Saturday, December 1, 2012
Chicago's Northwestern was the site of the one of the first one-day legal writing workshops of 2012, on Friday, November 30. Northwestern Dean Daniel Rodriguez began the day with an enthusiastic talk about the importance of preparing practice-ready students, which was the workshop's theme.
That theme was then developed through a variety of enlightening panel discussions. One presentation, by Cindy Adams, Lori Johnson, Mary Nagel, and Elizabeth Inglehart, discussed writing for today’s partners. The panelists and the practitioners in the audience observed that 1) today, associates are often asked to summarize research in emails; 2) assigning lawyers want different levels of depth in those emails, so an associate should ask what is expected; 3) associates do still write memos; 4) writing a shorter email requires the same depth of understanding that a full memo does; and 5) even though fewer full-length memos are assigned in practice, assigning memos in law school is a good way to teach legal analysis and clear expression.
That was only one of the outstanding panels!
The event was flawlessly organized by the Northwestern legal writing professors. Pictured below are Northwestern professors Dana Hill, Judy Rosenbaum, Elizabeth Inglehart, and Deborah Borman. Not pictured is Professor Chris Martin, also one of the organizers.