Thursday, August 2, 2012

save the date

LogoIf you're starting to fill in your new academic year calendar, pen in the 2013 Southeastern Regional Legal Writing Conference, to be hosted by the new Savannah Law School on April 26 – 27, 2013. They anticipate having a legal scholar’s forum and workshop, as well as a symposium, on Friday, the 26th. And then the conference will take place on Saturday, April 27th. When we receive the call for proposals and the hotel information, we'll post links to those here.

hat tip: Elizabeth Berenguer Megale


August 2, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Scribes Luncheon in Chicago

Scribes -- the American Society of Legal Writers -- is the oldest professional legal writing organization in the United States.  

The Scribes annual luncheon takes place on Friday, August 3rd, from noon to 2:00 p.m., at the Union League Club of Chicago (65 W. Jackson Boulevard).  The luncheon is during the annual meeting of the American Bar Association (but you do not need to be attending the ABA meeting in order to attend the Scribes luncheon).

The lunch speaker is Seventh Circuit Justice Diane Wood.  Scribes' book award and brief-writing award will also be presented.  And Scribes is bringing back a favored tradition -- the legal writing book raffle prizes!  You don't want to miss this.  You'll also have a chance to pick up the oh-so-fabulous Supreme Court issue of the Scribes Journal, which is filled with fantastic quotes and tips on legal writing.

To attend the luncheon, send a message to Rebecca McAlpine at Thomas Cooley Law School.  Her email is mcalpinb [at] and her telephone number is 417-371-5140, extension 4402.  

Mark E. Wojcik (Board Member of Scribes)   


August 2, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

new ALWD leaders

ALWD_LogoCongratulations to the new leadership of the Association of Legal Writing Directors, who took office yesterday:

President - Anthony Niedwiecki, John Marshall – Chicago
Immediate Past President - Lyn Entrikin, U. Arkansas – Little Rock
President Elect - Kathy Vinson, Suffolk
Treasurer - Wanda Temm, UMKC
Secretary - Susan Thrower, DePaul

board members:
Kristen Dauphinais, U. North Dakota
Kirsten Davis, Stetson
Teri McMurtry-Chubb, Laverne
Mary-Beth Moylan, McGeorge
Richard Neumann, Hofstra
Terry Phelps, American
Terry Pollmann, Nevada – Las Vegas
Terry Seligman, Drexel
Catherine Wasson, Elon

We hope those board meetings won’t get too confusing, with so many Teri/Terry’s around the table. Here’s to a great year for ALWD!


August 2, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Whitehead on How to Write

Colson Whitehead has a great article, titled How to Write. Much of his advice applies to writing fiction, but his fourth rule crosses genres:

Rule No. 4: Never use three words when one will do. Be concise. Don’t fall in love with the gentle trilling of your mellifluous sentences. Learn how to “kill your darlings,” as they say. I’m reminded of the famous editor-author interaction between Gordon Lish and Ray Carver when they were working on Carver’s celebrated short story “Those Life Preservers Are Just for Show,” often considered the high-water mark of so-called dirty realism. You’ll recall the climax, when two drunken fishermen try to calm each other after their dinghy springs a leak. In the original last lines of the story, Nat, the salty old part-time insurance agent, reassures his young charge as they cling to the beer cooler: “We’ll get help when we hit land. I’m sure of it. No more big waves, no more sharks. We’ll be safe once again. We’ll be home.” If you examine the Lish papers in the Lilly Library at Indiana University, you’ll see how, with but a few deft strokes, Lish pared that down to create the now legendary ending: “Help — land shark!” It wasn’t what Carver intended, but few could argue that it was not shorter. Learn to kill your darlings, and don’t be shy about softening them up in the hostage pit for a few days before you do.


July 31, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)