Saturday, September 15, 2012

tech & teaching conference

Home_footer_steepleCall for Proposals

The Third “Colonial Frontier” Legal Writing Conference
Saturday, March 16, 2013

Technology and the Teaching of Legal Research & Writing

This conference is intended to provide legal writing professors and other interested law school faculty members with the opportunity to improve the ways in which they use computer technology for teaching legal research and writing. Proposals for four types of presentations are welcome:

• demonstrations of how to use computer software and hardware
• small-group workshops in which attendees will use their own laptops to do something
    new, under the presenter’s guidance
• informal “roundtable” discussions during lunch
• presentations about the positive and negative effects of using computer technology

A proposal should be further categorized as calling for a session intended for small group or plenary  sessions and requiring either 20- or 50-minutes.

Proposals should be sent as an e-mail file attachment in MS Word or PDF formats to Professor Jan Levine at by November 1, 2012. Proposals should be under 1,500 words and should use the cover sheet format below, noting the topic to be addressed, the amount of time sought for the presentation, any special technological needs for the session, and the presenter’s affiliation and contact information. Proposals will be reviewed by the faculty of Duquesne’s legal writing program.

Proposals should not address these already-scheduled topics:
1) PowerPoint Basics for Mac
2) Distance-Learning – A Discussion of the Risks and Benefits
3)Customized Critiquing Using Word 2011 for Mac and Other Tools
4) Switching to the Mac

The registration fee for the one-day conference is projected to be approximately $100 (which does not include hotel costs). Attendees will receive free on-site parking, two meals, an open-bar closing  reception, and other refreshments.

Proposal Cover Sheet
Presenter’s Name:
Law School:
Business Mailing Address:
E-mail Address:
Telephone Number:

Presentation Type:
___ Demonstration of how to use computer software and hardware
___ Small-group workshop in which attendees will use their own laptops under the presenter’s
___ Lunchtime “roundtable” discussion
___ Presentation about the positive and negative effects of using computer technology

Presentation Size:
___ Plenary
___ Small-Group (estimated size): _______

Presentation Duration:
___ 20 minutes
___ 50 minutes
___ Lunchtime
___Other (please explain): _______________

Presenter’s Technology Needs:                                             Attendees' Technololgy Needs:
___ Connection to Presentation Screen                                ___ Laptop
___ Wireless Internet Access                                               ___ Windows
___ Audio                                                                           ___ Mac
___ Other (please explain): _______________                      ___ Other (please explain): ____________
___ None                                                                            ___ None


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

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A reminder to use simple words

Jim McElhaney’s column in the September ABA Journal reminds readers of a key truth about writing: “GoABA J Sep_2012_Cvr_1 for simple words if you want to communicate effectively.” Perhaps numbed by dense writing in old case opinions, lawyers and law students may slip into using terms like clear beyond peradventure, vel non, and with respect to. Such obscure vocabulary, McElhaney says, too often confuses readers instead of telling a clear story. “Let the story—not the legal theory—pick the words.”

Sadly, a sidebar notifies readers that this repeat of a previous piece will end McElhaney's twenty-five-year run as a colunist for the Journal. 


September 12, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Updates from Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD


Last week the ALWD Board confirmed the masthead for this year’s Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD.  The vote resulted in the elevation of Sara Gordon (UNLV) and Jason Cohen (Rutgers-Camden) from associate editors to Lead (Articles) Editors.  Additionally, Tom Cobb (U. Washington) rejoined the board and will be spearheading a new book-review feature.

The Journal continues to seek peer reviewers for the Fall Edition, by email to 

Hat tip - Joan Ames Magat


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

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My Legal Writing Coach - a new app for memo writers

LegalWritingCoachNot that we want students to actually write memos on their smartphones, but given how busy they are, they may find a new legal writing app to be a useful tool as they prepare to write, and once they have a draft, to revise and improve what they've written.

The app is My Legal Writing Coach, put together by Kirsten Davis of Stetson University College of Law, and it provides structural templates and checklists; tips for conducting research, improving the quality of the memo, and working more efficiently; guidance on adapting a memo for email; annotated sample memos; and more. To get the modestly priced app--or to learn more about it--go to iPhone/iPad App Store, or for Android devices, to Google play.


September 9, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)