April 26, 2012
Wikipedia as authority in law reviews
Between 2002 and 2008, American law review articles contained more than 4800 citations to Wikipedia, according to Houston law librarian Daniel J. Baker. I tell my students that they may not cite to the on-line encyclopedia in my class, so I was interested to read Baker’s views about it. He notes that Wikipedia has limited probity and permanence and then presents data on citations to it. He then concludes that “the legal community as a whole should discourage most citations to Wikipedia.” Baker counsels authors and editors to find better resources and urges faculty advisors to empower student editors to question Wikipedia citations. Baker’s article, A Jester’s Promenade: Citations to Wikipedia in Law Reviews, 2002-2008, was published in the winter 2012 issue of the Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society. An earlier version is available on SSRN.
April 25, 2012
New Dean at California Western
Niels Schaumann of William Mitchell College of Law will be the new Dean at California Western School of Law in San Diego. He begins officially on August 1, 2012. He will replace Dean Steven Smith, who has served as President and Dean of California Western since 1996. Dean Smith is also the current President of Scribes -- The American Society of Legal Writers.
April 24, 2012
Milani Award Nominations
Mercer University School of Law and the ABA Commission on Disability Rights have requested nominations for this year's Adam A. Milani Disability Law Writing Competition. The award honors excellent student brief writing in the area of disability law. The first place prize ranges from $300 to $1,000, depending on whether multiple awards are given. Nominations must be postmarked by June 4, 2012. For more information, click here.
April 23, 2012
Judges' citations to Bob Dylan
For a diversion from grading, especially if you’re a Bob Dylan fan, check a new article about judges’ propensity to cite Dylan’s songs. Author Alex B. Long of Tennessee (pictured at right) says Dylan has been cited in court opinions more than any other popular musician. Long believes this phenomenon occurs partly because folk songs are “stories with a point” and partly because Dylan’s songs are full of imagery.
April 22, 2012
Missouri Lawyers Women's Justice Awards go to legal writing profs!
As awards season continues, legal writing professors are turning up on more and more stages. Last Thursday night, among the receiptions of the Missouri Lawyers Media Women's Justice Awards were Wanda Temm, who teaches at the University of Missouri -- Kansas City, and Ann Shields Davis, who teaches at Washington University in St. Louis. Both women won a Legal Scholar Award, which is awarded "to women faculty members or administrators at area law schools who fulfill the ... ideals through their own work with the justice system, through their research or scholarship, or through teaching and inspiring others."