Monday, September 22, 2014

The legal memorandum is not dead

Stetson's Kirsten Davis recently published an article arguing that the traditional legal memorandum is Davis not dead. While some lawyers may read a memo on a computer screen instead of on paper, Davis argues that on-screen reading does not change the essential nature of the objective memo, which "facilitate[s] deliberative decision making." Today's memo might include more visual cues because it may be read on a screen, but it can still encourage depth of analysis and avoid the shortcomings of more superficial forms of communication.

(jdf)

September 22, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 19, 2014

New article criticizes the use of student evaluations of professors

Professors Philip B. Stark and Richard Freishtat of Berkeley have posted a new article pointing out flaws in the use of student evaluations of professors. Among their criticisms, they point out biases in the ratings and argue that students are not qualified to evaluate such matters as instructor effectiveness. They also identify flaws with the statistical methods applied to the ratings. For example, if two students rank Professor Smith at 3 and 7 on a 10-point scale, and two other students each rank Professor Jones at 5, both professors have a 5 average. But can those averages be equated? Stark and Freishtat say no, and they argue that “averages of rating scores should not even be calculated, much less compared across instructors, courses, or departments.”  Instead, other kinds of evidence should be used along with student ratings “to provide more meaningful and reliable formative and summative assessments of teaching.”

Hat tip: Bruce Ching

(jdf)

September 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Justice John Paul Stevens

Stevens at JMLSRetired U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice paid a visit today to The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where he met with members of the Stevens Inn of Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society. Pictured here is Justice Stevens in the Justice Arthur Goldberg Courtroom (named for a John Marshall Law School Professor who was elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court).

Justice Stevens is being welcomed to the law school by Marie Sarantakis, Magister of the Stevens Inn Chapter of Phi Delta Phi Law Fraternity at The John Marshall Law School.

Earlier in the day, Justice Stevens spoke at a luncheon held at the Chicago Bar Association, where he responded to reviews of his latest book, Six Amendments.

(mew)

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Drexel Law School Gets $50 Million Gift

Drexel University School of Law announced this week that Thomas R. Kline, a trial lawyer in Philadelphia, would give the law school $50 million to help it reach the top ranks of legal education. Drexel was established only eight years ago. Click here to read more.

(mew)

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dates Announced for the 10th Global Legal Skills Conference

Chicago Buildings 1Save the date for GLS-10!

The tenth edition of the Global Legal Skills Conference will be held in Chicago, Illinois on May 20-22, 2015.

GLS-10 will be co-hosted by The John Marshall Law School (where the conference originated) and Northwestern University School of Law.  It will also be co-sponsored by a law school in Mexico, the Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey (which twice hosted the conference in the past).

The Global Legal Skills Conference is a unique, international conference that brings together professors who teach skills, professors who teach substantive law (and especially international law), practicing attorneys, judges, and law students from around the world. At the last GLS conference (held in Verona, Italy) there were 180 participants from more than 20 countries. The conference has also been held in Costa Rica and in Washington D.C.

(mew)

September 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Suggestions for law review editors

Professor Josephine Potuto of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln recently posted a critique of Potuto_Josephinethe law review editing process. After hearing the “moans and groans” of colleagues whose work has been subjected to illogical student edits and suffering through the process herself, Potuto wrote the article to “reform or at least inform student editors as they edit our work.” She criticizes student editors’ insistence on lengthy introductions and extensive footnoting. She also charges student editors with “making changes just because they can.” Potuto then presents a list of senseless editorial changes—for example, a change from “the debate roiling” to “the debate boiling.”

She concludes with a list of ten suggestions for law review editors. Among them is that editors should imagine explaining each edit in person to the author. They should make a change only if they would be willing to do that.

(jdf)

September 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Western Regional Legal Writing Conference at Stanford Law School

Carrot and StickOne last chance to register for the Western Regional Legal Writing Conference!

The conference is called "Beyond Carrots and Sticks: Motivating Students to Do Their Best Work" and it will be held on September 19 and 20, 2014 at Stanford Law School.

Please register for the conference before Thursday September 11.  Click here for more information and to register.

(mew)

 

September 10, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court

The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of revised opinions and commentary for an edited collection entitled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court. This edited volume is a collaborative project among feminist law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key Supreme Court decisions relevant to gender issues. Editors Kathy Stanchi, Linda Berger, and Bridget Crawford seek prospective authors for 20 to 25 rewritten Supreme Court opinions covering a range of topics including reproductive rights, equal protection, the state’s use of criminal power, privacy, the family, women’s political participation, Title IX, employment discrimination and substantive due process. The editors also seek authors for commentaries of 1,500 to 2,500 words to put into context each of the rewritten cases.

 

 

The U.S. Feminist Judgments project was inspired by the successful collection and publication in Britain of Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice, edited by Rosemary Hunter, Clare McGlynn, and Erika Rackley. This volume, which included feminist versions of twenty-three key British decisions from the Court of Appeal and House of Lords, was published in 2010 and has been very well received. Like the sister project in Britain, the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project endeavors to pioneer “a new form of critical socio-legal scholarship” that illustrates how cases could have been decided differently had a feminist method been employed. We believe that U.S. Supreme Court law is ripe for this kind of scholarly treatment.

 

 

Those who are interested in rewriting an opinion or providing the commentary on one of the rewritten opinions must apply by September 15, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. eastern. Click here for the application.

Editors will notify accepted authors and commentators by October 7, 2014. First drafts of rewritten opinions will be due on February 1, 2015. First drafts of comments on the rewritten opinions will be due on March 15, 2015. The editors are in the process of identifying a publisher; publication of the final volume is anticipated for late 2015.

 

 

Applicants may indicate their preferences among the list of cases posted here.  Applicants also may suggest other cases for rewriting. The tentative cases were chosen with the input and advice of an Advisory Panel of distinguished U.S. scholars including Kathryn Abrams, Katharine Bartlett,Devon Carbado, Mary Anne Case, Erwin Chemerinsky, April Cherry, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Martha Fineman, Margaret Johnson, Sonia Katyal, Nancy Leong, Catharine MacKinnon, Rachel Moran, Melissa Murray, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Nancy Polikoff, Dorothy Roberts, Dan Rodriguez, Susan Ross, Vicki Schultz, Dean Spade, Robin West, and Verna Williams.

h/t Kathryn Stanchi (mew)

September 9, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Did You Renew Your ALWD Membership?

The deadline for renewing memberships in the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) is September 15th at 5:00 p.m. Register by that date to be included in the new list of members on the DIRCON listserv.  The basic ALWD membership rules can be found at http://www.alwd.org/membership/). The rules include these points:

  • ALWD has members and delegates (members may also be delegates and vice versa), but only delegates can vote.
  • ALWD encourages schools to select up to two delegates for your school.
  • Programs with directors may have up to two member/delegates.
  • Programs without directors may have as many members as they have LRW faculty, but only two of those members may be designated as delegates.
  • Membership is $50 a year per member.  

Hat tip to Kristen K. Tiscione

(mew)

September 8, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New England Consortium of Academic Support Professionals Conference

Request for Proposals

Presentation of Scholarly Works in Progress

NECASP has designated time for the presentation of scholarly works in progress at its December conference on Hybrid Learning and Flipped Classroom Principles. The subject of the work to be presented must be related to Law School Academic Support or Bar Study/Passage.

If you wish to present a “work in progress” the proposal process goes like this:

  1. Submit your proposal by September 26, 2014, by email to morlen@law.wne.edu .
  2. Proposals may be submitted as a Word document or as a PDF
  3. Proposals must include: a. Name and title, of presenter b. Law School c. Address, Email address, and telephone number d. Title of work in progress to be presented e. Abstract of your scholarly work in progress, no more than 500 words f. Statement regarding the status of the work; i.e., whether in outline form, early draft, or near completion). g. Media or computer presentation needs.
  4. The NECASP Board will review the proposals and reply to each by October 3, 2014.
  5. The conference will be held in Boston in December.

Hat tip to Myra G. Orlen, Associate Professor of Legal Research and Writing and Director of Academic Success Programs at Western New England University School of Law

(mew)

September 8, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI One-Day Workshops

Reminder -- sign up today to be a presenter at one of the Legal Writing Institute's One-Day Workshops this December. Click here for more information

(mew)

September 8, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Have You Visited Congress.Gov?

The Law Library of Congress has a new website for federal legislation. Go on, have a look at www.congress.gov. It's pretty cool.

(mew)

September 6, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Placing scholarship in a top-ranked law journal

Touro’s Dan Subotnik and Laura Ross recently wrote about the difficulty of placing law review Books 3 articles in highly-ranked law journals. Their article analyzes data from the primary journals at ten highly-ranked law schools. Among their findings: Over a recent five-year period, 93.3% of the articles in the Harvard Law Review and 80.56% of articles in the University of Chicago Law Review were written by professors at top-25 schools. And even for professors at those schools, it’s “increasingly difficult” to place articles in top-tier journals. Noting that journals often require authors to submit resumes and that the author’s home institution weighs heavily in editors’ decisions, Subotnik and Ross suggest that blind review would be fairer. They also suggest that for many deans, it’s simply unrealistic to expect faculty to publish in top-tier journals.

(jdf)

September 3, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Reminder -- Authors Needed! Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court

The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of revised opinions and commentary for an edited collection entitled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court. This edited volume is a collaborative project among feminist law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key Supreme Court decisions relevant to gender issues. Editors Kathy Stanchi, Linda Berger, and Bridget Crawford seek prospective authors for 20 to 25 rewritten Supreme Court opinions covering a range of topics including reproductive rights, equal protection, the state’s use of criminal power, privacy, the family, women’s political participation, Title IX, employment discrimination and substantive due process. The editors also seek authors for commentaries of 1,500 to 2,500 words to put into context each of the rewritten cases.

 

 

The U.S. Feminist Judgments project was inspired by the successful collection and publication in Britain of Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice, edited by Rosemary Hunter, Clare McGlynn, and Erika Rackley. This volume, which included feminist versions of twenty-three key British decisions from the Court of Appeal and House of Lords, was published in 2010 and has been very well received. Like the sister project in Britain, the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project endeavors to pioneer “a new form of critical socio-legal scholarship” that illustrates how cases could have been decided differently had a feminist method been employed. We believe that U.S. Supreme Court law is ripe for this kind of scholarly treatment.

 

 

Those who are interested in rewriting an opinion or providing the commentary on one of the rewritten opinions must apply by September 15, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. eastern. Click here for the application.

Editors will notify accepted authors and commentators by October 7, 2014. First drafts of rewritten opinions will be due on February 1, 2015. First drafts of comments on the rewritten opinions will be due on March 15, 2015. The editors are in the process of identifying a publisher; publication of the final volume is anticipated for late 2015.

 

 

Applicants may indicate their preferences among the list of cases posted here.  Applicants also may suggest other cases for rewriting. The tentative cases were chosen with the input and advice of an Advisory Panel of distinguished U.S. scholars including Kathryn Abrams, Katharine Bartlett,Devon Carbado, Mary Anne Case, Erwin Chemerinsky, April Cherry, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Martha Fineman, Margaret Johnson, Sonia Katyal, Nancy Leong, Catharine MacKinnon, Rachel Moran, Melissa Murray, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Nancy Polikoff, Dorothy Roberts, Dan Rodriguez, Susan Ross, Vicki Schultz, Dean Spade, Robin West, and Verna Williams.

h/t Kathryn Stanchi (mew)

September 3, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Magna Carta at the Law Library of Congress

Lincoln CathedralIf you're going to Washington D.C. this January for the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, plan an extra day to stop by the Library of Congress which will have a special exhibit on the Magna Carta.

The year 2015 will mark the 800th anniversary of the 1215 Magna Carta, the first document to limit the power of the King and to uphold the rights of the individual.

An exhibit called "Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor" will open at the Library of Congress on November 6, 2014 and continue to January 19, 2015. It features the "Lincoln Cathedral" copy of the Magna Carta, which is being loaned by Lincoln Cathedral in England (pictured here).

(mew)

September 2, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Authors Needed! Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court

The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of revised opinions and commentary for an edited collection entitled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court. This edited volume is a collaborative project among feminist law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key Supreme Court decisions relevant to gender issues. Editors Kathy Stanchi, Linda Berger, and Bridget Crawford seek prospective authors for 20 to 25 rewritten Supreme Court opinions covering a range of topics including reproductive rights, equal protection, the state’s use of criminal power, privacy, the family, women’s political participation, Title IX, employment discrimination and substantive due process. The editors also seek authors for commentaries of 1,500 to 2,500 words to put into context each of the rewritten cases.

The U.S. Feminist Judgments project was inspired by the successful collection and publication in Britain of Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice, edited by Rosemary Hunter, Clare McGlynn, and Erika Rackley. This volume, which included feminist versions of twenty-three key British decisions from the Court of Appeal and House of Lords, was published in 2010 and has been very well received. Like the sister project in Britain, the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project endeavors to pioneer “a new form of critical socio-legal scholarship” that illustrates how cases could have been decided differently had a feminist method been employed. We believe that U.S. Supreme Court law is ripe for this kind of scholarly treatment.

Those who are interested in rewriting an opinion or providing the commentary on one of the rewritten opinions must apply by September 15, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. eastern. Click here for the application.

Editors will notify accepted authors and commentators by October 7, 2014. First drafts of rewritten opinions will be due on February 1, 2015. First drafts of comments on the rewritten opinions will be due on March 15, 2015. The editors are in the process of identifying a publisher; publication of the final volume is anticipated for late 2015.

Applicants may indicate their preferences among the list of cases posted here.  Applicants also may suggest other cases for rewriting. The tentative cases were chosen with the input and advice of an Advisory Panel of distinguished U.S. scholars including Kathryn Abrams, Katharine Bartlett,Devon Carbado, Mary Anne Case, Erwin Chemerinsky, April Cherry, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Martha Fineman, Margaret Johnson, Sonia Katyal, Nancy Leong, Catharine MacKinnon, Rachel Moran, Melissa Murray, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Nancy Polikoff, Dorothy Roberts, Dan Rodriguez, Susan Ross, Vicki Schultz, Dean Spade, Robin West, and Verna Williams.

h/t Kathryn Stanchi (mew)

 

 

August 29, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Supreme Court Review and Preview

The John Marshall Law School will hold a U.S. Supreme Court Review and Preview Program from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 19, 2014. The law school is located at 315 S. Plymouth Court in Chicago.

(mew)

August 28, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Coleen Barger named distinguished professor

ALWD 5th EditionColeen Barger has been named Ben J. Altheimer Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of BargerArkansas at Little Rock.  Among her many contributions to the legal writing field, she is a co-author of the ALWD Citation Guide and is a founder of the Journal of Appellate Practice and Process.  She's also an editor emeritus of the Legal Writing Prof Blog.

Congratulations, Coleen!

(jdf and mew)

August 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The fall issue of JALWD has arrived

JALWD 8-14The fall issue of Legal Communication and Rhetoric: JALWD arrived in my mailbox today with lots of interesting articles. One that caught my eye is Hawking Hyphens in Compound Modifiers. Its author, Joan Magat, urges readers to hyphenate phrasal adjectives, asserting that the practice is “never incorrect.” To show how hyphens clarify compound adjectives, she provides as examples the phrases common-law rule and legal-writing curriculum, which would be ambiguous without the hyphens. The issue also contains an article by Heidi Brown titled Converting Benchslaps to Backslaps, in which Prof. Brown explains the origin of the term benchslap (the subject of yesterday's post).

(jdf)

August 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bench Slap of the Day: Don't Plead the Kitchen Sink

From a federal district court decision authored by Judge Harry D. Leinenweber:  

The Court would like to make an observation. The parties should consider long and hard before requesting leave to amend any of the dismissed counts other than Counterclaim V. To say that the parties, particularly the Plaintiff, have attempted to plead the kitchen sink with respect to what appears to be a relatively simple employment case, is to understate the obvious. The Court would suggest to the parties, particularly the Plaintiff, to consider the problems associated with instructing a jury with such a mishmash of legal theories. To expect a jury to wade though the necessary issue instructions, together with the explanatory and definitional instructions would be monumental. Enough said!

Simmons v. Ditto Trade, Inc., 2014 WL 3889022 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 8, 2014).

(mew)

August 20, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)