Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Fun: Videos on the Importance of Legal Research and Writing Instruction

    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.


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It's one thing to acknowledge that legal writing is important, but instead of creating videos, perhaps time would be better spent actually teaching legal writing skills. There have been numerous reports that law graduates are often barely literate when it comes to legal writing, and it's no surprise given that legal writing is typically on taught to 1Ls, and most students will graduate only having written one full brief. It is likely that two and a half years will pass between a student's last legal writing assignment and the first real world memo. Any skills developed your 1L year will have been lost in that time.

Too often law school faculty respond to serious problems by merely expressing concern and acknowledging that a problem exist. But, it's rare to find a faculty member who actually steps up and decides to offer more value to their students.

Posted by: | Jun 8, 2010 7:27:34 AM

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