Thursday, April 16, 2015

Professor Marilyn Walter to Receive 2015 Burton Award for Contribution to Legal Writing Education

Marilyn WalterProfessor Marilyn Walter of Brooklyn Law School was announced as the 2015 recipient of the Burton Award for Contribution to Legal Writing Education. She will receive her award at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. on June 15, 2015.

Professor Walter joined the LRW community in 1976 when she taught legal writing at New York University. In 1980, she became the director of Brooklyn Law School’s program. She has been a leader in the field of legal writing for nearly four decades.

Her book (coauthored with Professors Helene Shapo and Elizabeth Fajans), Writing and Analysis in the Law, is a widely used first-year legal writing text. She is also the co-author of the first edition of the Sourcebook on Legal Writing Programs.  She recived the 2005 Association of American Law School Legal Writing Award in recognition of her “pioneering leadership, extraordinary vision, and outstanding service.” She has been a member of the Board of the Legal Writing Institute, a members of the ABA’s Committee on Communication Skills, an Editorial Committee member of the Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. In spring 2008, she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Delhi Law School.

Many congratulations to Professor Walter on this prestigious award.

Hat tip to Noah A. Messing

 

 

April 16, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Writers' Workshop

The twelfth Legal Writing Institute Writers Workshop will take place on July 24-July 26, 2015. The workshop will give up to twelve Legal Writing faculty the opportunity to spend time working on their academic writing projects and improving their scholarly skills. The Workshop will take place at the Port Ludlow Resort in Port Ludlow, Washington. It will take place immediately after the Legal Writing Institute Storytelling Conference.

Who is Eligible to Attend?
 
All members of the Legal Writing Institute are eligible. You must have a scholarly writing project well underway and beyond the initial stages of performing the initial research and drafting a tentative outline. You must at least have some sort of partial draft. To be clear, they expect you to arrive with a substantial work product. In most cases, a scholarly writing project should result in a law review article.
 
Although all LWI members are encouraged to apply, the workshop is limited to 12 participants. The organizers give priority to full time Legal Writing faculty for whom scholarly writing is a prerequisite for retention, promotion, or tenure. They will also give priority to applicants who have not attended past Workshops.
 
 What Will We Do at the Workshop?
 
Participants make presentations on their projects to small groups of three and receive feedback. Each session runs about ninety minutes. They also take part in several guided discussion groups, each on a different topic. Participants will also have time to work on their drafts.
 
Will There Be Facilitators?
 
Yes, experienced scholarly writers: Deborah Gordon (Drexel), Steve Johansen (Lewis & Clark), and Chris Rideout (Seattle).
 
Who Pays?
 
This year, participants will pay a $300 registration. LWI will cover all meals, beginning with lunch on July 24 and ending with breakfast on July 26 (day time snacks included), and ground transportation between Seattle and Port Ludlow. 
 
For more information, contact Lou Sirico at Sirico [at] law.villanova.edu
 
Hat tip to Lou Sirico
 
(mew)

 

April 16, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Congratulations to Joan Rocklin

Joan RocklinProfessor Joan Rocklin was announced as the recipient of the Orlando John Hollis Faculty Teaching Award, the highest award given to faculty by the University of Oregon.  The nomination letter submitted by 22 of her students described Professor Rocklin's teaching as demonstrating genuine care about the success of her students--both inside and outside the classroom--and that she has the qualities of an exceptional law professor.

In addition to her teaching, Joan has been a hardworking supporter of the national legal writing community. Her service to the Legal Writing Institute, for example, included a term as LWI Treasurer. She has led LWI's Critiquing Workshop for new legal writing professors at the last three biennial conferences, and will make a similar presentation to new legal writing professors at the June 2015 AALS meeting in Washington, D.C. She was also the 2008-09 secretary for the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research.

Congratulations on this award Joan!
 
Hat tips to Liz Frost, Megan McAlpin, David Cadaret, Rebekah Hanley, and Suzanne Rowe
 
(mew)

April 15, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Nominations for GLS Awards

The Global Legal Skills Conference being held in Chicago May 20-22, 2015 includes a Consular Reception and GLS Awards Presentation at the Union League Club of Chicago on Thursday evening, May 21.  Nominations are still open for GLS Awards, which can be given in a number of categories:

  1. Innovative Programs (for example, programs that focus on teaching global legal skills; teaching Legal English or Legal Spanish to non-native speakers; and other innovative programs);
  2. Scholarship (articles and books that advance the teaching of global legal skills, including new casebooks and texts for lawyers and law students);
  3. Educational Leadership (schools that recognize the importance of providing services to international students); and
  4. Support (for companies, law firms, and law schools that give special support for global legal skills).

Nominees need not be present (but it's always nicer if they are).  Nominees and winners in past years have come from around the world (United States, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Russia for example). 

More information about the GLS conference is available at http://glsc.jmls.edu/2015/.  

There is no particular nomination form. To submit a nominee, contact Professor Mark E. Wojcik at The John Marshall Law School [mwojcik at jmls.edu] by May 8, 2015.

(mew)

April 15, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

News from Chapman University

Jenny Carey, Abigail Patthoff, and Rita Barnett-Rose have been promoted to full Professors of Legal Research and Writing at Chapman University Fowler School of Law in Orange, California. Congratulations!

(mew)

April 15, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Teaching the Academically Underprepared Law Student

DuquesneThe proceedings from last year's timely symposium "Teaching the Academically Underprepared Law Student" are now avilable in the Winter 2015 issue of the Duquesne Law Review.  Intriguing article titles include Ruth Vance & Susan Stuart's Of Moby Dick and Tartar Sauce: The Academically Underprepared Law Student and the Curse of Overconfidence and Courtney Lee's Changing Gears to Meet the “New Normal” in Legal Education. The symposium's other articles are available for download here, or click here for the full issue.

hat tip: Jan Levine

(jdf)

April 14, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Washburn Junior Legal Writing Scholars Workshop in July

Washburn University School of Law is proud to announce the second annual Washburn Junior Legal Writing Scholars Workshop, to be held on July 24-25, 2015.  This workshop will provide a unique collaborative environment in which to receive feedback from other legal writing professors on your scholarly projects. Participants will work in small groups to give suggestions, ask questions, and offer input on the papers presented.

The workshop organizers, Professors Emily Grant and Joseph Mastrosimone, strongly encourage scholarship submissions that are in any stage – idea outline, work-in-progress, or nearly complete and ready to submit.  The call is open to all junior legal writing professors (defined as anyone without tenure) whether they are full-time, part-time, or adjunct faculty and those who are seeking employment as a legal writing professor.

There is no registration fee for the workshop.  In addition, Washburn University School of Law will provide all meals during the workshop and hotel lodging for Friday night, July 24.  Such a deal!  The workshop will run from mid-afternoon Friday to mid-day Saturday to give participants sufficient time to travel Friday morning and Saturday evening, which should hopefully allow participants to attend the workshop without needing a second night’s hotel stay.

If you are interested in participating in the Washburn Junior Legal Writing Scholars Workshop, please let them know by April 17, 2015, by emailing Joseph Mastrosimone at Washburn.  In your email, please describe your scholarly work and estimate what form it will take by the end of July (outline, early stage work-in-progress, nearly complete draft, second edition?).  A maximum of eight papers will be selected to guarantee a workshop atmosphere. Those selected will be notified by May 15, and workshop submissions must be completed by July 13, 2015.

More information about the 2015 workshop and last year’s successful workshop can be found by clicking here.

Hat tip to Joseph Mastrosimone

(mew)

April 12, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Should a brief use litigants’ labels or their names?

In writing a brief, a lawyer must decide how to refer to the parties. Should a party be “Lee Smith,” “Appellant,” or “Plaintiff”? Bryan Garner recently wrote of his leaning toward real names. In his April ABA Journal column, he explains that he finds labels to be generic and indistinct. But when he asked lawyers and judges about their preferences, he found some good reasons for lawyers not to use names, including when a well-liked adversary is litigating in his home venue. And some judges disliked names, emphasizing that they decide legal issues and their decisions should not be personal. But Garner interviewed others always use names on the theory that they make a brief easier to read. Hearing all these opinions left Garner with a more nuanced view, though he changed only “a mite.”

It’s worth noting that Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 28(d) discourages the use of litigation labels, stating that “counsel should minimize use of the terms ‘appellant’ and ‘appellee.’ To make briefs clear, counsel should use the parties’ actual names or the designations used in the lower court or agency proceeding, or such descriptive terms as ‘the employee,’ [or] ‘the injured person . . . .’”

(jdf)

April 8, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Job Opening at Albany Law School

DIRECTOR OF ACADEMIC SUPPORT AND BAR SUCCESS

Albany Law School seeks applicants to direct and expand its academic support and bar success programs.   The Director will administer and assess the existing academic success and bar success programs and recommend additions and modifications to the programs, focusing on initiatives to increase bar passage rates. The Director may have other responsibilities as assigned from time to time by the Dean and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Qualified candidates will have a J.D. with strong law school credentials and admission to the practice of law, preferably in New York. The position requires knowledge of legal theory, analysis and writing, and other skills necessary to succeed in law school and on the bar examination.  Preference will be given for experience in academic support and bar preparation programs, administrative and supervisory experience, law teaching experience, counseling and tutoring experience, knowledge of learning theory, understanding of disability and multicultural issues, and ability to build rapport with students having academic challenges.  This is a full-time, 12-month, long-term contract track position with the beginning rank of Assistant or Associate Professor of Academic Success.  The person who fills this position will be eligible for a five-year long-term contract after a probationary period of three (3) years. 

Albany Law School is the oldest, independent law school in North America with a long tradition of producing great leaders.  We are located in the heart of New York State’s capital since 1851, nestled between the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains.  Albany is within a three-hour drive of New York City, Boston and Montreal, and is served by excellent highway, air and rail transportation systems. The institution offers students an innovative, rigorous curriculum taught by a committed faculty. Several nationally recognized programs -- including the Government Law Center and the Albany Law Clinic and Justice Center -- provide unique opportunities for students and faculty. With 17 neighboring colleges and universities, including a campus shared by Albany Medical College, Albany College of Pharmacy and Sage College, the school benefits from several joint degree programs as well as other associations. Students and faculty also work closely with New York's highest court, federal courts and the state legislature, as well as a thriving tech-based econom

Albany Law School offers competitive pay and an excellent benefits package.  Interested candidates should submit resume and letter of interest using the contact information below.  Deadline for receipt of applications is April 24, 2015.

  • Albany Law School
  • Attn:  Sherri Donnelly, Director of Human Resources
  • 80 New Scotland Avenue
  • Albany, NY 12208-3494
  • Fax: (518) 445-3262
  • E-mail: hr [at] albanylaw.edu

April 6, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Westerfield Fellows Program

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS COLLEGE OF LAW invites nominations and applications for its Westerfield Fellows Program.  This program is designed for individuals pursuing a career in law teaching and seeking to gain law teaching experience, while being afforded time to devote to scholarly writing and publication. Applicants should have strong academic credentials, writing experience, and excellent written and oral communication skills.  Fellows will be responsible for teaching legal reasoning, legal research, legal writing, and oral advocacy skills to two sections of first­-year law students in a three-credit hour class each semester.  Fellows will teach their own classes, but will have the benefit of working under the guidance of an experienced director in a program in which the director and the fellows coordinate the content and pace of the courses.  Fellows will also have a student teaching assistant to aid them with their courses.

The College of Law is located in a largely residential area of New Orleans, one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States, with unique cuisine, numerous museums and historical sites, and a flourishing arts community.   New Orleans is also the seat of the United States  Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, the Louisiana Supreme Court, and the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as other lower courts.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume on or before April 30, 2015, to: Professor Mary Garvey Algero, Loyola University  New Orleans College of Law, 7214 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA  70118; email: algero [at] loyno.edu 

The College of Law encourages applications from women and minorities.  Applicants whose backgrounds or scholarly interests would enhance our faculty diversity are especially encouraged to apply.

Some additional details:  Annual Salary is $60,000; fellows are invited and encouraged to attend faculty meetings and participate in faculty colloquia, but are not entitled to vote in faculty meetings; fellows should expect to teach between 41-45 students each semester; fellows will have faculty mentors to assist in their career development.

April 6, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Meet the LWI Professional Status Committee: Cliff Zimmerman

LWI LogoThe Legal Writing Institute, the world's largest membership organization for persons concerned with legal writing and its teaching, has established a new Professional Status Committee to examine the national employment situation for professors who teach legal writing.  Read more about the committee by clicking here.  The new committee will serve as a resource for LWI members who are facing specific employment or professional development issues. The committee will also gather information about professional status issues and challenges that will help the LWI Board respond appropriately to various challenges and situations.
 
The seven members of the new Professional Status Committee are
  • David W. Austin (California Western School of Law, San Diego)
  • Mary Bowman, Co-Chair (Seattle University School of Law)
  • Olympia Duhart (Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida) 
  • Lucy Jewel (University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville)
  • Kristen Tiscione, Co-Chair (Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.)
  • Melissa Weresh (Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa)
  • Cliff Zimmerman (Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois)

Each day this week we profiled one of the seven members of the committee, going from A to Z (Austin to Zimmerman).  And we're now at the last introduction of the week.

Cliff ZimmermanCliff Zimmerman is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law and an Associate Dean and Dean of Students at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago.  His specialties are legal analysis, writing, and research, civil rights, and government accountability. He has taught legal analysis, civil rights, and evidence, and speaks and writes widely on each.

His years of teaching legal analysis, research, and writing has sparked many specific areas of interest, including collaborative and cooperative work, cultural differences in reasoning methods, and the development of basic reasoning abilities. He is particularly interested in exploring and testing innovative methods by which students can learn the often elusive skills necessary to analyze and reason. He is nationally recognized for his work on collaborative and cooperative learning in legal education and his article, “Thinking Beyond My Own Interpretation:” Reflections on Collaborative and Cooperative Theory in the Law School Curriculum. He also speaks widely on other issues related to legal analysis. Professor Zimmerman has written and spoken widely on the issue of government responsibility. In particular, he has addressed the role of informants and their impact on the criminal justice system. His writings on the subject have appeared in the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly and in the text, Wrongly Convicted: Perspectives on Failed Justice (Rutgers University Press). Professor Zimmerman is also the editor of the Police Misconduct & Civil Rights Law Report and regularly contributes articles to the publication. He also writes and speaks nationally on these issues. His recent article on municipal liability, The Scholar Warrior: Visualizing the Kaleidoscope that is Entity Liability, Negotiating the Terrain and Finding a New Paradigm, appears in the DePaul Law Review. Prior to teaching, Professor Zimmerman was an associate at the Chicago firm of Singer & Stein, specializing in federal civil rights litigation, particularly under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

In addition to all of that other good stuff, Cliff is a Co-Chair of the Tenth Global Legal Skills Conference being held this year in Chicago at The John Marshall Law School and Northwestern University.

Here is the statement that Cliff shared with the Legal Writing Listserve to introduce himself as a member of the new Professional Status Committee:
In practice I was a plaintiff’s civil rights attorney.  I learned, time and again, how to hold your head high, have pride in your work, and know that you were doing it properly, even when everyone was scrutinizing your every move and just waiting for you to make a mistake.  When I found my way to teaching legal writing, I had no idea how integral these lessons would be to helping me balance the work that I loved with the status issues we face.  I started at DePaul, endured the uncertainty of year-to-year existence for 5 years, was one of the first to apply for and get a long-term contract, then gave that (and a sabbatical year) up for an opportunity at Northwestern.  In my time here I have navigated through 15+ years with a year-to-year contract, moving from the classroom to administration, then working hard to keep my relevance in our community and keep my hand in teaching on top of my administrative responsibilities.  As in my civil rights work, the relationships I developed in the legal writing community have been crucial to my professional existence and persistence.  I welcome the opportunity to talk with others as they chart their course and navigate these rough and challenging waters.
(mew)

April 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Meet the LWI Professional Status Committee: Mel Weresh

LWI LogoThe Legal Writing Institute, the world's largest membership organization for persons concerned with legal writing and its teaching, has established a new Professional Status Committee to examine the national employment situation for professors who teach legal writing.  Read more about the committee by clicking here.  The new committee will serve as a resource for LWI members who are facing specific employment or professional development issues. The committee will also gather information about professional status issues and challenges that will help the LWI Board respond appropriately to various challenges and situations.
 
The seven members of the new Professional Status Committee are:
  • David W. Austin (California Western School of Law, San Diego)
  • Mary Bowman, Co-Chair (Seattle University School of Law)
  • Olympia Duhart (Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida) 
  • Lucy Jewel (University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville)
  • Kristen Tiscione, Co-Chair (Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.)
  • Melissa Weresh (Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa)
  • Cliff Zimmerman (Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois)

Each day this week we are profiling one of the seven members of the committee.

Mel WereshFormer LWI President Melissa Weresh is a Professor of Law at Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa.  She received her B.A. from Wake Forest University and her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law.  Her many publications include:

  • "The Chicken or the Egg? Public Service Orientation and Lawyer Well-Being," 36 UALR Law Review.
  • "Uncommon Results: The Power of Team-Based Learning in the Legal Writing Classroom," Journal of the Legal Writing Institute
  • "Stargate: Malleability as a Threshold Concept in Legal Education," 63 Journal of Legal Education 689 (2014)
  • "Service: A Prescription for the Lost Lawyer," 2014 The Journal of the Professional Lawyer 45 (2014)
  • "Transitioning to Team-Based Learning: A Primer for Pioneers," Oregon Law Review Online (2014)
  • Legal Research Supplement: Exercises on Lexis Advance (Lexis/Nexis 2013) (with Karen Wallace)
She's also a co-author of the state legal research guide Iowa Legal Research (Carolina Academic Press, 2011) (with John Edwards, Sara Lowe and Karen Wallace).

 

And she's done a hundred other things that I'm forgetting to mention here.  But one thing I've always loved is the video she did some years back to explain the importance of legal memos.  Many of you will remember this video that was produced at Drake Law School to help promote legal writing. The video was a project of the Media Committee of the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research.  In this rather humorous video, a new law student uses his new skills in writing memoranda to help with the problems of daily life: how to choose a restaurant, pick the best football player, help your brother with his computer, and, well, I won't disclose the last scenario.  Have a look:
 
 
 
Here is the statement that Mel shared with the Legal Writing Listserve to introduce herself as a member of the new Professional Status Committee:
I have been teaching legal writing since 1997. During this time, I have served in a program that has undergone significant changes, both in terms of the content and pedagogy of instruction, and in terms of the status and conditions of employment of faculty serving in the program. To my mind, favorable developments in either area are inextricably tied to one another. In my time teaching legal writing, I have tried to contribute to these types of developments, both within my program and beyond. I have written several pieces on legal writing pedagogy and on the status and conditions of employment for legal writing faculty. I have served for many years on the ABA Task Force, and participated in its advocacy efforts for the legal writing academy. I have also served in various ways for the many terrific legal writing organizations. I view the LWI Professional Status Committee as an extension of my interest in, and commitment to, the legal writing profession and its talented, generous, and valuable members. 
(mew)

April 3, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Curmudgeon revisited

Judge Richard Kopf, a federal judge in Nevada, recently published a paean to a book that Curmudgeon bk happens to be a favorite of mine: Mark Herrmann’s The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law (2006). Judge Kopf wrote: “[I]f you want to become a real lawyer (or mentor a young’un to become one), and you really don’t know how, then this is really the book for you.”

Every year when I hand back my first graded legal writing assignment and students are grumbling that I’m too picky, I read portions of Herrmann’s book aloud in class. It effectively captures the level of pickiness to which all good lawyers should aspire.

(jdf)

April 2, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Meet the LWI Professional Status Committee: Kristen Tiscione

LWI LogoThe Legal Writing Institute, the world's largest membership organization for persons concerned with legal writing and its teaching, has established a new Professional Status Committee to examine the national employment situation for professors who teach legal writing.  Read more about the committee by clicking here.  The new committee will serve as a resource for LWI members who are facing specific employment or professional development issues. The committee will also gather information about professional status issues and challenges that will help the LWI Board respond appropriately to various challenges and situations.
 
The seven members of the new Professional Status Committee are
  • David W. Austin (California Western School of Law, San Diego)
  • Mary Bowman, Co-Chair (Seattle University School of Law)
  • Olympia Duhart (Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida) 
  • Lucy Jewel (University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville)
  • Kristen Tiscione, Co-Chair (Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.)
  • Melissa Weresh (Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa)
  • Cliff Zimmerman (Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois)

Each day this week we are profiling one of the seven members of the committee.

Kristen TiscioneCommittee Co-Chair Kristen Tiscione is a Professor of Legal Research and Writing at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.  After graduating from the Law Center where she now teaches, Professor Tiscione (then Robbins) joined the firm of Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C. While at Kirkland & Ellis, she specialized in commerical litigation, including products liability and copyright infringement. Professor Tiscione taught Legal Research and Writing while still in practice at the George Washington University National Law Center and then came to Georgetown to teach full-time in 1994. Her scholarly interests include classical and contemporary rhetoric, as well as empirical research in the current practice of law and its implications for legal pedagogy.

Her publications include two books:

  • Kristen Konrad Tiscione & Richard K. Neumann, Jr., Legal Reasoning and Legal Writing (New York: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business 7th ed. 2013). 
  • Kristen Konrad Robbins Tiscione, Rhetoric for Legal Writers: The Theory and Practice of Analysis and Persuasion (St. Paul, Minn.: West/Thomson 2009).   

And these recent articles:

  • Kristen Konrad Tiscione, A Writing Revolution: Using Legal Writing's "Hobble" To Solve Legal Education's Problem, 42 Cap. U. L. Rev. 143-166 (2014).  
  • Kristen K. Tiscione, The Rhetoric of E-mail in Law Practice, 92 Or. L. Rev. 525-543 (2014).
Here is the statement that Kristen shared with the Legal Writing Listserve to introduce herself as a Co-Chair of the new Professional Status Committee:
This is my twentieth year teaching legal research and writing, an accomplishment of which I am very proud.  I started teaching at Georgetown with five faculty and a five-year cap.  Today, we have twelve full-time faculty with long-term renewable contracts.  We’ve made progress but not nearly enough.  Legal research and writing faculty are eligible for tenure at only a handful of schools, and none of those schools is ranked in the top ten.  We earn substantially less than our tenure-track colleagues, and at times, the frustration that can accompany being considered intellectually inferior seems intolerable.  In the last several years, I have devoted a portion of my scholarship and my energy to building respect for our discipline and improving our faculty status.  At this juncture, where external pressure has forced law schools to improve skills training, we are witnessing internal backlash against skills faculty.  Now, more than ever, it is important to keep watch over changes in legal education and work to preserve and promote the status and security of our membership.
(mew)

April 2, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Meet the LWI Professional Status Committee: Lucy Jewel

LWI LogoThe Legal Writing Institute, the world's largest membership organization for persons concerned with legal writing and its teaching, has established a new Professional Status Committee to examine the national employment situation for professors who teach legal writing.  Read more about the committee by clicking here.  The new committee will serve as a resource for LWI members who are facing specific employment or professional development issues. The committee will also gather information about professional status issues and challenges that will help the LWI Board respond appropriately to various challenges and situations.
 
The seven members of the new Professional Status Committee are
  • David W. Austin (California Western School of Law, San Diego)
  • Mary Bowman, Co-Chair (Seattle University School of Law)
  • Olympia Duhart (Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida) 
  • Lucy Jewel (University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville)
  • Kristen Tiscione, Co-Chair (Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.)
  • Melissa Weresh (Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa)
  • Cliff Zimmerman (Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois)

Each day this week we are profiling one of the seven members of the committee.

Lucy JewelLucy Jewel is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law in  Knoxville, Tennessee. She previously taught at Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, where she taught legal writing and legal skills courses and also served as Director of Legal Writing. Her teaching is informed by several years of practice experience as a commercial litigator with the New York City firm of Wachtel, Masyr, & Missry, LLP.

Professor Jewel has spoken at meetings of the Association of American Law Schools, the Legal Writing Institute, and the Applied Legal Storytelling Conference in London. Her scholarship focuses on the intersections between culture, law, technology, and rhetoric, with a particular interest in unmasking how rhetorical choices and cultural forces impact legal and social outcomes. Her articles have appeared journals such as the Yale Journal of Law & Technology, the University of Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, the Buffalo Law Review, and the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science, and Technology.

Here is the statement that Lucy shared with the Legal Writing Listserve to introduce herself as a member of the new Professional Status Committee:
In 2004, I thought I had landed my dream job, teaching legal writing at the law school level. When I arrived on campus, I was the only assistant professor of legal writing; all the other teachers were assistant, associate, or full professors of law. My photograph was not included in the school’s newsletter announcing its new hires.  My pay was a fraction of what the other teachers made. I learned that the administration believed that good legal writing teachers were like woodchoppers – hard workers but without intellectual substance. Despite the deep psychic harm of being typecast this way, teaching legal writing was and still is my dream job.  I love teaching students the art and craft of legal writing. Fortunately, with the support of a new Dean, my school’s legal writing positions were converted to tenure-track positions. I then moved (with tenure) to my current school, although I still wrestle with the badge of inferiority pinned on me when I first started teaching. I have been so fortunate with my own career arc, but far too many law schools have intractable institutional cultures that place legal writing teachers in a precarious position.  Legal writing faculties have become even more vulnerable with dropping law student enrollment. In the mad rush for self-preservation, law schools view non-tenure line legal writing teachers as easy targets for labor cost savings. I stand in solidarity with my peers at these schools. I am passionate about (1) refuting the majoritarian arguments that justify the lack of equity for legal writing teachers and (2) achieving permanent solutions to the problem. 

(mew)

April 1, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Burton Awards 2015

The Burton Awards for Excellence in Legal Writing is, without a doubt, the single most glamorous evening for legal writing. That's been true for years, and the 2015 award ceremony promises to continue that trend.  It will be held at 4:45 p.m. on Monday, June 15, 2015 in the Great Hall of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.  Awards will be given for public interest, public service, "Legends in Law," distinguished legal writing awards, outstanding journalist in law, and an award to Professor Marilyn Walter of Brooklyn Law School for "Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education."  Entertainment will be provided that evening by Kristin Chenoweth, the Emmy and Tony Award winning superstar.  It's a black tie event and tickets can be pricey, but the value of the evening makes it all worthwhile.

(mew)

March 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Meet the LWI Professional Status Committee: Olympia Duhart

LWI LogoThe Legal Writing Institute, the world's largest membership organization for persons concerned with legal writing and its teaching, has established a new Professional Status Committee to examine the national employment situation for professors who teach legal writing.  Read more about the committee by clicking here.  The new committee will serve as a resource for LWI members who are facing specific employment or professional development issues. The committee will also gather information about professional status issues and challenges that will help the LWI Board respond appropriately to various challenges and situations.
 
The seven members of the new Professional Status Committee are
  • David W. Austin (California Western School of Law, San Diego)
  • Mary Bowman, Co-Chair (Seattle University School of Law)
  • Olympia Duhart (Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida) 
  • Lucy Jewel (University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville)
  • Kristen Tiscione, Co-Chair (Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.)
  • Melissa Weresh (Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa)
  • Cliff Zimmerman (Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois)

Each day this week we are profiling one of the seven members of the committee.

Olympia DuhartOlympia Duhart is Director of First-Year Lawyering Skills and Values Program at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She also teaches courses in constitutional law and Women & the Law.  She serves on the Board of Advisors for the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning and the Advisory Board for the LexisNexis Publications Advisory Board. 
 
In January 2014, Professor Duhart began her two-year term as co-president of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT). She serves with Professor Ruben Garcia of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Before joining the faculty at NSU, Professor Duhart was a founding member of the Critical Skills Program at Nova. Previously, she worked as an attorney in the litigation department at Ruden McClosky. She also spent several years doing pro bono work with the Florida Innocence Project. Before attending law school, Professor Duhart taught in the English department at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Professor Duhart also worked as a staff reporter for The Miami Herald, where she covered municipal government and schools. Her articles have appeared in national print and in online magazines. She continues to contribute to blogs, including the NAACP Defenders Online, the SALTLAW blog, and The Huffington Post. Maybe someday we'll get her to write something for the Legal Writing Prof Blog!

Professor Duhart’s scholarship focuses government accountability for historically marginalized groups of people. She has published extensively on Hurricane Katrina survivors. She has most recently written about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among veterans and members of the military. She also served as a member of the Editorial Board for Vulnerable Populations and Transformative Teaching: A Critical Reader. In addition, Professor Duhart has written in the areas of active learning, assessments, and teaching methods. She is the co-author (along with Thomas Baker, William Araiza and Steve Friedland) of Skills and Values: Constitutional Law.

Professor Duhart graduated magna cum laude from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center, where she was a Goodwin Scholar. She earned her B.A. in English, cum laude, from the University of Miami. She has conducted presentations on teaching methods for law professors at conferences hosted by the Legal Writing Institute, the Southeastern Association of Law Schools, the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, and the National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference, among others. In 2009 and 2012, Professor Duhart was recognized as NSU’s recipient for the Association of American Law Schools Award for Teaching. She was also named Professor of the Year by the NSU Student Bar Association in 2012. In 2014, she won the Stephanie Aleong Impact Award, which recognizes a faculty member who has had an impact on a law student who exemplifies compassion, industry and community service. In 2014, Professor Duhart was named to the Lawyers of Color's 50 Under 50 list, a comprehensive catalog of minority law professors making an impact in legal education.

Here is the statement that Olympia shared with the Legal Writing Listserve to introduce herself as a member of the new Professional Status Committee:
I knew I had hit the big time. Not only had I just landed my first job as a law professor, but I was hired to teach legal research and writing. To me, that meant that my years as a newspaper reporter paid off. Or that someone appreciated how hard I had worked as a high school English teacher to make American Literature research papers exciting for my students.  Or maybe someone really understood how much pride I took in my writing ability in practice. Whatever the reason, I felt incredibly lucky to be hired as a law professor. I felt especially lucky to be walking into the most prestigious post in the law school. (What was more important than teaching LRW??)  But I got a reality check at the new teacher’s conference in Washington, D.C. One of the teaching “experts” brought in to train us was having a nice conversation with me when she realized I was hired to teach LRW.  “Why are you doing that? We have to get you on a tenure-track line teaching a doctrinal class.”  I was stunned that there was such a negative perception about the status of legal writing professors.  Since then, I have worked both formally and informally to challenge and correct those perceptions. Throughout the years, several other well-meaning people have encouraged me to switch to a “better” post.  But I love what I do. Even if it means that I’m doing it on a long-term contract basis.  And I know this is the big time. Now to get everyone else on board.
(mew)
 

March 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Cheryl Beckett Voted "Professor of the Year" at Gonzaga

Cheryl Beckett GonzagaProfessor Cheryl A. Beckett, Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington, has just been voted Professor of the Year by the students at her school.  Congratulations Cheryl!

Fun facts about Cheryl?  Before she became a law professor she was a Field Attorney in Anchorage, Alaska for the National Labor Relations Board and was also Counsel for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1439.

Professor Beckett serves as a Commissioner and Vice-Chair on the City of Spokane Civil Service Commission, and continues to serve as arbitrator and mediator on both public and private labor issues when called upon by employers and unions. She is a member of the American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section; the Washington State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section; the Association of American Law Schools, Labor and Employment Law Section and Legal Research and Writing Section; and the Association of Legal Writing Directors.

Hat tip to  Mark DeForrest

(mew)

March 30, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Meet the LWI Professional Status Committee: Mary Bowman

LWI LogoThe Legal Writing Institute, the world's largest membership organization for persons concerned with legal writing and its teaching, has established a new Professional Status Committee to examine the national employment situation for professors who teach legal writing.  Read more about the committee by clicking here.  The new committee will serve as a resource for LWI members who are facing specific employment or professional development issues. The committee will also gather information about professional status issues and challenges that will help the LWI Board respond appropriately to various challenges and situations.
 
The seven members of the new Professional Status Committee are
  • David W. Austin (California Western School of Law, San Diego)
  • Mary Bowman, Co-Chair (Seattle University School of Law)
  • Olympia Duhart (Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida) 
  • Lucy Jewel (University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville)
  • Kristen Tiscione, Co-Chair (Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.)
  • Melissa Weresh (Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa)
  • Cliff Zimmerman (Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois)

Each day this week we are profiling one of the seven members of the committee.

Mary BowmanCommittee Co-Chair Mary Bowman is an Associate Professor of Lawyering Skills and Associate Director of the Legal Writing Program at Seattle University School of Law in Seattle, Washington.

Professor Bowman is the chair of the Law-Review Award Committee for Scribes, the American Society of Legal Writers, which honors the best student-written law review article each year.  Additionally, she has served on various committees for both the Legal Writing Institute and the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Legal Writing, Research and Reasoning. She served as Co-Chair of the June 2014 national workshop, Bringing Outside In: Social Justice Collaborations in the Legal Writing Curriculum. 

Professor Bowman focuses her scholarship on criminal procedure and legal writing issues. Although the two areas are obviously distinct, they intersect in that they raise issues related to ethical advocacy and persuasion, as well as how cognitive science affects these issues.  Her most recent article, Full Disclosure: Cognitive Science, Informants, and Search Warrant Scrutiny is forthcoming in the Akron Law Review; that article builds on the work in her New Mexico Law Review article Truth or Consequences: Self-Incriminating Statements and Informant Veracity.  She is currently working on issues related to rethinking various doctrines related to prosecutorial misconduct at trial based on cognitive science.  She is also the author of Engaging First-Year Law Students through Pro Bono Collaborations, which was published in the spring 2013 issue of the Journal of Legal Education, and a co-author (with colleagues Sara Rankin and Lisa Brodoff) of We Have a Dream: Integrating Skills Courses and Public Interest Work in the First Year of Law School (and Beyond), forthcoming in the Chapman Law Review. 

Professor Bowman received her B.A. summa cum laude from Seattle University in 1995 and her J.D. in 1998 from Stanford Law School in 1998, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif. Before joining the law school's faculty, she clerked for a federal district court judge in Washington State and practiced environmental and employment law in Seattle. 

In the statement that Mary shared with the Legal Writing Listserve to introduce herself as a member of the new Professional Status Committee, Mary stated that although she always loved teaching, she sstruggled at times with contract renewals that felt like she had to reapply for my job as well as differential treatment in terms of title, salary, voting rights, and basic respect for the valuable work that we do as legal writing faculty.  She also said that she benefited significantly from the groundwork laid by colleagues over many years, and with their help and support, she led multiple pushes for the opportunity for legal writing faculty to apply for tenure, including a successful effort in 2011.  Over the last few years, she has consulted informally with legal writing faculty at many schools nationwide on a variety of status issues.
 
(mew)
 
 
 

March 30, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Call for Presenters: Global Legal Skills Conference

The Global Legal Skills conference, in its 10th year, will be held in Chicago, the city of its origin. The Conference began in Chicago at The John Marshall Law School, where it was held three times. It has also traveled to Mexico (twice), to Costa Rica (twice), to Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., and most recently to the University of Verona Faculty of Law in Verona, Italy.

This year’s conference (GLS 10) will be held at The John Marshall Law School for the first two days and will be hosted at Northwestern University School of Law for its final day. The two schools are within walking distance and are also served by subway line

The first call for proposals for presentations has already closed and acceptance messages are going out to those who submitted.  This is the second call for presenters. Proposals should be for a 25-minute presentation (for one or two people) or an interactive group panel presentation (no more than four panelists) of 75-minutes (including audience participation).

The conference audience will include legal writing professionals, international and comparative law professors, clinical professors and others involved in skills education, law school administrators, law librarians, and ESL/EFL professors and scholars. Also attending will be faculty members teaching general law subjects with a transnational or international component. Attendees have also included judges, lawyers, court translators, and others involved in international and transnational law. Attendees come from around the world, and as many as 35 countries have been represented in past conferences.

Please submit a proposal on any aspect of Global Legal Skills, including experiential learning, distance education, comparative law, international law, course design and materials, teaching methods, and opportunities for teaching abroad and in the United States. However, because the conference focuses on legal skills for a global audience, please tailor your proposal accordingly.

The schedule for GLS 10 will allow for professional networking opportunities and development and also a chance to take in the many sites (and excellent restaurants!) Chicago has to offer. Chicago is served by two airports, O’Hare and Midway, making travel to the city easy. The timing of the conference (the week before Memorial Day weekend) is intended to allow you to spend extra time exploring Chicago and its environs at a time when the temperatures are moderate and the skies are clear.

This is a self-funded academic conference, and as in past years, presenters will be asked to pay the registration fee of $225.00. A small number of need-based scholarships will also be available, especially for participants from outside the United States. Additional tickets for family members and friends will also be available for the walking tour, law school reception, and Union League Club Gala Dinner. Chicago in the springtime is a great travel destination for families where they can enjoy Millennium Park, two world class zoos, and the amazing Museum Campus.

You may submit more than one proposal but because of high demand for speaking slots you will only be allowed to speak on one panel.

Please send program proposals to GLS10Chicago@gmail.com. You can also send a copy to Lurene Contento (Program Chair of GLS 10). Her email is 9Content@jmls.edu.

Please include “GLS 10 Proposal” in the subject line. Then, list the names and institutional affiliations of presenters, the title of your presentation, a brief summary of your presentation, the format you would prefer (25 minutes or 75 minutes), and the target audience.

You will find travel information and more conference information on the GLS website, glsc.jmls.edu/2015. Additional proposals will be accepted through April 15 if additional speaking slots are available.

Spanish Language CLE Proposals

You may also submit proposals for CLE presentations in Spanish. A Spanish-language CLE track will include sessions for attorneys, law students, and court translators. Persons submitting proposals for presentations in Spanish may also submit a proposal in English as an exception to the single presentation rule. Proposals are sought on topics such as “Introduction to Mexican Law,” “Understanding the Amparo,” and “Latin American Corporation Law.”

Scholars’ Forum (Tues. May 19, 2015)

A one-day scholars’ forum is also planned for May 19th, the day before the GLS conference begins. Participation in this forum will be limited to 16 persons and will include special sessions on international legal research as well as the presentation of papers and works-in-progress. For more information about the Scholars’ Forum, send an email to Prof. Mark E. Wojcik at mwojcik@jmls.edu with the title of your proposed work. Registration for the scholars’ forum is at this link: http://events.jmls.edu/registration/node/677

We hope to see you in Chicago this May for the 10th anniversary of the Global Legal Skills Conference!

Thank you,

Prof. Mark E. Wojcik, Chair, Global Legal Skills Conference
Prof. Lurene Contento, Chair GLS 10 Program Committee, The John Marshall Law School

March 29, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)