Saturday, February 26, 2011

legal writing teaching opening in Chicago

Northwestern University School of Law is accepting applications for the position of Clinical Assistant Professor of Law to teach two courses: Communication and Legal Reasoning, the first-year LRW course for JD students, and Common Law Reasoning, a required LRW course for LLM students. 


Northwestern seeks candidates with excellent academic records, outstanding writing and editing skills, and experiences that demonstrate their potential for excellence in classroom teaching. A successful applicant must have a JD degree and strong post law school practical experience as an attorney or judicial clerk. At least three years’ legal practice experience and some teaching experience is preferred.

The initial appointment is for a one-year contract beginning in August 2011. Successful applicants may be invited to renew for successive one year contracts.  The search committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue to consider applications through April 1, 2011 or until the position is filled. Applicants should direct a cover letter, resume, and five page legal writing sample to the attention of the search committee chair, Grace Dodier, and the interim director of the CLR Program, Margaret Curtiss Hannon.  

1. The position advertised may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one year.
2. The professor hired will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range $50,000 - $59,999.
4.  The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research and writing professor will be 30 - 35.










February 26, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 25, 2011

A possible career for legal writers

Those in the legal writing field may be interested to know that appellate litigation is a burgeoning specialty. A recent article by two practicing lawyers discusses this trend and predicts that it will continue, due to the increased sophistication of in-house counsel and law firms about the need for skilled appellate lawyers.  Thomas Hungar & Nikesh Jindal, Observations on the Rise of the Appellate Litigator, 29 Rev. Litig 511 (2010).  This growing field is an attractive career choice for accomplished legal writers. 


February 25, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference

Things are shaping up for the Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference.  Click here for the draft schedule and registration information.  The conference will be held on March 25-26, 2011 at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law in Las Vegas, Nevada.


February 23, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

deadline tomorrow to apply for Gonzaga job

The deadline is tomorrow to apply for the visiting legal writing job next fall semester at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington.  The visitor will teach two sections of LR&W I with approximately 14 students in each section, and one section of LR&W III with approximately 18 students.  Gonzaga has a required four-semester LR&W Program.  Each semester is two credits. The LR&W I course introduces students to legal analysis, research, and writing through a series of closed- and open- universe syntheses and increasingly complex internal office memoranda.  The LR&W III class introduces students to persuasive writing through a series of litigation-based documents including a demand letter, simple motion for summary judgment and supporting documents, and appellate brief.

The law school is strongly committed to diversifying its faculty and furthering Gonzaga’s mission as a Jesuit, Catholic, and humanistic institution.  To apply, you need to send a cover letter, CV, and three references to:  Professor Cheryl Ann Beckett,

1.  The position advertised is only for one semester, to cover a sabbatical.
2.  The professor hired will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings. 
3.  The school anticipates paying an annual base salary equivalent in the range of less than $50,000 to $69,999.  Since this is a one-semester visiting position, it will only be a half-year salary.
4.  The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be 46 - 50.


February 23, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

No more print journals?

Two years ago, a group of law library directors issued “The Durham Statement,” which recommended open access to legal scholarship and called for the end of printed law journals.  A January 2011 update on the statement’s effects, The Durham Statement Two Years Later, reports that although open accessBooks for blog2  to legal scholarship has increased, there has been “little movement toward all-electronic publication.” 

The article discusses some issues that must be resolved before all-electronic publication will become pervasive. Perhaps because current readers are accustomed to the visual cues of the printed page, many electronic articles are posted in PDF format, which mimics print.  But computers are capable of doing much more than that—for example, they can substitute hyperlinks for footnotes. Planners must determine what format to use in order to best utilize computer capabilities.

Another concern is document preservation.  Storage media and software undergo frequent changes, which means stored data may become inaccessible. This concern must be addressed in order to preserve electronic publications as reliably as we now preserve print publications.

Those of us who teach legal research, analysis, and writing have an interest these issues, which we will no doubt confront in the not-too-distant future.


February 23, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

conference on teaching advanced legal writing

The Arc of Advanced Legal Writing: From Theory through Teaching to Practice is the theme of the Second Colonial Frontier Legal Writing Conference, being held on Saturday, March 5, 2011, at the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, PA.  

The three lead presentations will be from nationally-renowned  scholars of advanced legal writing: Michael Smith (Wyoming), Elizabeth Fajans (Brooklyn), and Mary Ray (Wisconsin).  They will be followed by Sheila Miller (Dayton), Susan Wawrose (Dayton), Victoria VanZandt (Dayton), and Johanna Oreskovid (Buffalo), who will speak about their surveys of the bench and bar, reporting on the advanced writing skills that lawyers and judges believe new attorneys should have.  Then Julia Glencer (Duquesne), Erin Karsman (Duquesne), and Tara Willke (Duquesne) will speak about the team-taught advanced legal writing “law firm simulation” course they created, which was supported by an ALWD Research Grant.  The closing session will be a panel of law firm partners addressing how law firms can be agents of curricular change, encouraging law schools to implement advanced legal writing courses.

A continental breakfast, buffet lunch, and closing reception will be available to all attendees.  Attendance at the conference is free for attendees who are Duquesne employees, faculty at other law schools, working in fields related to legal education, or working for a sponsoring organization or law firm.  See the conference website to register for the conference, and for additional information about accommodations, Pittsburgh, travel, and other local attractions.

hat tip:  Jan Levine


February 22, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 21, 2011

next Monday application deadline for LRW opening at SIU

Southern Illinois University School of Law is currently accepting applications for the LRW teaching job that Sheila Simon vacated upon being elected the Lieutenant Governor of Illinois.  The full official job announcement is available at here.  The job is a 405c appointment, teaching the required Lawyering Skills I and II courses.  The law school’s operating paper explaining the promotion path and criteria -- assistant, associate, & full clinical professor of lawyering skills -- is available on the LWI website here.  The deadline to apply is next Monday, February 28, 2011.  Please direct questions to Lawyering Skills Director Sue Liemer,

1.  The position advertised may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.

The position complies with ABA Standard 405c.  The position is also in the bargaining unit of the university’s non-tenure-track faculty union and subject to its negotiated contract. 

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 $60,000 - $70,000.

The salary is for 9 months, and it can be paid over 12 months.  The position also includes a professional development account for academic travel, research assistance, etc., which in recent years has been $4,000 for each faculty member.

4. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be 41 - 50.

The law librarians team teach in the course and have primary classroom responsibility for the research skills lessons, which allows the LS professors to focus more on the written and oral communication skills lessons. 


February 21, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tips for improving a brief

Cantero_Raul_c_silo_web Students writing briefs this spring will find some timely tips in a recent bar journal article titled “Three Simple Ways to Improve Your Briefs.”  Raoul G. Cantero, an appellate lawyer with White & Case and a previous Florida Supreme Court Justice, urges brief writers to shorten their briefs, include an introduction, and use subsections.  I particularly like this line:  “Yes, your advocacy will improve if you write less.”

 hat tip: Ellen Saideman


February 21, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)