Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
The George Washington University Law School is hosting the First Annual Capital Area Legal Writing Conference, to be held on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, February 25-26, 2011. Out of town participants are welcome; GWU is arranging a conference rate at a local hotel close to the law school and major public transportation options. There will be no conference fee.
The deadline to submit proposals is October 31, 2010. To submit a proposal, please fill out the Proposal Submission Form (download it by clicking here) and email it to:
More information about general conference registration, speaker line-ups, and conference hotel options will be made available in the coming weeks.
The Planning Committee includes, among others, from GW: Karen Thornton (co-chair), Iselin Gambert (co-chair), Christy DeSanctis, and Jessica Clark.
Legal Writing faculty from other area schools (Georgetown, American, University of Maryland, University of Baltimore, Catholic, Howard, and UDC are also planning to participate). If you have any questions, please contact the committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org
hat tip: Christy H. DeSanctis
Thursday, September 16, 2010
The Chicago Lawyer Magazineheld a deans' roundtable with the deans of five Chicago-area law schools. They discussed changes in legal education, changes to the law school curriculum, providing practical education, and how the economy affects law school applications.
Dean John Corkery of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago said that law firms would like to see more (rather than less) emphasis on legal writing, training to improve analytical skills, and training that would require lawyers to work together well. That kind of an answer, I believe, shows a good sense of what law firms want law schools to do and the important role that a good legal writing program can play in a law school.
Dean Howard Krent of Chicago-Kent College of Law said that law firms were putting more of a premium on having new hires "get it quickly." Whereas firms in the past might give associates three years or so before deciding how they were doing in the law firm, now that period may be as short as six months.
But Warren Wolfson, a former Illinois Appellate Court Justice who is now serving as the Interim Dean at the DePaul University College of Law, gave the most puzzling quote of all -- one that would certainly light up a legal writing listserve with at least a week of discussion on what he meant by the comment. Here's what he said:
"I'd like to figure out some way to teach students how to write. I was on the appellate court for 15 years, and the state of writing among new lawyers and young lawyers is deplorable. It just seems that legal writing, every time I've run across it in law school, is the crazy uncle in the closet. No one wants to get in there. The students hate it. They don't come out learning how to write. I would like to see that somehow change."
I'm not quite sure what to make of that statement. Your comments here would be much appreciated.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Mercer University Law School had announced that it will host the 2011 Southeast Regional Legal Writing Conference April 15-16, 2011. Program information and details, including the Call for Proposals, will be posted when it is available. For now, you can address questions or get more information from any of Mercer’s LRW professors:
hat tip: Linda Berger
The Awards Committee of the Legal Writing Institute announced its call for nominations for the 2011 Golden Pen Award. Any member of LWI may nominate someone for the award. The committee asks that you submit your nominations directly to Susan Thrower at email@example.com on or before September 15, 2010.
The Golden Pen Award recognizes those who make significant contributions to advance the cause of better legal writing. These contributions may take any form, such as promoting the use of clear language in public documents, improving the quality of legal writing instruction, advocating for better writing within the legal community, outstanding scholarship or journalism about legal writing, or exceptional writing in law practice. The award is normally given to someone who is not an active member of LWI, but active members are considered in exceptional circumstances.
Previous recipients of the award are Arthur Levitt, Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Don LeDuc, Dean of the Thomas Cooley Law School; Linda Greenhouse, Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times; the late Honorable Robert E. Keeton of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts; Richard Wydick, Professor at the University of California at Davis School of Law; the late Joseph Williams, author of Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace; the Honorable Ronald M. George, the Honorable Carol A. Corrigan, and the Honorable James D. Ward, Justices of the Supreme Court of California and the California Court of Appeal; the Honorable Ruggero J. Aldisert of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; the National Association of Attorneys General; and William C. Burton, Esq.
The Awards Committee thanks you and looks forward to receiving your nominations. Members of the committee are Leah Christensen, Sonia Bychkov Green, Hether MacFarlane, Lou Sirico, Susan Thrower, and Christopher Wren.