November 17, 2011
Open Memo Rules
From SMU's Student Follies.
hat tip: Elizabeth Megale
Sunday Morning Presentations at the AALS Meeting
The annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools will be in Washington DC in January 2012. This year the program features a huge number of legal writing presentations. In addition to the full dayfield trip to the Law Library of Congress (including our section lunch and award presentations), our Friday section program, and our two joint programs on Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon, we have a Sunday morning program with 16 additional speakers making 12 individual presentations. The Sunday morning program will last from 9 a.m. to noon, so when you are making your return travel arrangements from Washington, D.C. please pick something after 2 p.m.
Presentations were chosen by the program committee, which was magnificently chaired by Professor Lurene Contento of The John Marshall Law School. The presentations below were selected on an anonymous basis, based only on the quality of the submission. I'm really looking forward to this panel of Sunday Morning Superstars.
Here's the list of presenters chosen for Washington D.C., together with tentative working titles for the papers. Congratulations to everyone whose proposal was selected. Thank you, also, to the others who submitted but we weren't able to use. We were blessed this year with an abundance of submissions.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research
Delaware Suite A, Lobby Level, Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Legal Writing in the 21st Century:
Practical Teaching Tips for Legal Skills Professors
This special three-hour panel presents practical exercises and teaching tips for professors of legal writing, reasoning, and research. A total of 16 selected speakers in 12 different presentations will share their experiences and ideas for innovative and engaged teaching. Attendees can expect to take away materials and ideas that they can use for teaching in the spring semester and beyond. Audience members will be encouraged to share additional teaching tips and ideas,
Part 1: Teaching Digital-Age Students
- Kristen Konrad Tiscione, Georgetown University Law Center -- “Digital Media”
- Sarah J. Morath, University of Akron, C. Blake McDowell Law Center -- “Mini Email Memo”
- Elena Margolis and Kristen E. Murray, Temple University, James E. Beasley School of Law -- “Information Literacy”
- Lisa A. Penland and Melissa H. Weresh, Drake University Law School -- “Pro E Communication”
Part 2: Student Assessment Tools
- Carrie Sperling, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law -- “Meaningful Assessment”
- Lisa Black, California Western School of Law -- “Reflective Writing”
- Hilary Stirman Reed and Mireille Butler, Pepperdine University School of Law -- “Clearing the Bar: Methods and Benefits of Teaching the Bar Exam Performance Test”
- Jenean M. Taranto and Rosemary Queenan, Albany Law School -- “Meeting with the Partner: Learning to Organize and Draft Meaningful Legal Arguments in the Objective Memo Through Oral Discussion.”
Part 3: Fun and Useful Exercises
- Amy R. Stein, Hofstra University School of Law -- “All the News to Print”
- Jodi S. Balsam, New York University School of Law -- “Material Facts Game”
- Louis J. Sirico, Jr., Villanova University School of Law -- “Back Story”
- Heidi Brown, New York Law School -- “Casey Anthony Vignette”
November 16, 2011
LWI One-Day Workshop in Atlanta, Georgia
Hat tip to Lucille Jewel from Atlanta's John Marshall Law School.
There are 13 locations available on December 2, 2011:
- California (Loyola Law School Los Angeles)
- DC/Virginia (George Mason University School of Law)
- Florida (University of Miami School of Law)
- Georgia (Atlanta's John Marshall Law School)
- Illinois (Chicago-Kent College of Law)
- Massachusetts (Northeastern University School of Law)
- Minnesota (Hamline University School of Law)
- Missouri (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
- New York (Brooklyn Law School)
- North Carolina (Campbell University Wiggins School of Law)
- Ohio (The Ohio State University)
- Pennsylvania (Temple University Beasley School of Law)
- Tennessee (University of Memphis Humphreys School of Law)
Please register using the online links for each location listed at http://www.lwionline.org/lwi_conferences.html. Registration is $100, which is a donation to the Legal Writing Institute.
Comma, comma, who's got a comma?
I sometimes think students believe it doesn’t matter where they place commas. But that’s not so for Apple, which stated in a recent pleading, "Apple denies that its correct name is Apple, Inc. The correct name of Respondent is Apple Inc." The company has prided itself on attention to detail, and I'm sure careful thought went into deciding whether to include a comma in its name. Students could take a cue from Apple's success!
Hat tip: Jan Levine
"Clearly" is clearly too weak
As I grade memos, I find instances of a common problem: use of the word “clearly” to modify a point that has little or no support. A recent article by Professor Mark Cooney of Thomas M. Cooley Law School explains why the word is so ineffective: it’s overused, and to sophisticated legal readers, it signals a gap in the writer’s logic. Cooney recommends putting “because” in the sentence instead. That will prompt the writer to back up the point with specific support.
November 15, 2011
LWI One-Day Workshops for Legal Writing Faculty
The Legal Writing Institute will hold one-day workshops at various locations around the country on Friday, December 2, 2011. Registration is now open. Here is a list of the locations:
- California: Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
- Florida: University of Miami
- Georgia: Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School
- Illinois: Chicago-Kent College of Law
- Massachusetts: Northeastern University School of Law, Boston
- Minnesota: Hamline University School of Law
- Missouri: University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
- New York: Brooklyn Law School
- Ohio: The Ohio State University
- North Carolina: Campbell University Wiggins School of Law, Raleigh
- Pennsylvania: Temple University Beasley School of Law, Philadelphia
- Tennessee: University of Memphis Humphreys School of Law
- Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia: George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, Virginia
November 13, 2011
save the date -- 2012 Western Regional LRW Conference
The University of Oregon School of Law we will be hosting the 2012 Western Regional Conference for legal writing professors on August 10th and 11th. As more information about presenting and attending becomes available, we will post it here. For now, you can mark your calendar for a trip to beautiful Eugene.
hat tip: Liz Frost and Megan McAlpin