September 21, 2012
Kentucky legal writing professors meet in Frankfort
On September 21, legal writing professors from Kentucky's three law schools met in the state capital to chat and discuss collaborating on a CLE session. The group enjoyed sharing ideas and exploring historic Frankfort. Below are Judy Fischer of the University of Louisville, Melissa Henke and Kristin Hazelwood of the University of Kentucky, Jennifer Jolly-Ryan of Chase at Northern Kentucky University, Diane Kraft of U.K., and JoAnne Sweeny and Tammy Pettinato of the U. of L.
September 20, 2012
How to publish scholarship while teaching legal writingAnna Hemingway of Widener University School of Law has published an article with lots of advice on how to pursue a scholarly agenda while teaching legal writing. She offers tips for saving time in teaching the course, along with ideas for getting an article written. New professors especially will find these tips helpful in establishing their careers as scholars.
September 17, 2012
Writing for Partners
Above the Law has a great legal writing post focused on what law firm partners actually demand. One of the tips marries legal writing and research, and I think it's particularly timely while many of us are teaching students how to research and report their results:
Step Four: Using Authorities
These days, nearly all associates find the authorities they need. But partners want associates to do more than just copy or summarize those authorities; they want to know how each authority supports the associate’s points explicitly.
“This may be as much an analytical skill as a writing skill, but I have been struck by how often junior associates think sending you five cases is an appropriate response to a research assignment.”
“[A]ssociates should work on better integrating their discussions of the facts and the law in briefs, i.e., doing more than just stating the facts and stating the law, but explaining how the facts apply to the law.”
The post is a great read and boils down the law firm writing process to four easy-to-understand steps.
September 16, 2012
peer review in upper level legal writing courses
If you're teaching an advanced legal writing course, you might find a new article by Sheila Rodriquez particularly interesting.
In "Letting Students Teach Each Other: Using Peer Conferences in Upper-Level Legal Writing", 13 Florida Coastal Law Review 101 (2012), Sheila explains "how incorporating structured one-on- one student conferences in an upper-level legal writing course helps novice writers develop expertise. This Article also explains how peer conferences help students to develop critical skills that they will need as practicing lawyers. Although the peer conferences described in this Article are discussed in the context of legal writing, peer conferences may be used in any upper-level course, including both practice-oriented courses and doctrinal courses. This Article responds to the recent impetus to reexamine the nature and purpose of legal education by providing students with more skills training."