Saturday, May 7, 2011

Global Legal Skills Conference

The sixth Global Legal Skills Conference finished this afternoon at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.  More than 200 participants came from around the world to discuss international legal education with a special focus on legal writing and skills education.  Participants attended from Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries.  Legal writing professors,  ESL professors, business professors, judges, and practicing attorneys mixed for three days of highly-interactive discussions.  It was a great conference and we are already making plans for the next conference, which we expect to be in Central America this Spring.

Special thanks to Anthony Niedwiecki, Lurene Contento, Kim Chanbonpin, William Mock, and David Austin for all of their help.

Mark E. Wojcik
Conference Co-Chair

May 7, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Writers' Workshop

The Legal Writing Institute announced the facilitators and participants for the 2011 Summer Writers' Workshop. The facilitators are Steve Johansen (Lewis & Clark), Jill Ramsfield (Hawaii), Chris  Rideout (Seattle), and Lou Sirico (Villanova). The participants are:

Myra Orlen (Western New England)
Kim Holst (Arizona State)
Lindsey Gustafson (Arkansas, Little Rock)
Susan Bay (Marquette)
Anne Villella (Lewis & Clark)
Karen Koch (Arkansas, Fayetteville)
Greg Johnson (Vermont)
Carolyn Broering-Jacobs (Cleveland Marshall)
Carrie Sperling (Arizona State)
Nicole Negowetti (Valparaiso)
Jim Sowerby (DePaul)
Joel Schumm (Indiana, Indianapolis)
This is the eighth LWI Writers’ Workshop, and this one will take place on July 11-13, 2011 at the Colorado Chautauqua at the foot of Boulder’s Flatiron Mountains.  The workshop gives up to twelve Legal Writing faculty the opportunity to spend time working on their academic writing projects and improving their scholarly skills. 

The Workshop will take place immediately after the Applied Storytelling Conference at the University of Denver Law School.  Workshop participants will leave Denver on the morning of Monday, July 11 and return to Denver on the morning of Wednesday, July 13, 2011. 

Hat tip to Lou Sirico


May 7, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 6, 2011

non-verbal communications workshop

An energetic group of LRW profs met in Chicago this week to experience a workshop on non-verbal communications training for lawyers. We learned a lot about our own non-verbal communications habits, how to make other choices more consciously as circumstances dictate, how to recognize when those circumstances do occur, and how to begin bringing similar understanding to our law students. We couldn't have done it without the phenomenal expertise and patient coaching of Rebecca Fishel, whose work you can read more about at There's a movement afoot to bring her back to Chicago for the Central States LRW Conference in September, so keep an eye out for future announcements here if you're ready to teach legal communication skills that go beyond text.


May 6, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Could you be an LRW scholarship mentor?

Often LRW faculty members lack the kind of scholarship encouragement, support, and modeling that is standard for other law professors. So now, to fill this gap, the Legal Writing Institute Scholarship Committee is compiling a list of mentors willing to help LRW faculty develop and grow as scholars. The goal is to give LRW faculty access to people in the LRW field who can offer an experienced but friendly voice of encouragement for brainstorming and sharing ideas. If you are an LRW professor who has published a scholarly work, please consider volunteering your time to help a colleague on his or her own scholarly journey.

If you are willing to be a mentor, please send your name, preferred contact information, your substantive area(s) of scholarly expertise, and either a representative list of publications or a link to your faculty bio to Thomas Burch at Feel free to list as many substantive areas as you wish, to help mentees find mentors with relevant substantive expertise.

hat tip: Kathy Stanchi


May 6, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

One-L update calls for more practical experiences in law school

Wing_0854 In an article titled One L Redux, University of Iowa law professor Adrien Wing reports that she found her first year at Stanford Law School in 1979 disconcertingly similar to the Harvard year described in Scott Turow’s book One-L.  For Wing, being both female and black compounded the problems. She bluntly says she hated law school. Moreover, some of her current students find legal education has changed little in the past thirty years.

Wing presents several suggestions for bringing legal education into the twenty-first century. One is to provide more practical experiences by incorporating more skills assignments in the first two years and making the third year a mandatory clinical year.


May 5, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Congratulations, Dr. Easton!

We've gotten word that long-time legal writing professor (and formerly the legal writing director, when they had a director) at U. Baltimore, Eric Easton, has finished his Ph.D. in Journalism and Public Communications.  He will be graduating on May 19th.  Let's hope the grad school's graduation ceremony isn't held at the same time as the law school's, so he can appear as a graduate at one and as a faculty member at the other.  Mazel tov, Eric!

hat tip:  Amy Sloan


May 3, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Global Legal Skills Conference in Chicago

Chicago 2 (Photo by Mike Jarecki) The sixth Global Legal Skills Conference takes place in Chicago later this week, from May 5-7, 2011 at The John Marshall Law School.  

The conference focuses on a wide variety of legal skills education and ESL instruction in a legal context.  Presenters and attendees are coming from across the United States as well as law schools and law firms in Canada, China, Costa Rica, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Moldova, the Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine. 

Click here for information on conference registration.  It's a conference that you won't want to miss.

Click here to download the conference program.  Download GLS Schedule (FINAL)


(Photo by Mike Jarecki)

May 3, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Advice for law students: find a writing mentor

A recent article by legal writing expert Bryan Garner advises law students to find good writing mentors.  That’s what Garner himself did as a new lawyer, although partly by luck. His mentor was an appellate lawyer who emphasized strong writing and careful word choice. Garner quotes part of the lawyer’s brief on a difficult appeal—which he won, of course. Garner reports still being influenced by his now-deceased mentor's advice. He urges law students not to trust luck to provide a mentor: instead, “Go find one.”  See Bryan A. Garner, Finding Good Writing Mentors, 39 Student Lawyer 20 (Jan. 2011).


May 3, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Submit a Proposal to Present at LWI 2012

It only seems far away.

Yes, now is the time to submit a proposal for the 2012 Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute, which will be held in Desert Springs, California from May 29 to June 1st (the week of Memorial Day).

To submit a proposal, please go to:  All proposals must be submitted by midnight (PDT), June 6, 2011

Mark E. Wojcik (Member, LWI Board of Directors)

May 2, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)