Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Yale faculty member's take on legal writing at Yale

As the legal writing listserv's discussion about Yale’s post continues, Noah Messing, who teaches legal writing at Yale, MESSINGwrote about the positive features of the school's approach to the subject:

Yale features two passionate faculty members who teach writing full-time; doctrinal faculty who invest heavily in improving the legal writing of their first-year students; remarkable third-years who are carefully coached and who work tirelessly to help their first-year students; a slew of judges who train our students to write; Judge Walker’s meetings with small groups of students; heaps of elective writing courses that have space for everyone; and the chance for students, after one semester, to work on clinical projects under the close supervision of astounding lawyers.




August 18, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 17, 2012

A successful Western Regional Writing Conference

Inspirational presentations at the Western Regional Legal Writing Conference, held at the University of Oregon on August 10 and 11, energized attendees for the approaching academic year.  Below, colleagues relax at dinner.

Mary dinner

Top row: Greg Johnson, Anne Enquist, Charles Calleros, Terri LeClercq, Ralph Brill

    Bottom row: Karin Mika, Mary Lawrence, Laurel Oates


Hat tip: Karin Mika 




August 17, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Friday Fun? What Happens When Cats Interrupt Class

Here's a very short video from a university in Costa Rica . . .


Hat tip to Rex Wockner.  And to the cat.



August 16, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Legal writing professors rally after demeaning statement

The legal writing professors' listserv is abuzz today after Lisa McElroy posted some language from the Yale Law website. It urges prospective transfer students to submit two letters of recommendation--but preferably NOT from legal writing "instructors."  Instead, the admissions director advises, letters should come from "your first year core subject area professors, who can speak to your ability to keep up with the subject material, contribute to class discussion, and think through difficult concepts." Contributors to the legal writing list have found this statement objectionable on many levels. One called it the "smoking gun" that documents an attitude we all knew was out there. Another said it shows how unknowledgeable some in legal academia are about what we actually do. Keeping up with subject material and thinking through difficult concepts are key abilities students need to succeed in our courses!

List contributors have discussed formulating some kind of response to Yale's language. Watch this spot for further information.


August 15, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Excessive Exclamation!!

I came across a great blog -- Excessive Exclamation!!  The blog is dedicated to posting photographs of signs that are excessively exclamatory.  For example:

"Please Pay FIRST!!"


Or my personal favorite:

"You are weerd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


The blog exposes something approaching an epidemic of ! usage and quotes F. Scott Fitzgerald's observation that "[a]n exclamation point is like laughing at your own jokes."  Visitors are encouraged to submit their own photos.  Submit yours today!!!!!


August 14, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 13, 2012

ALWD Scholars Forum

Scholars ForumOn Friday, August 10, the University of Oregon hosted an ALWD Scholars' Forum and Workshop.  Twelve legal writing professors from across the country participated:

  • Cindy Archer (Loyola LA),
  • Debbie Borman (Northwestern),
  • Brooke Bowman (Stetson),
  • Cassandra Hill (TSU Thurgood Marshall),
  • Kim Holst (ASU),
  • Megan McAlpin (Oregon),
  • Anne Mullins (Oregon),
  • Valerie Munson (SIU),
  • Robert Somers (Whittier),
  • Rebecca Scharf (UNLV),
  • Carrie Sperling (ASU), and
  • Hadley Van Vactor (USC). 

The facilitators were:

  • Anne Enquist (Seattle),
  • Steve Johansen (Lewis & Clark),
  • Joan Rocklin (Oregon), and
  • Suzanne Rowe (Oregon).

The workshop had morning presentations of scholarly articles and book chapters in the Workshop and presentations for scholarly topics in the Forum.  After that hard work, everyone enjoyed a "Lunch with Legends."  Special guests included legal writing superstars Mary Lawrence (Oregon), Charles Calleros (ASU), Terri LeClercq (Texas), and Laurel Oates (Seattle).  The event coincided with the Western Regional Legal Writing Conference.

Hat tip to Suzanne Rowe


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

Sunday, August 12, 2012

writing a book on language and law?

If you are writing a book length work on a topic involving the intersection of language and law, consider submitting your book proposal to Oxford University Press's Language and the Law Series. The Series invites book proposals on a wide variety of potential topics and incorporating methodological approaches useful in addressing the analysis of legal doctrines, practices, and and discourse using linguistics, communication theory, or other language-based scholarly fields.

Proposals will be peer reviewed by an editorial board composed of linguists, legal scholars, and anthropologists. Proposals and inquiries should be directed to Series editor Roger Shuy,

hat tip: Janet Ainsworth



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