Saturday, July 6, 2013

register for the Central States Legal Writing Conference

Registration is now open for the Central States Legal Writing Conference. The University of Kansas School of Law will host the Conference on Friday and Saturday, September 27-28, 2013. The conference theme is Creating Context & Connections.

You can register on the conference website.  The website also contains additional information about the conference, including travel, accommodations, scheduling, and (very soon) information about the presenters from across the country. 

Also consider submitting a 5-minute Take-Away presentation. In addition to the traditional, longer presentations, the conference will have Take-Away sessions toward the end of the second day of the conference. Each person in these sessions will have 5 minutes to present a teaching technique or idea to the group. By the end of the session, participants will have a number of great ideas they can immediately implement in the classroom. If you would like to present a 5-minute Take-Away, please submit a participation form online. Participation in the Take-Away sessions will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you have any questions, please contact the KU Law Lawyering Skills Program: Pam Keller, Betsy Six, Joyce Rosenberg, or Chelsi Hayden.

hat tip: Pam Keller


July 6, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Controversy in Class

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog posted a new piece about law school pedagogy.  It discusses effectively using controversial class discussions to foster critical thinking.  From the post:

Law school pedagogy is a bit like weight-control diets. People have different ideas of what works best, and there’s always a new idea floating around promising better results.


Now, a new essay appearing in Southwestern Law Review suggests that law school teachers could enrich their lessons by seizing and dissecting classroom controversy instead of avoiding it.

The authors — Professors Patti Alleva of the University of North Dakota School of Law and Laura Rovner of the University of Denver College of Law — are basically talking about the times when students wade into fraught subjects like race, gender, ethnicity or sex and start yelling at each other.

These moments “provide a vehicle for teaching critical lessons pertinent to becoming self-reflective, well-rounded, and responsible lawyers,” they write.

If you can manage the discussion to avoid unduly alienating students in class, I tend to agree.  The challenge is fostering an environment of respect for competing positions when student temperatures run hot.


July 5, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Clarity Breakfast Program on the "Good Law Initiative"

Clarity is an international organization dedicated to clear communication.  In the United Kingdom, more individual Clarity members work for the Office of Parliamentary Counsel, drafting UK legislation, than for any other organization in the United Kingdom. In April, the Office of Parliamentary Counsel published a review of the causes of complexity in UK legislation, and launched the "good law" initiative. The initiative is an appeal to everyone interested in the making and publishing of law to come together with a shared objective of making legislation work well for the users of today and tomorrow. Hayley Rogers and Elizabeth Gardiner, Parliamentary Counsel and regular participants at Clarity breakfast meetings, will introduce the good law initiative to Clarity members and guests at a breakfast meeting on July 9, 2013, starting at 8:00 a.m.

Location: City Marketing Suite at the Guildhall, London

To reserve a place: Please email

There is no charge to attend. Non-members are welcome to try one meeting before they join Clarity, but Clarity members have priority when booking.  For information on joining, Clarity, click here.

Mark E. Wojcik, a U.S. member of Clarity

July 4, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

legal writing's true rock star

Salamon.susanProving that legal writing really does rock, Susie Salmon, who teaches at the University of Arizona, just last week with her bandmates won the Arizona State Bar Battle of the Lawyer Bands. This band contest took place at the state bar convention, and Susie's band, the Gotes, came away with 1st place bragging rights and a $1,500 award check. In addition to her full-time role as assistant director of Arizona's legal-writing program, Susie is the lead singer of the band. If you click here, Susie is the singer at the microphone in the black dress. You can visit the band's Facebook page here.

hat tip:  Suzanne Rabe


July 3, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Bryan Garner talks about law reviews

The current issue of The Green Gag includes a talk on law reviews by legal writing expert Bryan Garner.Green Bag 6 13 Titled A Legal Lexicographer Looks at Law Reviews, the talk urges the journals to curb verbosity by imposing a strict 25,000-word limit on articles, including footnotes. Garner also disapproves of the typical stiff law review introduction that begins "Part I will discuss . . . ." Garner observes that "law students are called upon to be professional editors when not one in fifty has a background suitable to the task." He therefore suggests that all law review editors should pass an editing test.


July 3, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

the ALWD conference slide show!

With our apologies, once a legal writing conference starts, it is usually just too chock-a-block full with interesting presentations, engaging conversations, and fun activities for the participants to be able to live blog during it. (I do hope my younger colleagues will disprove that assertion in the future though.)

Those who would like a peek at what the conference was like or would like to relive the memories are in luck. Karin Mika created a slide show of pictures taken during the conference, which you can access here.

Everyone in attendance agreed that Susan Bay, Allison Julien, and the other folks at Marquette did an excellent job of organizing all of the conference events, meals, shuttle buses, etc. If you were not there and ever find yourself in Milwaukee, stop by the Marquette law school, ask for a tour, and you too may have building envy.



July 2, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Satire about submitting law review articles

FosterWilliam E. Foster, an associate professor at Washburn University School of Law, has published Submission Slog, a satiric piece about the law review selection process. Foster includes a submission letter with effusive praise of his own article, followed by a rejection letter from a law review, footnoted to suggest what the student editors really thought. In mentioning his submitted "manuscript," the editors probably meant "cover letter, CV, and title and first footnote" of the article, Foster suggests. In saying they are "unable to extend an offer," the editors may have thought, "Actually, we're perfectly 'able' to, but don't want to! Ha!" The full exchange appears in the Spring 2013 issue of The Green Bag.


July 1, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)