Friday, June 26, 2015

Scalia and Shakespeare

In his dissent in King v. Burwell, Scalia borrows from Shakespeare (as have other justices in other opinions as discussed here by Sasha Volokh):

Understatement, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act! . . .

Impossible possibility, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act! . . .

Contrivance, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!

 

When, if ever, would you encourage your students to try a similar technique?

(njs)

June 26, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

job posting at Appalachian School of Law

Contact's Full Name: Priscilla Harris

Title: Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee

Organization:

Appalachian School of Law

1169 Edgewater Dr.

Grundy, VA 24614

Phone: (276)-935-4349, ext. 1225

Fax: (276)-935-8261

Email: pharris@asl.edu

Website: www.asl.edu

Description:

Appalachian School of Law (“ASL”) seeks applications for the position of Director of the Legal Writing Program. The successful candidate will be appointed to a two-year visiting professor position at the Assistant Professor or Associate Professor level, depending on experience and qualifications.

ASL is located in the scenic mountainous region of southwest Virginia, and is within driving distance to Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and North Carolina. All aspects of ASL’s academic program—from the structured curriculum and the required summer externship to the weekly community service commitment—are designed to respond to the unique needs and opportunities of a law school in this region.

Qualified applicants will have the following: (1) a J.D. degree with a strong academic record; (2) demonstrated experience teaching legal research and writing to lawyers and/or law students; (3) demonstrated commitment to community service; (4) experience developing instructional materials; (5) knowledge of legal research methodologies; and (6) excellent writing and communication skills.

The duties of the Director will include: (1) coordinating the first-year legal writing curriculum; (2) teaching one or more sections of legal writing (other courses may be an option); (3) helping fellow professors incorporate additional writing throughout the curriculum; and (4) working closely with the Director of Academic Success to ensure the success of ASL students, many of whom are from the Appalachian region.

An applicant should submit a letter of interest, C.V., and contact information for three references by mail or email as follows: (1) by mail to Priscilla Harris, Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee, Appalachian School of Law, 1169 Edgewater Drive, Grundy, VA 24614; or (2) by email to Priscilla Harris with “LRW Director” in the subject line at pharris@asl.edu.

ASL is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to providing career opportunities to all people, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status. Women, people of color, and others with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Position Type: Visiting Professorship (Two-Year Contract)

Faculty Vote: No

Salary:  $70,000 to $79,000, depending on qualifications and experience

Students Per Semester:  Approximately 30

Submission Deadline:  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled

 

hat tip:  Henry Webb

(njs)

June 23, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 22, 2015

AALS preview!

Here's a preview of the legal writing "dance card" for AALS.

hat tip:  Jennifer Murphy Romig

(njs)

June 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The New Edition of the Blue Book Has Been Published

The 20th edition of The Bluebook Citation Manual has just been published. You can read the Introduction and Preface by clicking here,

Many legal writing professors have switched to teaching the ALWD Citation Manual rather than The Bluebook because the latest edition of the ALWD Manual produced citations exactly the same as the citations from the 19th edition of The Bluebook.  We ask you, dear readers, to let us know what you think about this new edition of The Bluebook.

Hat tip to Professor Brian Sites of the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law.
 
(mew)

June 21, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Scribes Awards Luncheon in Chicago

Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers--will hold an award luncheon in Chicago during the ABA Annual Meeting.  Awards will be presented for the best new book in legal writing and for the best student-written briefs from moot court competitions.

Lord WoolfThe luncheon will feature a special presentation of the Scribes Lifetime-Achievement Award to The Right Honorable, the Lord Woolf, with comments by Lord Woolf.  Lord Woolf was Master of the Rolls from 1996 until 2000 and Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 2000 until 2005. The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 made him the first Lord Chief Justice to be President of the Courts of England and Wales. He has also been a non-permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong since 2003.

GarnerAlso during the luncheon, keynote Speaker Bryan A. Garner will share The Biggest Secret for Clear and Persuasive Writing at the 2015 Scribes Awards Luncheon in Chicago.  Bryan Garner has written several books about English usage and style, including Garner's Modern American Usage and Elements of Legal Style. He is the editor-in-chief of Black's Law Dictionary and he has coauthored two books with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (2008) and Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts (2012). He is the Founder and president of LawProse, Inc. and serves as Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University School of Law.

In addition to the award presentations and speaker, the event will mark the installation of the new officers for Scribes. The current Scribes president completing her term on August 1st is Darby Dickerson, Dean at Texas Tech University School of Law and the W. Frank Newton Endowed Professor at that school. She will be replaced by incoming president Justice Michael Hyman of the Illinois Supreme Court, a former president of the Chicago Bar Association.

Here is the information about the luncheon, including how to order tickets:

Saturday, August 1, Noon – 2:00 p.m.
Swissotel, Edelweiss I Room, 43rd Floor
323 Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois
$75 per person
$50 for Judges, Government Employees, Young Lawyers, Law Professors, and Law Students
 
RSVP to scribeslegalwriters@gmail.com by July 17 with your choice of lunch entrée: chicken or vegetarian. For questions, go to Scribes.org or call (806) 834-5792.
 
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)
Treasurer, Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers

June 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Applied Legal Storytelling Conference Registration Deadline Approaching

July 10th is the last day to register for the Applied Legal Storytelling conference in Seattle. The conference takes place from July 21st through July 23rd at the Seattle University School of Law.  Conference information is on the Legal Writing Institute's website or can be found by clicking here. For additional information about registration or housing, please contact Lori Lamb at lambl [at] seattle.edu or  Chris Rideout at rideout [at] seattleu.edu.   

(mew)

June 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Burton Awards

Ralph Brill and Karin Mika have shared a video compilation of glamor shots from the 2015 Burton Awards for outstanding achievement in legal writing.  The photographs of Professor Marilyn Walter of Brooklyn Law School are particularly stunning as she receives an award in recognition of her contributions to legal writing education.

Click here to see the video.  Burton Awards

 

Hat tip to Karin Mika and Ralph Brill

(mew)

June 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Reminder: Call for Papers for Business Law Conference in France

The French Association of Law Professors in Business Schools – the Association des Professeurs de Droit des Grandes Ecoles (“APDGE”) -- will hold its Third Conference Toulouse Business School in Southwestern France on December 3-4, 2015.  The theme of the conference is “Governance and Compliance in Companies: Constraints or Opportunities.”

Papers submitted will be reviewed double-blind and the authors of the best papers will be asked to present their papers in Toulouse, with a later publication anticipated.  Participants or their institutions must bear their own travel expenses unfortunately, but then again you do end up in Southwestern France so just find a way to make that happen if your proposal is selected.

Key Dates

Proposals: June 30, 2015

Full Text: September 1, 2015

Author Notification by the Scientific Committee: October 12, 2015

The call for papers is also available at the APDGE’s website at, as well as on the Conference’s website which is “under construction.”

Click here for a related post about the conference on one of our sister blogs, the Business Law Prof Blog.

Hat tip to Greg Voss

(mew)

June 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Adventures in Chinese Menus

Chicken in Strange SauceAlright we'll readily agree that this photo has absolutely nothing to do with legal writing but we thought it was linguistically interesting enough to share with you. 

It's a menu from a Chinese Restaurant in Prague, Czech Republic. And no, we did not order the chicken in strange sauce.

(mew)

June 11, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Scribes Award Luncheon in Chicago: Come Learn "The Biggest Secret for Clear and Persuasive Writing"

GarnerKeynote Speaker Bryan A. Garner will share The Biggest Secret for Clear and Persuasive Writing at the 2015 Scribes Awards Luncheon in Chicago.  Bryan Garner has written several books about English usage and style, including Garner's Modern American Usage and Elements of Legal Style. He is the editor-in-chief of Black's Law Dictionary and he has coauthored two books with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (2008) and Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts (2012). He is the Founder and president of LawProse, Inc. and serves as Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University School of Law.

Lord WoolfThe luncheon will also feature a special presentation of the Scribes Lifetime-Achievement Award to The Rt. Hon. the Lord Woolf, with comments by Lord Woolf.  Lord Woolf was Master of the Rolls from 1996 until 2000 and Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 2000 until 2005. The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 made him the first Lord Chief Justice to be President of the Courts of England and Wales. He has also been a non-permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong since 2003.

Scribes will also announce it prestigious book awards and Brief-Writing Awards.  These awards recognize and celebrate exceptional legal writing.

The Scribes Luncheon will be held during the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago: 

Saturday, August 1, Noon – 2:00 p.m.
Swissotel, Edelweiss I Room, 43rd Floor
323 Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois
$75 per person
$50 for Judges, Government Employees, Young Lawyers, Law Professors, and Law Students

RSVP to scribeslegalwriters@gmail.com by July 17 with your choice of lunch entrée: chicken or vegetarian. For questions, go to Scribes.org or call (806) 834-5792.
 
This is always a special event, and particularly so this year.
 
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)
Treasurer, Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers

June 11, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Of Course You Need to Go to Southwestern France in December

The French Association of Law Professors in Business Schools – the Association des Professeurs de Droit des Grandes Ecoles (“APDGE”) -- will hold its Third Conference Toulouse Business School in Southwestern France on December 3-4, 2015.  The theme of the conference is “Governance and Compliance in Companies: Constraints or Opportunities.”

Papers submitted will be reviewed double-blind and the authors of the best papers will be asked to present their papers in Toulouse, with a later publication anticipated.  Participants or their institutions must bear their own travel expenses unfortunately, but then again you do end up in Southwestern France so just find a way to make that happen if your proposal is selected.

Key Dates

Proposals: June 30, 2015

Full Text: September 1, 2015

Author Notification by the Scientific Committee: October 12, 2015

The call for papers is also available at the APDGE’s website at, as well as on the Conference’s website which is “under construction.”

Click here for a related post about the conference on one of our sister blogs, the Business Law Prof Blog.

Hat tip to Greg Voss

(mew)

June 11, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

James Billington, Librarian of Congress for Past 28 Years, to Retire in January

We are big fans of both the Library of Congress and the Law Library of Congress.  Both are national (and international) treasures that make so much information and so many resources available to researchers around the world.

James H. Billington has been the Librarian of Congress for the past 28 years.  On Wednesday he announced that he will retire on January 1, 2016, at the age of 86. He is the 13th librarian of Congress. He was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and President Barack Obama will nominate his successor, who must also be confirmed by the Senate.

Click here to read more about the announcement and the Library of Congress.

(mew)

And for a post on the Law Library of Congress, click here.

 

June 11, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Marilyn Walter of Brooklyn Law School to Receive Burton Award

Marilyn WalterThe Burton Legal Writing Awards is beyond doubt the most glamorous legal writing event anywhere. Held annually at the Library of Congress, this remarkable event celebrates exceptional legal writing and its teaching.

This year's celebration -- to be held this coming Monday -- will  include a joint presentation by US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Chief Judge Robert Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Notable attorneys Jay Sekulow and Robert A. Long will stage a mock argument on the Affordable Care Act Subsidies. And if that isn't entertainment enough, Broadway Diva Kristin Chenoweth will also be performing that evening.

Various awards are to be presented that day. Professor Marilyn Walter of Brooklyn Law School will receive the 2015 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 the legal writing program at Brooklyn Law School. 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 recieved 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. Previous winners include Ralph Brill, Darby Dickerson, Anne Enquist, Joe Kimble, Mary Lawrence, Richard K. Neumann, Laurel Oates, Marjorie Rombauer, Helene Shapo, and Tina Stark.

Hat tips to Noah A. Messing and Ralph Brill.

(mew)

June 10, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Congress.gov Webinar on June 11

The next Congress.gov webinar offered by the Law Library of Congress will be on June 11, 2015 from 2:00-3:00 EDT. Congress.gov is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. This orientation will give a basic overview of the site and show how to search legislation, Congressional member information attached to the legislation, and new features of Congress.gov.

To register, call +1-202-707-9801 or complete the form at http://www.loc.gov/law/opportunities/congress-form.php. Provide your name, contact information, and the class you wish to attend. You must submit an email address for confirmation and to receive instructions for joining the Web conference.

Hat tip to the Law Library of Congress.

(mew)

June 9, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Bitterweest goodbye from retiring blog editor

With bittersweet feelings, I am saying goodbye to my position as an editor of this blog. I'll be retiring from the University of Louisville at the end of June, and since I won't be as involved in the profession, it seems appropriate to retire from the blog as well.

I've loved working on the blog, and I am grateful to Sue Liemer, who started the blog and later asked me to be an editor.  Thanks, Sue.  I'm also grateful to my fellow blog editors--we've had a great time working together.  And to our readers, the legal writing community, I simply say, "You're the best!"

Here's a photo of my retirement party, where Dean Susan Duncan (well known as a leader in the legal writing community) unveiled a portrait that will hang with those of our law school's emeritus professors. Many thanks to Susan, to the University of Louisville, and to my students for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful profession.

I'll be staying in Louisville for the foreseeable future. Keep in touch!

(jdf)

IMG_3963

June 8, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Dates Announced for Global Legal Skills Conference 11 in Verona

The Global Legal Skills Conference is the world's largest conference dedicated to the teaching of legal skills around the world, including teaching "Legal English" to lawyers and law students who speak English as a second language. The conference is held annually in different locations around the world. Most recently it was held in Chicago at The John Marshall Law School (where the conference began) and at Northwestern University School of Law. The GLS-10 was also co-sponsored by the Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey, which itself previously hosted the conference twice.

The 11th Global Legal Skills Conference will return to a popular location, the University of Verona Faculty of Law in Verona, Italy. The conference will be held from Tuesday, May 24, 2016 to Thursday, May 26, 2016. Optional activities will be organized for before and after the conference.

(mew)

June 7, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Remembering William Zinsser

Zinsser PhotoWilliam Zinsser, the author of On Writing Well, Writing Places, and other books on writing, died on May 12 in New York at the age of 92. According to an obituary in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Zinsser went to be a writing instructor at Yale University in the 1970s after a long career as a journalist.  He was going to teach a Nonfiction Workshop Course for 15 students but received more than 170 applications from students wanting to take the course. According to the Chronicle, Zinsser attributed the strong interest in his course the need of students for "basic writing tools." He believed that the rules of writing "only get learned when a student's failure to observer them is pointed out in his or her writing." Anais Strickland, Obituary [William Zinsser]: Influential Writing Coach, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 29, 2015, at A18.

His book On Writing Well grew out of that course at Yale and has sold more than 1.5 million copies. There's probably a copy of it on your bookshelf right now. Go ahead, pull it out, and spend a few minutes remembering William Zinsser and his contributions to writing.

Click here for William Zinsser's webpage.

Click here for a post on the Legal Writing Prof Blog from 2013 about a new book by William Zinsser.

(mew)

June 7, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, June 3, 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

(mew)

 

June 3, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New study highlights importance of writing and research skills

Computer-research vendor Lexis-Nexis recently conducted a study of 300 hiring partners and supervising attorneys to determine what they seek in newly-hired lawyers. Among the study’s findings are that 66% of the respondents want new lawyers to have good writing skills--especially the ability to draft motions, briefs, and pleadings. The study also found that newer attorneys spend 40% – 60% of their time conducting legal research. These findings, along with the study’s other conclusions, highlight the importance of topics covered in legal research and writing courses.

(jdf)

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

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Scholars' Forum at The John Marshall Law School

Wilson AbramsonThe GLS-10 Scholars' Forum is continuing with presentations on secrets of foreign and international law research. Presenters pictured here are Clare Gaynor WIllis (Chicago-Kent College of Law) and Anne Abramson (The John Marshall Law School-Chicago).  The program includes useful international and foreign law legal research resources, including many legal research secrets.

The Scholars' Forum is being held in advance of the 10th Global Legal Skills Conference, being held in Chicago at The John Marshall Law School and Northwestern University School of Law. The Facultad Libre del Derecho de Monterrey is an additional co-sponsor of the GLS conference. The Scholars' Forum being held in advance of the GLS Conference is sponsored by the Association of Legal Writing Directors.

(mew)

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