its deadline to register at the conference rate of $149/night to Friday, June 4. The Hilton requires advance payment for these rooms at that rate, and the reservations are non-cancelable.)
Information on booking rooms can be found at: http://indylaw.indiana.edu/LWIconference/2010/hotelinfo.htm.
Hat tip to Ken Chestek
Peter Erlinder, a professor at William Mitchell College of Law and a former Bigelow fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, was arrested in Rwanda on Friday in connection with his defense of a presidential opposition candidate. Click here to read more on the International Law Prof Blog.
The Legal Writing Institute Conference is the most important event for legal writing professors. The number of sessions can be overwhelming (particularly for first time attendees) and you will usually find yourself wanting to be in more than one room at the same time.
To help you plan your LWI experience, we will share with you the selections for each of the sessions. Here are the choices for Session 2 on Monday, which follows the plenary session.
Monday, June 27, 2010
Session 2: 11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
A is for Think-Alouds, B is for (Fill-in) the Blanks of Mindmap, and C is for Clickers.
Robin Boyle-Laisure, Michael Hunter Schwartz & Danton Berube
We will begin our session with an interactive, clicker-based discussion of the student benefits of teaching to different learning styles. We will then engage participants in other learning activities designed to meet a variety of learning styles, and we will conclude with a summary of a recent study involving the use of clickers in the classroom.
Format: Lecture with Q&A
Objective: Share teaching ideas, present research or scholarly work
Islands Ballroom, Salon F
A Conversation About What Cognitive Scientists and Composition Theorists Know That We Don’t about Using Examples to Improve Learning
Using sample documents and models like IRAC routinely generate controversy in the legal writing community. After examining what some cognitive learning theorists and composition theorists have learned about exemplars and models, participants will have the chance to talk about these pedagogies and our teaching practices.
Format: Lecture with Q&A, round table discussion
Objective: Share teaching ideas, present research or scholarly work
Islands Ballroom, Salon G
Writing an Effective Syllabus Is a Thoughtful Pedagogical Act
Writing an effective syllabus helps to set up a successful course. This presentation explores not only the nuts and bolts of an effective syllabus, but also the intended and unintended messages conveyed via both substantive choices regarding the course and the language used to present them.
Format: Lecture with Q&A, pair and share
Objective: Share teaching ideas
Islands Ballroom, Salons H&J
Assessment Planning in Legal Research and Writing Courses
Assessment in legal education is becoming increasingly important as the American Bar Association considers requiring assessment of student learning outcomes in its accreditation standards. This presentation will introduce the basics of assessment planning generally and will focus on the assessment of student learning outcomes in legal research and writing courses.
Format: Lecture with Q&A
Objective: Share teaching ideas, present research or scholarly work
Capri Ballroom, Salon 1
Branches and Roots: Exploring New Directions for Strengthening the Field of Legal Research and Writing Education
Judy Rosenbaum & Mary Barnard Ray
This presentation will introduce the audience to trends and theories in writing instruction being used by our colleagues who teach composition in other areas of the curriculum in higher education. It will engage the audience in a discussion of ways that these trends and theories can be incorporated into the LRW curriculum to enrich and energize our teaching and scholarship.
Format: Lecture with Q&A, pair and share
Objective: Share teaching ideas, present research or scholarly work, identify new directions for teaching and scholarship
Capri Ballroom, Salon 6
Social Justice and Legal Writing: Perspectives of Faculty, Students, and Partner Organizations on Collaborative Legal Writing
Mary Bowman, Janet Dickson & Deirdre Bowen
At Seattle University School of Law, legal writing faculty collaborate with legal service organizations to develop writing problems for our students that address questions posed by the partner organizations, and we provide the best student work product to our partner organizations, who use that work product in a variety of ways, such as litigation or lobbying. The projects, though not without challenges, have proven to be an energizing and valuable experience for students, faculty, and the organizations. We will offer some practical advice about how to implement similar projects at other schools, based on our reflections, not only from the professors perspectives, but also from the perspectives of the students and the partner organizations.
Format: Lecture with Q&A
Objective: Share teaching ideas, discussion of student engagement
HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLICGeneral Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868
- The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.
If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.
Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from hishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.
- It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
- Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.
By order of
JOHN A. LOGAN,
WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
How much distance DO you need to give an alligator? If you are planning some extra days after the Legal Writing Institute Conference, consider renting a bike and looking for alligators. Yes, there's one in the small photo on the right side! (You can click on the photo to the right to enlarge it if you are having trouble finding the alligator.)
Since we first posted these photos last week, Christi Hayes, a professor at Florida International University College of Law, wrote in to identify these photos as being taken at Shark Valley, part of the Everglades National Park. There are no sharks there, but there are lots of gators. Anyone in reasonably good health can leisurely bike a 15 mile completely flat asphalt "trail" that loops around the park (Christi wrote that she is not not much of a cyclist but that she found this to be an easy ride, as do most kids). She prefers to do this ride at night under a full moon, although daytime is best for birdwatchers. Sometimes there are alligators everywhere on the sides of the trail (not usually on the trail as in the photo), but they always appear to be asleep and she has never heard of anyone being threatened or harmed by them at Shark Valley. (As with all wild animals, don't get too close.) You can also tour Shark Valley by tram. You will need lots of sunscreen and to cover up. It will be quite hot here in June, and there is no shade on the trail.
Christi also gave us this link to the website, http://www.sharkvalleytramtours.com/ where you can find information including driving directions. It's about an hour and 20 minutes east of the LWI conference at Marco Island.
Hat tip to Christi Hayes at FIU College of Law
(Photos by David Austin)
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Did you get a copy of the Spring 2010 Newsletter for the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research? Click here for more information (including links to some prior issues).
Click on the link below to download the Spring 2010 issue.
Friday, May 28, 2010
The Media Committee of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research unveiled a video project in 2009 – videos demonstrating the importance of legal research and writing instruction in legal education. One video is meant to be relatively humorous, while the other is designed to be more formal and serious. Both communicate the importance of strong legal research and writing instruction to prospective law students. Here are the two videos. The first video shows (humorously) how you can use your legal writing skills to tell your girlfriend which restaurant you're going to visit tonight, or to win an argument with your friends about who is the best football player:
The Media Committee plans to make the videos available to law school admissions and undergraduate career counseling personnel.
Hat tips to Melissa H. Weresh (Drake University), Danton Berube (Universtiy of Detroit, Mercy), Kirsten Dauphinais (University of North Dakota), Pamela Keller (University of Kansas), Jonathan Marcantel (Charleston), Gabe Teninbaum (Suffolk University), and Kathleen Vinson (Suffolk University).
Hat tip to Mel Weresh.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
For those of you who will be at the LWI Conferece on Marco Island this summer, you should paln to arrive in time to attend the opening reception on Sunday, June 27th at 6:00 p.m. Several awards will be presented at that reception, including:
- the Golden Pen Award (to William C. Burton),
- the Courage Award (to Teresa Godwin Phelps),
- the Deborah Hecht Memorial Award (to Jeremy Francis), and
- the LWI and ALWD scholarship grants (to a variety of our colleagues).
In addition, LWI president Ruth Anne Robbins, will re-confer this year’s Blackwell Award on Steve Johansen so that those of you who were unable to attend the LWI-ALWD reception at AALS in January will be able to congratulate Steve on this honor. We anticipate a festive atmosphere in Marco Island as we celebrate all of our award-winning colleagues on the opening night of the LWI conference!
Hat tips to the LWI Awards Committee members (Leah Christensen, Kirsten Davis, Sonia Bychkov Green, Hether MacFarlane, Lou Sirico, Susan Thrower, and Chris Wren)
Do you still need to register for the LWI Conference? Don't miss out on the early bird registration rate. Click here more more information
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
A link to the Hilton reservation page is at the LWI conference website. Use the reservation code “LWI” when registering in order to get the group rate.
If you haven't registered yet for the conference, the early bird rate expires on June 1. The LWI Conference will be held at the Marriott Hotel on Marco Island.
Hat tip to LWI President-Elect Ken Chestek
From our photo archives! Professor Joseph Kimble of the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law received the Section Award from the Assocication of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research in January 2010. Joe is pictured here with the 2009-2010 AALS Section Chair, Professor Rachel Croskery-Roberts at the AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
Photo courtesy of Prof. David Austin of California Western School of Law
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Western State University College of Law has just given the green light for applications for two full-time legal writing faculty positions for the 2010-2011 academic year. The new legal writing faculty members will each teach two sections (about 40 students total) of the first-year legal writing and research classes each semester. Along with the Director and Assistant Director, the new faculty members will collaborate in the curricular design and creative process involved in putting together the Professional Skills program, including developing course materials and writing problems. The positions may also involve oversight of the Honors Moot Court Team or the Externship Program.
Candidates must have a J.D. degree, strong academic credentials, excellent analytical, writing, and research skills, superior interpersonal skills, and a commitment to teaching legal research and writing. A minimum of two years of legal practice and at least one year of teaching experience is highly preferred.
The position offers an initial one-year contract, after which the faculty member is eligible for successive renewable contracts. The salary will be between $70,000 - $80,000, depending on experience.
To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, and a list of three references to Lori A. Roberts at email@example.com. We will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue until the positions are filled. The application deadline is June 30, 2010.
hat tip: Lori Roberts
The U.S. Department of Education announced a request for public comment on an emergency approval of forms relating to the Civil Legal Assistance Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program. Under this program, civil legal assistance attorneys who meet certain qualifications can have part of their federal student loans repaid by the Department of Education based on qualifying full-time employment.
The Federal Register notice announcing the request for comments is badly written. Parts of it will make you want to cringe. If not that, it will at least remind you why the federal government has so much trouble collecting public comments on important public issues. Click here to see the Federal Register notice. Grab a cup of coffee first though.
Now buried within that notice is an explanation on how to see copies of the proposed "information collection request" (which I think is the Education Department's way of saying the word "form").
It essentially says to do the four steps below (after you read the Federal Register Notice). You might enjoy this just as an exercise in seeing how the government does this these days.
- Click here or go to http://edicsweb.ed.gov
- Scroll down until you see this: (04309) 1845-NEW-v.1 Civil Legal Assistance Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program. Look for that number 4309 (that's the easiest way to find it)
- Click on "Download Attachments"
- Browse that list of documents to your heart's content. I would suggest You might skip down and start at "Att_CLAA Empl Cert.Final Emerg Cl Draft.05-07-2010.doc"
Send in your comments on the forms, even if it is nothing more than "hey, great form!"
Hat tip to the ABA Government Affairs Office (which apparently has a higher tolerance for reading Federal Register notices than most other mortals.
And a special (not-so-private) note to the Department of Education: Hey, you're the Department of Education! Dust off those Plain Language Regulation Requirements and learn how to write!
Monday, May 24, 2010
Law schools would like to diversify their faculties. (In 2007-8, e.g., 45% of law professors were from just 10 schools.) To help become more inclusive, Southern Illinois University School of Law is presenting a workshop, focusing on the law school hiring process.
“Who Me? A Law Professor?” will be presented Thursday, June 24, 6:30-8 pm, at the Hyatt Regency at the Arch (former Adams Mark) Hotel, at 315 Chestnut St. in St. Louis, Mills Studio 2, 4th floor.
Learn what is involved in becoming a law professor, what schools want in candidates, how to apply, and related topics. There will be time for questions as well. Come if you are interested or encourage someone else to come. This workshop is held during the Illinois State Bar Association meeting but you need not be a member nor register for the ISBA meeting to attend this workshop.
There is no fee for this workshop and there is no registration required. Questions, please contact Suzanne Schmitz at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, see http://www.law.siu.edu/employment/lawprofessorinfo.asp
Jack Lee Sammons at Mercer University has written a noteworthy article on "Legal Writing Scholarship, Making Strange, and the Aesthetics of Legal Rhetoric". As he states:
"Some of the central issues addressed in the Mercer Law School Symposium on Legal Writing involved questions about the scholarship potential of the discipline of legal writing. Those on the fringe of the academy, as legal writing professors are now and as clinicians were in the sixties, often offer the clearest perspective on it, and, in the case of the legal academy, on the practice itself. What scholarship, I wondered as I listened to the speakers, would best take advantage of this privileged perspective and of legal writing’s necessary focus on rhetoric? There are at least two ways of approaching this question, both of which I want to use here, and these two ways can be related one to the other as I will try to do here as well. The first is to wonder what subjects for the discipline are most naturally generated by teaching it. Here, I will pursue this approach immodestly by trying to display how my own recent scholarship could have naturally arisen (and to some extent it did naturally arise) from teaching an Advanced Legal Writing section as part of the Legal Writing Certificate Program at Mercer. The second approach is normative: What subjects should legal writers contribute to the academy and why? For the first I will ask you to join me in an imagined internal monologue as I wonder about what to say to my students in my Advanced Legal Writing section. For the second I will offer an argument that what emerges from this internal monologue, and, I believe, would also emerge from the similar internal monologues of other legal writing professors, can offer a central perspective for legal writing scholarship, a perspective that could define it. It is a perspective much needed, I will argue very briefly in conclusion, by both the legal academy and the practice. Perhaps it would not be an exaggeration to say: desperately so."
|Early registration (full conference access):||$495 (paid on or before June 1, 2010)|
|Late registration (full conference access):||$540 (after June 1, 2010)|
Click here for registration information. There is also a one-day workshop for practitioners.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Robin Boyle Laisure (St. John's University School of Law) has been teaching legal research and writing full time for 15 years. In 2005, she received her university's award for Outstanding Faculty Achievement.
Five years ago, Robin also started academic support in addition to teaching legal writing. This week, the dean at St. John's announced that Robin was being promoted to Assistant Dean of Academic Success.
Robin will now be splitting her time equally between legal writing writing and academic support. She will continue to teach legal writing and remain with the title of Professor of Legal Writing in addition to her new decanal title.
Robin is a member of the Board of the Legal Writing Institute and currently serves as the LWI Secretary. She is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the Legal Writing Institute and previously chaired the LWI Scholarship Outreach Committee. She organized the New York part of the LWI workshops held last December for new legal writing professors and adjunct professors of legal writing.
Robin also chairs the Association of American Law Schools Section on Academic Support.
Congratulations, Robin, on your appointment as Assistant Dean of Academic Success!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
This announcement is not for a legal writing job, but perhaps some of our readers will know good candidates and encourage them to apply:
Pepperdine University School of Law is currently accepting applications for the position of Director of the law school’s Academic Success Program, to begin August 1, 2010. The Director will be primarily responsible for developing, leading, coordinating, and implementing programs that support the School of Law’s goals of improving students’ law school academic success and success on the bar exam.
Minimum requirements include a J.D. degree and admission to the practice of law. Ideal candidates will have experience working in a higher education setting in the areas of teaching, academic assistance, academic counseling, or similar administrative, teaching, or practice experience. The successful candidate also must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituents within the diverse law school community, including students served by the Academic Success Program (“ASP”), student teaching fellows who work within ASP, faculty members, and the law school administration.
The successful candidate will report to the Associate Deans for Academics and Student Life and will closely supervise the ASP student teaching fellows.
The Director’s specific duties will include, among others:
· Working with faculty and administrative staff to support the academic support efforts at the law school
· Hiring individual student teaching fellows to serve in each of the first-year courses
· Conducting orientation and training programs for the student teaching fellows at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters
· Conducting an orientation to ASP for, and introducing the case briefing method to, first-year students during first-year orientation
· Coordinating and conducting fall and spring semester ASP workshops for first-year students on topics such as effective note-taking, outlining, multiple choice, and essay exam preparation, etc.
· Coordinating and supervising the fall and spring semester student teaching fellow-led review sessions and office hours
· Teaching the spring semester Supplemental Torts course for academically at-risk first-year students
· Teaching (or co-teaching) the spring semester Bar Exam Workshop course for third-year students
· Coordinating, teaching, or co-teaching winter and summer bar preparation workshops
· Holding regular office hours and individual counseling sessions, and developing individualized remediation and referral programs, for law students in need of academic support services and alumni in need of bar preparation services
· Gathering student and professor feedback regarding ASP offerings, including feedback on student teaching fellows
· Gathering, compiling, and reporting statistical data regarding student participation in, and impact on student performance of, the various ASP offerings
· Assisting the law school’s diversity recruiting and retention efforts
· Maintaining a library of academic support and bar preparation books and materials for use by students and alumni
· Managing the ASP web pages on the law school’s website
· Participating in the greater academic support and bar preparation professional community in order to stay apprised of best practices through regular attendance at conferences, participation in relevant listservs and blogs, and study of relevant books and other resources
Compensation is commensurate with experience. This position is a 12 month contract position, with the possibility of renewal.
Applicants should email a statement of interest, in the form of a cover letter, and resume to Jim Gash, Associate Dean for Student Life, at email@example.com. Any questions also should be directed to Dean Gash.
hat tip: Selina Farrell
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The first session that I attended began with a presentation by Ed ("Grumpy Ed") Tefleyan of McGeorge. Using the military experience of a "white glove inspection," illustrated with humorous video clips, he set out 10 steps to an error-free document.
Paired with Ed in Session 1 was Iselin Gambert of George Washington Law School, who talked about using the radio/TV show "This American Life" as a way to teach analysis, theme-setting, and tight editing skills. She also discussed using the show to help teach students that legal cases involve real people and their lives and are not merely academic exercises.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
You you still need to book your travel to Florida for the summer LWI Conference? Click here for our earlier post on travel options to Marco Island. Read the comments there too (and add your own thoughts if you like!)
Monday, May 17, 2010
Charlotte School of Law is searching for a Director of Lawyering Process who will 1) help shape and mature the existing legal writing program, and 2) work with other faculty members and the Director of Experiential Learning to create opportunities for faculty and students to integrate writing and research skills and professional identity into the core curriculum. The position is a non-tenure track position (subject to long-term contract renewal) (negotiable) with full voting rights. The Director’s responsibilities will include:
- continued development of the first-year lawyering process curriculum, working with all faculty teaching first-year courses to coordinate assignments that reinforce and build upon what they are teaching in the classroom;
- training, supervising and mentoring the legal writing faculty;
- working with the law school’s writing specialist to oversee the law school’s writing center
- working with the law school’s professional research librarians to continue development and delivery of the first-year legal research curriculum;
- working with faculty and administration to develop writing across the curriculum in all three years of law school;
setting standards for, number of, length of, and nature of assignments for Lawyering Process I and Lawyering Process II;
- setting standards for the materials and problems for Lawyering Process I and Lawyering Process II;
- setting and overseeing grading policies in the Lawyering Process Program;
- working with the faculty and Academic Dean in recruiting and hiring legal writing faculty and adjunct faculty; and
- completing other such tasks and responsibilities reasonably related to performing the listed functions.
The Director will be expected to teach up to two lawyering process courses per semester (teaching load will depend on the administrative duties at the time). Scholarship is encouraged but not required. Candidates should have outstanding academic records, and demonstrated excellence in teaching legal research and writing. A minimum of four years of legal practice experience and strong administrative experience is preferred.
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 - $99,999, commensurate with experience.
4. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing director will be 30 or fewer.
hat tip: Susan Rowe