Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Contemporary Take on Strunk and White for Legal Writers

Professor Judith D. Fischer recently uploaded a new article evaluating the usefulness of a classic grammar authority.  From the abstract:

The Elements of Style, often called “Strunk and White,” has evoked both strong praise and vehement criticism. In the legal field, scholars often cite the book as an authority on grammar and style, as do judges, who sometimes order lawyers to read it. But detractors have criticized The Elements of Style as filled with “inconsistent nonsense” and even “hogwash.” This article examines the book and the critiques of it to consider whether legal writers should continue to revere it. The article points out the book’s flaws and concludes that it is time to demote Strunk and White to the bottom bookshelf and fill its former space with more current and effective resources.

The article is a good read and will appear in an upcoming edition of Scribes.


November 1, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

legal haiku

ROSSESSAY-artYou can find an explanation and the results of the ABA's haiku contest here. A legal writing professors is one of the winners. Congratulations to Meehan Rasch!


November 1, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, is seeking for two full-time Lawyering Skills faculty positions to teach Legal Research and Writing, and Ethical Lawyering beginning in the 2013-14 academic year.

Legal Research and Writing is a graded, year-long course with a curriculum emphasizing effective legal analysis, communication and advocacy skills, both written and oral, with significant opportunities for one to one interaction between professors and students. Each professor teaches two sections of approximately 20-25 first-year students; each section meets once a week. Each professor also teaches one semester of Ethical Lawyering, an innovative course combining professional ethics with client interviewing and counseling skills for upper division students. In addition to teaching, professors are expected to collaborate in the designing of course materials, to provide service to the greater law school community, and to participate in the professional legal writing community.

Candidates must have superior academic records, expertise in research and writing, and at least four years of professional experience beyond law school graduation. Teaching experience is preferred.   

To apply, submit a resume and a list of three references. Include a cover letter that explains your qualifications and your interest in teaching the course. Materials should be submitted to Barbara Lu Baltazar, Director of Human Resources, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL, LOS ANGELES, 919 Albany Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015 or by email to, by December 10, 2012. 

Questions about the LRW program or this position can be directed to Professor Cindy Archer, Director of Lawyering Skills at 213-736-8380 or

1. The position advertised may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.
2. The professor hiredwill be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range $80,000 - $89,999.
4.  The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be 41 – 45 (spring semester) and more than 60 (fall semester).


October 29, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

easy access to Stetson LRW webinars

If you need a fix of LRW idea sharing between national or regional conferences, take a look at the LRW webinars that Stetson has recorded and now made easily available on the web here. The topics include:

Teaching the Basics of Tribal Law in First-Year Legal Research and Writing

Live Commenting and Grading

Diversity in the Legal Writing Classroom

Empirical and Statistical Studies in Legal Writing

Outcomes and Assessment in Legal Writing

Citation in the Next Edition: Revisions to the ALWD Citation Manual

Scholarship Highlights: New Voice and New Ideas in Legal Communication

Using Technology to Comment on Papers

What is “Legal Writing Scholarship”?

Innovations in Upper-Level Legal Writing Courses

Strategies for Coaching Moot Court Teams

Designing the First-Year Legal Writing Curriculum: Outcomes and Assessment

hat tip: Kirsten Davis


October 28, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)