Monday, April 20, 2015

LWI/ALWD/LexisNexis Scholarship Grant Recipients Announced

The Legal Writing Institute and the Association of Legal Writing Directors have announced the winners of the 2015 LWI/ALWD/LexisNexis Scholarship Grants.  The following four winners will each receive grants of $5000.

  • Deborah Borman, De-grading Assessment: Rejecting Rubrics in Favor of Authentic Analysis
  • Jennifer Cooper, Making It Stick for Law Students: The Science of Successful Learning In Law School
  • Mark Osbeck, Research Memoranda, Data Analytics, and the Future of Case Forecasting
  • Linda Shashoua, In Defense of DeferenceAppellate Review in the Modern Video Age

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to the members of the LWI/ALWD Joint Scholarship Grants Committee:  Mary Adkins, Kirsten Davis, Liz Frost, Ann Killenbeck, Hether Macfarlane, Deb McGregor, Christine Venter, and Amy Vorenberg, and to the committee chairs Ellie Margolis and Greg Johnson. Thanks also to LWI, ALWD, and LexisNexis for funding these awards.

Hat tips to Ellie Margolis (LWI) and Greg Johnson (ALWD)

(mew)

April 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Early Bird Registration for the ALWD Conference

Today is the early bird deadline to register for the ALWD conference.  The conference fee is $400 if you register today, and it increases to $450 after today. 

The Association of Legal Writing Directors conference will be held in Memphis, Tennessee, at the University of Memphis School of Law from Wednesday, June 3, to Friday, June 5, 2015.  Presentations will begin Wednesday afternoon and continue for full days on Thursday and Friday, with an ALWD membership meeting during lunch on Thursday and a plenary presentation during lunch on Friday.  Registration includes the Gala Dinner and Tour at the National Civil Rights Museum on Thursday and a fun evening at the Redbirds game on Friday. 

Click here to visit the conference website.

Hat tips to Jodi Wilson and Meredith Aden

(mew)

April 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Oh-So-Fantastic University of Bergen Video Explains the Dangers of Plagiarism

We love, absolutely love this video from the University of Bergen in Norway.  It explains the dangers of plagiarism like nothing else you've ever seen.  Click "CC" for the English language captions if they do not appear automatically.  This video was made a couple of years ago in 2010 but it is just as fresh today as when it was first released. Enjoy!

 

(mew)

April 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Use topic sentences when describing precedent cases

In a column titled "Top It Off," Northern Kentucky University's Jennifer Jolly-Ryan recently Jollystressed the importance of starting a case description with a topic sentence. A cumbersome citation is an ineffective beginning, she explained, as is starting with an overly general statement. Instead, write a topic sentence that conveys substance, and place the citation unobtrusively at the sentence’s end. View the whole column at page 51 of the Kentucky Bench and Bar Magazine's March issue.

(jdf)

April 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Southeastern Legal Writing Conference

This past weekend, the University of Tennessee College of Law hosted the 2015 Southeastern Legal Writing Conference.  Attendees representing over a dozen law schools convened in Knoxville for two days of conference activity.  The conference was administered by the legal writing faculty at the University of Tennessee, including Michael Higdon, Lucy Jewel and Carol Parker.  The 2016 Southeastern Legal Writing Conference is slated to be in Miami at the University of Miami School of Law.

(jdf)

April 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Singing Legal Writing Professors from the University of Illinois

Two legal writing professors from the University of Illinois College of Law were featured on a local newscast for bringing song to the classroom.  Click here to read more and to see the video.

Congratulations to Sara R. Benson and Rummana Alam of the University of Illinois College of Law.

(mew)

April 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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 column in the American Bar Association Journal, 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 (1) | 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 Nebraska, 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)