Friday, June 15, 2012

W&M revamps its LRW program

Profile_aden1William & Mary Law has re-staffed its LRW program, changing from an adjunct-taught program to a program taught by full-time professors for the upcoming fall semester. Meredith Aden, previously at Mississippi College, will be William & Mary's new Director of Legal Skills. The new Assistant Director will be Jennifer Franklin. The six new full-time legal writing professors will be Anna Chason, Rob Kaplan, Laura Killinger, Mason Lowe, Rachel Suddarthm, and Jen Stevenson. Adjuncts will still teach in the second year LRW curriculum.

We look forward to hearing good things from this group!

hat tip: Meredith Aden


June 15, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Most-cited law review articles

Books croppedIn case you’re wondering which are the most cited law review articles of all time, Fred Shapiro, with the assistance of co-author Michelle Pearse, has just published his latest list of them. Number one is Coase’s The Problem of Social Cost, 3 J.L. & Econ. 1 (1960). Second is Warren and Brandeis’s article on the right to privacy. Rounding out the top ten are

3. O.W. Holmes, The Path of the Law, 10 Harv. L. Rev. 457 (1897).

4. Gerald Gunther, The Supreme Court, 1971 Term--Foreword: In Search of Evolving Doctrine on a Changing Court: A Model for a Newer Equal Protection, 86 Harv. L. Rev. 1 (1972).

5. Herbert Wechsler, Toward Neutral Principles of Constitutional Law, 73 Harv. L. Rev. 1 (1959).

6. Guido Calabresi & A. Douglas Melamed, Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Inalienability: One View of the Cathedral, 85 Harv. L. Rev. 1089 (1972).

7. Charles A. Reich, The New Property, 73 Yale L.J. 733 (1964).

8. Charles R. Lawrence III, The Id, the Ego, and Equal Protection: Reckoning with Unconscious Racism, 39 Stan. L. Rev. 317 (1987).

9. William J. Brennan, Jr., State Constitutions and the Protection of Individual Rights, 90 Harv. L. Rev. 489 (1977).

10. Robert H. Bork, Neutral Principles and Some First Amendment Problems, 47 Ind. L.J. 1 (1971).

 Read the full list at 110 Mich. L. Rev. 1483 (2012).


June 15, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Kimble book on plain language

Legal writing expert Joe Kimble has just published a book titled Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: TheKimble Case for Plain Language in Business, Government (Carolina Academic Press 2012). Its topic, plain language, has been the focus of Joe’s career. Colleague Mark Cooney says, “I've read it, and I can't imagine a more comprehensive or compelling effort.”  

hat tip: Mark Cooney 


June 14, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Registration Now Open for the Third Biennial Conference on Transactional Education

Admission_main2The Third Biennial Conference on Transactional Education, entitled Preparing the Transactional Lawyer: From Doctrine to Practice, will be held on November 2nd and 3rd at Emory Law.  Registration for the conference is now open, and more information is available here.

Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

hat tip: Prof. Carol D. Newman


June 13, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ancient Typo Featured on Instagram

NPR featured this interesting ancient typo on its Instagram feed:


According to NPR, this carving was supposed to read "Karthage," but the stone carver got it wrong, spelling "Iarthage" the first time around.  The carving was photographed in Tunis, Tunisia.  It looks like modern word processing cannot shoulder all the blame for the increase in typos!


June 13, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

2012 Burton Awards

The most glamorous evening in legal writing is the Burton Awards, which were held on Monday evening in Washington D.C. at the Library of Congress. The evening began with an award ceremony and finished with a performance by Bernadette Peters. Also attending were U.S. Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and John Paul Stevens. We'll have more to report about the award winners and the event (and hopefully some photos too).


June 13, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The importance of word choice

JimMcElhaney025We often tell our students that the right words will enhance an argument’s effectiveness. James McElhaney emphasizes that in his June ABA Journal column, which urges lawyers to bring dry facts to life with “a touch of humanity,” familiar details, visual words, and “simple, disarming language.” The column ends with a quote by English barrister Sir Edward Marshall Hall, who said that when a lawyer creates an atmosphere with words, “‘that is advocacy.’”


June 12, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Reminder: Submit News Items to the Second Draft by July 1

The Second Draft is the news magazine of the Legal Writing Institute. To share news of your promotions, publications, presentations, and noteworthy program developments from your school's legal writing program, send an email before July 1, 2012 to  And have the subject line read "Program News and Accomplishments."

Hat tip to Harris Freeman and The Second Draft Editorial Board



June 11, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

tenure for Judy Fischer!

Picture-72It is a great pleasure to report that veteran legal writing professor and contributing editor to this blog, Judith Fischer, is now fully tenured at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.

Congratulations Judy!




June 11, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

2012 Golden Pen Award

IMG_0598Attorney and author Matthew Butterick IMG_0595received the prestigious Golden Pen Award at the recent LWI conference in Palm Desert, California, for his acclaimed book Typography for Lawyers. The award is presented to persons who have "significantly advanced the cause of better legal writing." Butterick told listeners at a plenary session, “Law students need you now more than ever. Keep pushing snow cones in the desert of legal academia.” 


June 10, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)