Saturday, September 8, 2012

tenure-track LRW job in North Dakota

Lgo-undThe University of North Dakota School of Law is accepting applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor of Law in the field of Legal Writing or Lawyering Skills for the academic year beginning August 2013.

Candidates must have a J.D. degree, a distinguished academic record, and demonstrated excellence in their professional work. Candidates also should have a record of, or show promise for, achievement as a teacher, scholar, and colleague with a commitment to academic and professional service.

Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis. The School of Law especially welcomes candidates who will enhance faculty diversity. Postal address: Professor James Grijalva, Chair, Faculty Selection Committee, University of North Dakota School of Law, 215 Centennial Drive Stop 9003, Grand Forks, ND  58202-9003. Electronic address: Electronic submissions preferred. 

Questions regarding this position can be directed to Kirsten Dauphinais, Law School Builders of the Profession Professor of Law, Director of Lawyering Skills, and Vice Chair of the Faculty Selection Committee at (701) 777-6396 or

1. The position is tenure-track. 
2. The professor hired will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range $80,000 to $89,000.
4. The person hired will teach legal writing, each semester, to 30 or fewer students or 56-60 students.

(Professors who teach Lawyering Skills at UND traditionally alternate teaching loads: one year teaching two sections of first year Lawyering Skills of 25-30 students each and the next year teaching one section of Lawyering Skills, plus one additional course each semester. These additional courses can be either upperlevel skills or casebook and are selected in consultation with the Dean on the basis of the professor's interest and background, as well as the needs of the law school.)


September 8, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Illinois State Bar Association to Offer Free Online CLE to its Members

Bar associations -- particularly the voluntary ones (where you don't have to be a member to practice) -- are always looking for ways to improve the service that they provide to members.  

The Illinois State Bar Association is one of the nation's largest voluntary state bar associations.  Like other state bar associations, It offers members free online legal research (through Fastcase).  It provides a very helpful daily email message with the latest cases and legal news.  It provides members with subscriptions to the Illinois Bar Journal and section newsletters.  It provides ethics help from its database of advisory opinions and an Ethics Infoline.  And now the ISBA has announced a new member benefit of free online CLE programs, starting in January 2013.  Here's a video message from ISBA President John Thies to explain the new member benefit:


Click here for more information about the free CLE program.

Click here for information about membership in the Illinois State Bar Association.  

Law student memberships in the ISBA are free.  (And you don't have to be a law student in Illinois).  Click here for more information about law student memberships.

Mark E. Wojcik, Member, ISBA Board of Governors

September 7, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Legal writing provides clues to the Justices' original positions in the health care case

You may not have realized that legal writing can be a tool for solving mysteries. But sleuth Ross Guberman has demonstrated that it can. In an article in his on-line newsletter, he attempts to solve a lingering question from the Supreme Court’s last term: Did Chief Justice John Roberts switch sides in the health care case at the last minute? Applying forensic linguistics to the opinion’s prose, Guberman concludes that Roberts was probably the original author of the majority opinion and Justice Scalia probably drafted the dissent.


September 6, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

another legal writing job opening

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, is accepting applications for two tenure-track faculty positions in the area of legal research and writing. 

Each legal writing professor teaches approximately 35 first-year students, divided into 2 sections, during the fall and spring semesters. They teach predictive writing in the fall (graded, 3 credit hour class) and persuasive writing in the spring semester (graded, 2 credit hour class). They follow uniform assignment deadlines and assignment length. Beyond these requirements, however, each professor has full authority over how his or her class is taught. Basic legal research instruction is integrated into the first year curriculum. There will also be an opportunity to teach a small section of upper-level legal writing or another class of interest, during the spring semesters. 

Please address letters of application to Professor Brian Gallini, Chair Faculty Appointments Committee, Direct questions about the legal writing program at the University of Arkansas to Ann Killenbeck,

Applications are being reviewed now, on a rolling basis, with a list of candidate interviews to be finalized by the end of September.  

1. The position advertised is a tenure-track appointment.
2. The professor hired will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
3.  The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range $70,000-$89,999, but the salary could be greater depending on experience and qualifications.
4. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be 31-40.

(spl) J.D., Ph.D.

September 6, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Former legal writing professor Sheila Simon on the national stage

Former Southern Illinois University legal writing professor Sheila Simon is on the national stage this week, "having a blast" at the convention.   She's the current lieutenant governor of Illinois.


Hat tips: Sheila Simon, Ralph Brill


September 5, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

An Amicus Brief Straight From the Funny Papers

My colleague, DeLeith Duke Gossett, just walked into my office with what may be the most memorable amicus brief I've seen in a while.  It is composed (with the exception of the caption, table of authorities, and signature block) as a comic strip and was filed in the Apple e-book case by Bob Kohn in the Southern District of New York.  From the brief:


The writer succeeded on two fronts here: the brief is memorable and readable.  Maybe the court will actually read this amicus brief.  If so, I'd call it a win for Mr. Kohn!


September 5, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New blog advises students and new lawyers

Northwestern’s Professor Elizabeth Inglehart, pictured at right, has joined the blogosphere with a new blog called “Think likeInglehart a Lawyer: Musings of a Legal Writing Professor.”  She explains that it will offer “advice for LRW students, law students more generally, and beginning lawyers” on succeeding in law school and afterward. Many of its items will interest followers of this blog. For example, a student’s guest post presents insights about his summer clerkship with a federal judge. He writes that he drafted a memorandum and two opinions over the summer and learned two important lessons about handling such projects: “(1) get a good sense of what is expected of you before starting your project, and (2) be as thorough as your schedule permits you to be.”

Welcome, Professor Inglehart!


September 4, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Human v. Non-Human Content Editors

The Intelligent Solutions Blog has an interesting post on the role, and traditional advantages, of human professional content editors (like those at Westlaw who add Headnotes and helpful links) versus artificial content organizers (like search engines).  John Barker writes:

I still do not see algorithms replacing editors. But there is an interesting possibility with “low value” content. For example, officially unpublished opinions do not have precedential value. The volume of these opinions is high. Human editors cannot invest valuable resources in summarizing those opinions compared to appellate court opinions. This is an example where automated methods might be sufficient for a customer’s research needs. Of course, automated content enrichment methods could be used to identify for editors those officially unpublished decisions that might be of particular interest. Closer attention is needed into the value of each type of content for professional customers and what combination of human and algorithmic enhancements are necessary to make it actionable.

At least in my experience, many unpublished cases do appear to be handled by human editors.  And I'm not sure that I agree with the premise that cases without "precedential" value are of limited importance.  Courts, especially lower courts, often treat these cases on a close footing with published cases.  Still, with vast new amounts of content becoming available via electronic distribution (e.g. trial court orders) perhaps there is a place in the pecking order below which artificial editing is simply more efficient, considering the relative value of that content and quality of the algorithm doing the editing.

hat tip: Three Geeks and a Law Blog


September 4, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 3, 2012

legal writing teaching opening at Cornell

About_admin_deansThe Lawyering Program at Cornell Law School seeks candidates for a full-time position commencing in the 2013-14 academic year. The Lawyering course is a year-long, four-credit course that introduces first-year students to lawyering skills, with primary emphasis on legal writing, analysis, and research.  Lawyering faculty collaborate to ensure a uniform core curriculum, but they retain substantial academic freedom. Law librarians teach the research component of the course.

Lawyering faculty teach one section of the Lawyering course (approximately 35 students) and, after two years, also teach an upper-level, skills-related seminar. Opportunities to teach other skills-related courses may also arise.

Positions in the program are not tenure track but are eligible for long-term renewal. Entry-level faculty start with a three-year contract (eligible for renewal for another three years) and after six years are eligible for renewable, five-year contracts. The Dean may provide summer grants to faculty to work on individual and collective projects.  Benefits are competitive (the salary is negotiable) and include a budget for research and travel.

          Applicants must have a J.D., excellent academic credentials, a strong writing background, and substantial legal-practice experience (a minimum of three years is strongly preferred). Teaching experience is also preferred. We encourage applications from those whose background and experience would add to the diversity of the faculty. Applicants should mail (hard copies only) a cover letter, resume, law-school transcript, the names of three references, and two writing samples to Joel Atlas, Director, The Lawyering Program, Cornell Law School, Myron Taylor Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853. The closing date for applications is September 24, 2012. We intend to interview candidates at the AALS recruitment conference in Washington, D.C., in October 2012.

1. The position advertised may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.
2. The professor hired  will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings (with some limitations).
3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range $70,000 to $79,999.
4. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be 31 - 35.


September 3, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)