Thursday, January 31, 2013

positions available at Univeristy of Richmond

Posted on behalf of Professor Jim Gibson from University of Richmond School of Law: 

First-Year Legal Writing Professors 

The University of Richmond School of Law is hiring up to five full-time legal writing professors to help build and to teach in our newly redesigned legal writing program for first-year students.  The program has been revamped to emphasize core principles of communication and expository writing, such as clarity and structure, and is based on the work of Stephen Armstrong and Timothy Terrell (see Thinking Like a Writer: A Lawyer’s Guide to Effective Writing and Editing).  The program will also teach legal analysis and, in conjunction with our law library faculty, legal research.

The first-year legal writing course is part of a two-year required skills program that falls under the general oversight of the faculty Curriculum Committee and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  It will not have a separate director.  Each professor will teach approximately 30 to 35 first-year students and may also play a role in the upper-level skills program once the first-year course is fully established.  Appointments are by nine-month renewable contract and allow for long-term security of position.  The legal writing professors will have faculty status within the law school and the university, participate fully in faculty governance, and have voting privileges.

The ideal candidate will have a law degree, a passion for teaching, a demonstrated commitment to excellence in legal writing, a collaborative nature, and a willingness to embrace innovative pedagogy.  Experience as a writing instructor is a plus, but we welcome applications from both inside and outside the academy. 

We will accept applications beginning immediately.  Starting dates are flexible, but newly hired faculty will begin teaching in August 2013, with a substantial period for preparation beforehand.  Applicants should submit a letter of interest and curriculum vitae to the chair of the legal writing appointments committee, Professor Jim Gibson, at

* * * 

The University of Richmond is a private, highly selective institution with a $1.8 billion endowment.  The School of Law features a collegial and collaborative environment, with widespread support for innovation in teaching and scholarship.  Both the University and the School of Law are committed to developing a diverse workforce and student body and to supporting an inclusive campus community.  We encourage applications from candidates who will contribute to these goals. 

Disclosure Form:

 1. The position advertised: 

__ a. is a tenure-track appointment.

_X 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.


Additional information about job security or terms of employment, any applicable

term limits, and whether the position complies with ABA Standard 405(c): 

Complies with 405(c). Appointment will be three renewable one-year terms, followed by a three-year term, followed by successive five-year terms with presumptive renewal.

 2. The professor hired: 

_X a. will 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 othercourses, or teaching in summer school; nor does a base salary include conference travel or other professional development funds.) 

__ a. $90,000 or more

_X b. $80,000 to $89,999

__ c. $70,000 to $79,999

 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

_X b. 31 - 35



January 31, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hurray for the Law Library of Congress!

You should know about the Law Library of Congress.  It's an abosolute treasure.  Their website allows you to ask obscure research questions.  And get answers.  For free.

Many of you DO know it because we had a field trip there during the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools.  About 100 people attended that program organized by the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research.

So a few weeks ago I had to find a Lagos (Nigeria) State Statute.  It was the 2007 Lagos State Law to Provide Protection Against Domestic Violence and Connected Purposes.  Most law libraries don't have Nigerian statutes -- and much less the statutes of the various Nigerian states.  So I sent an email to the "Ask a Librarian" link on the website for the Law Library of Congress, which found the law for me and sent me a PDF of 40 Lagos State of Nigeria Official Gazette, No. 53, A187-201 (Jul. 30, 2007).  It took a couple of weeks, but that's ok -- I got what I needed.  

If you have a sticky research question, remember to test out the stunning resources of the Law Library of Congress.  And if you're in Washington DC, be sure to pay them a visit.  You owe it to yourself -- and your students.


January 31, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Short Video on How to Cite Illinois Cases (now that they are no longer being published in the official reporters)

One of our more popular videos is from The John Marshall Law School.  It shows how to cite decisions of the Illinois Supreme Court and the various districts of the Illinois Appellate Court using the new citation rules.  Have a look (even if you're not in Illinois).



January 29, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Jessup Moot Court Competition

Click here for an update on the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.


January 29, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Global Legal Skills Conference 2013 in Costa Rica

2013-01-26_11-36-01_401The 8th Global Legal Skills Conference is being held in San Jose, Costa Rica, from March 11-13, 2013.  Speakers and attendees are coming in from Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and the United States.  The conference focuses on teaching and learning "Global Legal Skills" -- a concept broadly defined over the life of the conference to bring together a large number of people working together on international skills education.

The 2013 Conference includes these sessions:

  • Lurene Contento (The John Marshall Law School) and Alissa Hartig (Department of Applied Linguistics at Pennsylvania State University) on "The Importance of Teaching International Students to Read Before Teaching Them How to Write."
  • Mireille Butler (Pepperdine University School of Law) in a bilingual session (in English and Spanish) on "Academic Legal Writing."
  • Sammy Mansour and Daphne O'Regan (both of the Michigan State University College of Law) on the "Benefits and Challenges of Using the Socratic Method to Teach Foreign-Trained Attorneys."
  • Iselin Gambert (The George Washington University Law School) on "Connecting the Law School Writing Cetner to the International Human Rights Clinic"
  • 2013-01-26_11-22-12_971Michael Murray (Valparaiso University School of Law) on "Comparative Synthesis" and "Visual Rhetoric"
  • Laurel Currie Oates and Mimi Samuel (both of Seattle University School of Law) and Ann Nowak (of Touro Law School) on "Teaching Skills Online"
  • Deborah B. McGregor and Cynthia Adams (both of Indiana University) on "Using Contrastive Rhetoric to Balance LL.M. Students' Past Legal Experiences with their U.S. Legal Education."
  • Ruth Thompson (University of Saskatchewan) on "Implementing Human Rights in Law School"
  • Robert Somers (Whittier Law School) and Maureen Collins (The John Marshall Law School-Chicago) on "Technology in the Classroom" 
  • Diane Kaplan (The John Marshall Law School-Chicago) and others in a Roundtable on Teaching Materials
  • Leo Ciano (Kansai University of Foreign Studies, Japan)
  • A roundtable on Teaching International Law with Cindy Buys (Southern Illinois University), Gregory Gordon (University of North Dakota School of Law), and William B.T. Mock, Jr. (The John Marshall Law School-Chicago)
  • Kathryn Mercer (Case Western Reserve University School of Law), David Austin (California Western School of Law), and Ruth Hargrove (California Western School of Law) in sessions diversity and on "How Gender and Cross-Cultural Communication Can Enhance or Interfere with Global Legal Skills"
  • Attorney Matthew Rooney, Senior Counsel at Meyer Brown, Chicago, on "Teaching Legal Writing and Advocacy in Iraq and South Africa"
  • Jennifer Davis (University of New Hampshire) on incorporating field trips to teach the U.S. legal system.

Also planned are sessions for bilingual contract negotiations (in Spanish and English) where law students and lawyers can improve their legal Spanish--and legal English--in simulated contract negotiations.

There will also be sessions on law and legal education in Costa Rica and Central America, and other panels as well.  

2013-01-25_15-55-33_395There is also a "Legal Field Trip" that will visit the Supreme Court of Costa Rica and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. 

There are special GLS8 rates at these hotels:

  • Holiday Inn Aurola Downtown, San Jose
  • Hotel Presidente, San Jose
  • Gran Hotel Costa Rica
  • Hotel Balmoral, San Jose

Registration information is available by clicking here.

For more information about attending the conference, contact Mark Wojcik (hey, that's me) at mwojcik [at]  


January 27, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

some great legal fiction

Sometimes wonderful writing appears in some unlikely places. If you have the most recent issue of the Journal of Legal Education sitting around and have not yet delved in, take a look. It's filled with the winning entries to their legal fiction contest -- short stories that are well written and on themes any lawyer will recognize. Most law professors get the JLE in their law school mailboxes, but for the rest of you, the issue is available here.


January 27, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)