Friday, January 25, 2013

Legal Writing Checklists

We have mentioned Jennifer Romig's excellent work on checklists before, but she has a new blog post on the subject worth mentioning over at Think Like a Lawyer:

The key to success with checklists is in using them. Not just when time permits. Not just on a new type of project you’re trying to learn. Not just when you’re working with a new supervisor and want to make a good impression. Selective use of checklists is probably better than nothing. But it isn’t likely to produce the kind of real, recognizable benefits that individuals want for themselves and professional groups want for their professions.

The post appears to be the first in a series on the topic.

hat tip: Hollee Temple




January 25, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ABA TIPS Law Student Writing Competition

We love writing competitions because, well, because we love writing.  And we know that these competitions are important for law students to build their skills and reputation as strong legal writers.

The Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association has established an annual Law Student Writing Competition with $1,500 cash, plus paid air and hotel accommodations to the ABA Annual Meeting awarded to the first place winner.  (This year's ABA Annual Meeting is in San Francisco.)  The second place winner gets $500 cash, which isn't so bad either.

Who won last year?  Have a look by clicking here.  

Hat tip to Linda Wiley.


January 25, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Is most of what we think we know about grammar wrong?

This fascinating post from the Smithsonian Magazine identifies several "false prohibitions" of English grammar and hypothesizes as to their origins.  The authors' plea to "let English adverbs fall where they may" might strike fear into the hearts of LRW profs, but their advice "not to turn [your] writing upside down to sidestep imaginary errors" may be worth heeding.

Hat Tip:


January 24, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Law Student Writing Competition (International Humanitarian Law)

Here's a reminder that the American University Washington College of Law Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Center) and the American Society of International Law’s Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict (ASIL) have announced their Third Annual International Humanitarian Law Student Writing Competition. 

The Competition seeks submissions of academic papers on the topic of international humanitarian law (IHL) from students currently enrolled in a law degree program in the United States or abroad. The purpose of the Competition is to enhance scholarship and deepen understanding among students in this important area of international law. The winning authors will be flown to Washington, DC to present their papers at a conference at American University Washington College of Law focused on emerging issues in IHL with a panel of expert professors and practitioners. In addition, winners will receive a complimentary registration to the ASIL 2013 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC on April 3-6, 2013, and a one-year student membership in the American Society of International Law. Last year, the Competition received over 50 submissions from 13 different countries.

This Competition is part of a multi-pronged initiative to expand and support the teaching and study of IHL among both students and professors in which both the Center and ASIL have been deeply involved.  In 2007, the Center published a study with the International Committee of the Red Cross on Teaching International Humanitarian Law in US Law Schools(available at center/ihl_report.cfm). The study identified a growing need for resources to support and expand the teaching of IHL among law faculty, but also a desire to support the interest of students in learning about IHL. The IHL Student Writing Competition promotes and supports student interest and deepening scholarship in IHL by providing students with a tangible way to become more directly involved in the global discourse around IHL.

The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm (noon) EST. Send any questions to or call them at 202-274-4180.

Hat tip to the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law


January 24, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Law Student Writing Competition: Recent Developments in Admiralty and Maritime Law

Admiralty Law PhotoThe Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee of the American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) has announced its annual writing competition.  The topic is a broad one:  Recent Developments in Admiralty and Maritime Law.  The winner gets: (1) $500; (2) another $500 toward attending the TIPS Spring Meeting in Washington, DC or the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco; and (3) possible publication in the Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee newsletter or other TIPS publication. 

Current J.D. and LL.M. students are eligible.  Entrants must be a member of the ABA Law Student Division at the time of entry.  (They might also want to be a student member of TIPS, since it's free once you join the ABA as a student!)

Maximum length: 20 pages, double-spaced, 12 point Book Antiqua (or similar) font, with footnotes and Bluebook formatting.  (It doesn't have to be 20 pages of course!)

Submit essays to James Koelzer at on or before April 5, 2013. Include your ABA membership number with your submission.  Please click here for the official rules and a complete description of the competition.

Hat tips to Erin Ruehrwein and Linda Wiley.


January 23, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

job posting: Savannah Law School

Savannah Law School seeks to hire one or two full-time tenure-track professors to teach in its Legal Skills & Professionalism program. This boutique law school is located in the heart of the historic district in Savannah, Georgia. In August 2012, we welcomed our first class after receiving ABA acquiescence the year prior, and the dynamic group of faculty includes nationally-recognized scholars. Our rigorous research and writing program focuses on predictive writing in the first semester and persuasive writing in the second. Thereafter, students must complete two upper level writing courses that may include appellate advocacy, transactional drafting, or pretrial advocacy. Professors hired for this program will typically teach one first year legal writing course and one upper level writing course each semester. Ideal candidates should have at least one year experience teaching legal writing or analysis. Additionally, part of our tenure process requires completion of quality scholarship, so candidates should have at least a demonstrable desire to engage in scholarly writing if not a body of work already developing. Salary is commensurate with experience. Qualified applicants should submit a current CV and cover letter via email to Elizabeth Megale at  

Elizabeth Berenguer Megale, Director Legal Skills & Professionalism, Savannah Law School, 516 Drayton Street, Savannah GA 31401, phone: (912) 525-3905, fax: (912) 525-3915, email:                        , website:

1.  The position advertised:

     _X   a.   is a tenure-track appointment.

     __   b.   may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.

     __   c.   may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years.

     __   d.  has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.

     __   e.  is part of a fellowship program for one or two years.

     __   f.   is a part-time appointment, or a year-to-year adjunct appointment.

2.  The professor hired:

     _X   a.   will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

     __   b.   will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

3.  The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range checked

below.  (A base salary does not include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other

courses, or teaching in summer school; nor does a base salary include conference travel or other

professional development funds.)

     _X   a.   $90,000 or more

     _X   b.   $80,000 to $89,999

     __   c.   $70,000 to $79,999

     __   d.   $60,000 to $69,999

     __   e.   $50,000 to $59,999

     __   f.   $40,000 to $49,999

     __   g.   $30,000 to $39,999

Additional information about base salary or other compensation:  Salary is commensurate with experience.

4.  The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be:

     __   a.   30 or fewer

     __   b.   31 - 35

     _X   c.   36 - 40

     __   d.   41 - 45



January 23, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ever wonder how to pronounce case names?

If you've ever wondered how to pronounce Supreme Court case names, check out The Green Bag's recent pronunciation guide. A print essay explains that students and scholars at Yale and Princeton law schools scoured sources to find theJ0385588 correct pronunciations for hundreds of case names. Among the list's notable entries: The name Grutter in the landmark diversity case rhymes with rooter; Padilla (of Rumsfield v. Padilla) is pronounced pə -DEE-yə; Boumediene rhymes with boo-BETTy-ən; and in the heat-sensor case, Kyllo is pronounced KI-loh. The list is available on line, along with helpful audio pronunciations. It's a good reference for students preparing for oral arguments.


January 23, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wanna teach LLM's this summer in Istanbul?

The Open Society Foundations is currently recruiting instructors of academic writing to teach at the Open Society Scholarship Programs’ 2013 Pre-Academic Summer Program in Istanbul. Two summer school sessions will be held in 2013: from July 1-24 and from July 29 - August 23. Both sessions will be identical in structure and instructors can apply to teach at one or both sessions. Instructors will be expected to attend two days of preparation as a part of each session: June 28-29 for the first session, and July 26 - 27 for the second session.

The summer school program is designed to prepare scholarship finalists from Western CIS, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia for graduate studies or faculty exchange programs primarily in the US and Europe. The curriculum is an integration of academic writing courses with intensive seminar-style social science courses. All courses will be taught in English.

Participants in the summer school take one academic writing course (2 hours a day, 4 days a week) and one social science course (1.5 hours a day, 4 days a week). Academic writing instructors will work closely with social science instructors during the pre-program preparation to coordinate their course approach and writing/research assignments. Each course is expected to have approximately 12 students. The expected total number of students attending each summer school session is approximately 100. Students attending the summer school will be entering graduate programs in a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including political science, human rights, international relations, education, environmental studies, public health, anthropology, economics, gender studies, sociology, law, history, and development studies. 

The Open Society Foundations is calling for experienced instructors of academic writing to submit here a letter of interest, CV (including references), and sample syllabus for an intensive 3.5 week course of their choice. The deadline is February 8, 2013. Final syllabi and assignments will be worked out during the three day preparation in cooperation with the social science instructors. Candidates are required to hold a graduate degree, preferably in linguistics, applied linguistics or a related field, with significant experience teaching advanced level non-native speakers. Preference will be given to individuals with significant experience teaching in a western institution and experience living/teaching in the participants’ home regions (Western CIS, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Middle East, South and South East Asia). Due to budgetary considerations, preference will also be given to those who are able to travel inexpensively and conveniently to Istanbul.

In addition, the Open Society Foundations is seeking an academic writing instructor with specific experience teaching legal writing to LLM students for the July session.

Academic writing instructors will teach one course lasting 3.5 weeks for each summer school session.  The total number of classes will be 12 per session, with the three last days of the program set aside for instructors to grade projects and work closely with social science instructors on final student evaluations.

Teaching hours: Approximately 2 teaching hours per day for four-days a week, plus a required minimum of 2 hours a day for student consultations.

Additional responsibilities: Instructors will be called upon and are encouraged to assist with extra-curricular activities and special events during the course of each session. They will also be expected to conduct additional lectures in their field or to facilitate presentations that orient students to graduate studies in the US and Europe.

Remuneration: Instructors will receive $4,400 USD per summer school session, round-trip travel to Istanbul, and accommodation. Applicants should specify which session they are applying for, or whether they are applying to teach at both.

hat tip: Michael Higdon


January 21, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Global Legal Skills Conference

San Jose Opera House PhotoThe 8th Global Legal Skills Conference, being held in San Jose Costa Rica March 11-13, 2013.  Here's a link to the registration site.  

Law professors, lawyers, law students, and other attendees are coming from Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and the United States.

An additional track was added to make some speaking slots available, in case you are able to attend.  


January 20, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)