October 18, 2012
videos on being a professional
Six really helpful videos that dramatize professionalism issues for law students are now available free online. Widener legal writing professors Mary Ann Robinson and Alison Kehner created the videos as teaching tools to share with all of us. All of the videos are brief – half are only about five minutes long. The videos and related teaching materials are available here.
The vignettes explore:
Preparedness: Learn from Kate, who struggles with being adequately prepared for a conference with her law school professor – and again years later at an important workplace meeting.
Social Networking: Law school students express frustration at sitting through a presentation about the appropriate use of social networking sites. Years later, one of them learns the hard way how Facebook photos can create problems in his professional life.
Misuse of Technology: John uses his laptop during class to check email and surf the internet, and despite being embarrassed when he’s caught by the professor, he doesn’t learn his lesson. Years later John exhibits similarly distracted behavior in a client meeting.
Anticipating Consequences: Managing Client Expectations: A client who seeks immediate turnaround on a revised will poses multiple challenges for a new attorney. Different approaches to the situation are explored with video rewinds taking the viewer back in time, to explore the ramifications of the attorney’s different choices.
Mistakes: Video rewinds are used again with junior associate
Alice to show two differing approaches to handling an error she made with an
important firm client.
Self-Direction (& Law School Study Skills): Go for burritos with friends or go to study group? Poor choices in law school and on the job illustrate how critical it is to become self-directed learners, who take responsibility for mastering law school material and, later, the client’s file. Teaching materials include discussion questions and handouts from academic success professionals on effective law school study skills.
October 16, 2012
IRAC and its variations
In the fall 2012 issue of JALWD, Tracy Turner of Southwestern presents an interesting analysis of IRAC and its permutations. She lists twenty variations of the mnemonic device and discusses the reasoning behind each. She also identifies four organizational methods on which most legal-writing textbooks agree: rule-centered analysis, separation of discrete issues, synthesis of case law, and unity. Turner suggests that these might be better guides than “dogmatic adherence to a particular acronym.”
October 15, 2012
LRW at AALS
In the alphabet soup of the legal academy, both LWI and ALWD resources were helpful at the AALS hiring conference in D.C. this past weekend.
Teri McMurtry-Chubb (at Mercer) took the lead in organizing the AALS information session for faculty candidates interested in becoming legal writing professors. She was joined by Cassandra Hill (at Thurgood Marshall) and Mimi Samuel (at Seattle U.), leading "a lively and engaging session." The participants received hand-outs with information about the LWI website, LWI's upcoming One-Day Legal Writing Workshops, the definitive articles on finding a legal writing teaching job by Jan Levine (Duquesne), and Jan's webpage URL. Meanwhile Sue Liemer (Southern Illinois) represented the ALWD New Directors Committee and lent an ear for new(er) directors at the hiring conference.
Were any other LRW folks there?
Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.