Friday, February 16, 2018
The Suffolk University Board of Trustees approved tenure for six of its legal writing professors: Sabrina DeFabritiis, Shailini Jandial George, Rosa Kim, Samantha A. Moppett, Gabriel H. Teninbaum, and Kathleen Elliott Vinson.
These are all legal writing professors who have made a national reputation for themselves in the field of legal writing education through their publications, their participation in national and international conferences, and their active leadership in organizations such as the Legal Writing Institute and the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. Congratulations to each of them and to the faculty and trustees of Suffolk University on recognizing the rich legal writing talent you have at Suffolk.
Hat tip to Kathy Vinson.
Professor Usman earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature summa cum laude from Boston University and her Juris Doctor degree from Boston College Law School, where she was articles editor on the Boston College Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif. She clerked for a federal district court judge and for a judge on the Sixth Circuit, and spent several years as an associate at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray LLP.
Hat to to Professor Brenda C. See.
Mercer Law School seeks an experienced visiting professor to teach legal writing the 2018-2019 academic year. This position is to temporarily replace faculty members on leave. In the Fall, the visitor will teach two sections of Legal Writing II with between 20 and 30 students. In the Spring, the visitor will teach two sections of Legal Writing I with between 20 and 30 students.
Mercer is located in Macon, Georgia, approximately one hour from the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Macon has a low cost of living, and is experiencing a renaissance in urban renewal. The main campus of the university and the law school are both near downtown Macon, with its many cultural and recreational amenities.
Mercer is an equal opportunity employer that encourages applications from women, minorities, LGBTQ candidates, persons with disabilities, and all others who will contribute to our stimulating and diverse cultural and intellectual environment. Applicants should have a strong academic record and demonstrated commitment to outstanding teaching. We encourage interested applicants to visit our website at http://www.law.mercer.edu to learn more about the school, community, and programs.
Application review will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Confidential inquiries are welcome.
Please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for professional references, and address your application to Professor Oren Griffin, Chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee. You may email your application to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also apply through standard mail; please send correspondence to Professor Oren Griffin, Mercer Law School, 1021 Georgia Avenue, Macon, Georgia 31207.
This is a one-year visitor position. The salary range is $70,000 to $90,000. Professors will teach 48 to 52 students each semester (for two sections of legal writing). Submission Deadline: February 28, 2018
- Contact Professor Oren Griffin
- 1021 Georgia Avenue
- Macon, Georgia 31052
Hat tip to Professor David T. Ritchie, Director of International Programs at Mercer University School of Law.
Sunday, February 11, 2018
- Monday, April 23, 2018 | Long Island
- Tuesday, April 24, 2018 | Westchester
- Thursday, April 26, 2018 | NYC (Manhattan)
- Monday, April 30, 2018 | Syracuse
- Wednesday, May 2, 2018 | Rochester
- Thursday, May 3, 2018 | Buffalo
- Friday, May 4, 2018 | Albany
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
At its Mid-Year Meeting in Vancouver, the American Bar Association House of Delegates passed Resolution 109 in support of adequate funding for the Library of Congress (and the Law Library of Congress). The policy statement was co-sponsored by seven entities:
- ABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress
- ABA Section of International Law
- ABA Section of Dispute Resolution
- ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law
- ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
- ABA Law Practice Division
- ABA Law Student Division
- ABA Senior Lawyers Division and
- the Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section
In the resolution adopted this week, the ABA urges the Congress "to approve appropriations to the Library of Congress necessary to enable the Law Library of Congress to adequately staff, maintain, modernize, and enhance its services, collections, facilities, digital projects, and outreach efforts."
Friday, February 2, 2018
Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers--has published the latest issue of The Scrivener, the organization's newsletter. Of particular interest in the current issue is a collection of "practical, old-fashioned advice on writing from famous fiction writers" that were reworked for legal writers. Here are some of the gems collected in that column:
- Isaac Bashevis Singer: "The delete key is the author's best friend."
- Ernest Hemingway: "The hard part of legal writing is finishing it."
- Elmore Leonard: "I try to leave out the parts that judges skip."
- Ambros Bierce: "The first and last pages of a brief are too far apart."
Click here to see the Winter 2018 edition of The Scrivener. The editor is Professor Maureen Collins of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Scribes will hold its next national CLE program at The John Marshall Law School on April 13, 2018.
The national anthem of Canada was changed this week to become a gender-neutral anthem. The line "in all thy sons command" was changed to "in all of us command." Bill 210 "An Act to amend the National Anthem Act (gender)" passed its third reading in the Canadian Senate on January 31, 2018. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reportedly described the change as "another positive step toward gender equality."
On Monday, the ABA House of Delegates will meet to vote on a number of resolutions, including Resolution 109. That resolution "urges the Congress to approve appropriations to the Library of Congress necessary to enable the Law Library of Congress to adequately staff, maintain, modernize, and enhance its services, collections, facilities, digital projects, and outreach efforts."
The report accompanying the proposed resolution describes the work of the Law Library of Congress and its importance to the Congress, the nation's lawyers, and the legal profession. The Law Library of Congress is the largest law library in the world, including substantial collections of international and foreign legal materials. The ABA report states that "[f]or of nation of laws, the Law Library of Congress is an American treasure in the fullest sense" and states that the "Congress must adequately fund the Library of Congress in order to effectively support the needs of our nation's law library . . . ."
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
The winner of the 2018 Burton Foundation Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education was just announced on the Legal Writing Listserve. It is Professor Mark E. Wojcik of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. The Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing and Education Committee presents this award "to the finest law school teacher who has promoted and advanced legal writing."
Mark is the founder of the Global Legal Skills Conference Series, the author of the first Legal English Textbook published in the United States, the author of another book on Illinois Legal Research, the incoming president of Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers, a three-time Board Member of the Legal Writing Institute, a past Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research and a winner of the AALS Section Award for lifetime contributions to legal writing education, an editor of the Legal Writing Prof Blog, and a member of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress. The award will be presented on May 21, 2018 at the Library of Congress. He joins a distinguished list of prior recipients of this award:
- Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School-Chicago (to be presented in May 2018)
- Linda Edwards, UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law (2017)
- Louis J. Sirico, Jr., Villanova University (2016)
- Marilyn Walter, Brooklyn Law School (2015)
- Anne M. Enquist, Seattle University School of Law (2014)
- Mary Lawrence, University of Oregon School of Law (2013)
- Tina L. Stark, Boston University School of Law (2012)
- Marjorie Dick Rombauer, University of Washington (2011)
- Helene S. Shapo, Northwestern University Law School (2010)
- Richard K. Neumann Jr., Hofstra University School of Law (2009)
- Mary Beth Beazley, Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, now at UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law (2008)
- Laurel Oates, Seattle University School of Law (2007)
- Ralph Brill, Chicago-Kent College of Law (2006)
- Darby Dickerson, Stetson University College of Law, now at The John Marshall Law School-Chicago (2005)
- Kent D. Syverund, Vanderbilt University Law School (2004)
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Congratulations to Cara Cunningham Warren at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, where the faculty yesterday unanimously approved her promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor.
And at the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting in San Diego a few weeks ago, Professor Cunningham Warren became Chair-Elect of the AALS Section on North American Cooperation. She will become Chair of the Section at the AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans in January 2018, following the term of another legal writing professor, Lisa Black of the California Western School of Law.
Monday, January 15, 2018
- Monday, April 23, 2018 | Long Island
- Tuesday, April 24, 2018 | Westchester
- Thursday, April 26, 2018 | NYC (Manhattan)
- Monday, April 30, 2018 | Syracuse
- Wednesday, May 2, 2018 | Rochester
- Thursday, May 3, 2018 | Buffalo
- Friday, May 4, 2018 | Albany
Sunday, January 14, 2018
First Call for Presentation Proposals - Global Legal Skills Conference - Melbourne, Australia (Dec. 9-12, 2018)
December 9-12, 2018
Co-Sponsored by Melbourne Law School and The John Marshall Law School-Chicago, in cooperation with the Legal Writing Institute, the American Bar Association Section on International Law, the Teaching International Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association, the International Law Students Association, the American Society of International Law, Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers, and other organizations.
In holding the GLS-13 Conference at Melbourne Law School, we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where the law school is located: the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present, and emerging.
First Call for Presentations
Presentation proposals for the GLS-13 Conference are now being accepted on topics relating to legal writing and legal skills education (particularly for lawyers and law students who speak English as a second language), international litigation, comparative and international law, and related subjects.
Please send an email to Prof. Mark E. Wojcik at email@example.com with the subject line “GLS-13 Proposal.” Include a proposed title, brief description, and proposed speakers. Individual presentations will normally be 15-20 minutes. Panels and roundtables will normally be an hour and include three to five speakers. You may be nominated to be on more than one panel but speakers will normally be given only one speaking opportunity to allow others to participate.
The first call for presentations will be open until February 28, 2018 and decisions made by March 28, 2018. Additional presentation proposals will be accepted until April 30, 2018 if space is still available. Poster presentations will be accepted until November 1, 2018
The GLS Website for the Melbourne Conference will launch on February 1, 2018 at http://glsc.jmls.edu with information about registration, travel, hotels, and a preliminary conference schedule. The website for the 2017 GLS conference in Mexico can be viewed at http://glsc.jmls.edu/2017.
Additional information about the GLS-13 conference, including sponsorship opportunities, can be had from the Conference Co-Chairs, Prof. Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School, Chicago [(312) 987-2391 or firstname.lastname@example.org] or Dr Chantal Morton, Director of the Legal Academic Skills Centre, Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Responsibilities of the Instructor include teaching two sections of first-year legal writing each term, working with the Director of the Legal Writing Program and other Instructors to develop a modern curriculum in this subject, and teaching one additional course. In addition to holding a Juris Doctor degree from an ABA-accredited school, candidates for the position must have at least two to three years of post-J.D. experience in a position or positions requiring substantial legal writing. The school seeks in particular candidates who are enthused about working closely with students in the development of this critical skill.
The Legal Writing Instructor position is a nine-month contractual position with teaching responsibilities beginning annually in mid-August and ending in mid-May. However, in the opening year of the Legal Writing Program, the position will commence on June 1, 2018 to provide time to work on program design. The Instructor will hold a two-year contract and will be eligible for a longer-term appointment thereafter. The anticipated salary for the nine-month position is $70,000.
Washington and Lee University School of Law is an Equal Opportunity employer that adheres to a robust nondiscrimination policy. The school welcomes candidates who are members of communities traditionally under-represented in the legal profession and academia. Interested individuals should submit a statement of interest, cv, and references to Mary Ervin at email@example.com. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
The position advertised may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.The professor hired will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings on routine matters excluding appointments, tenure and promotion. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range of $70,000 to $79,999. And the number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor is expected to be between 36 and 45.
Hat tips to Dean Brant J. Hellwig and Professor Christopher B. Seaman at the Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Thursday, January 4, 2018
The Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research presents a "New Scholars Showcase" this year at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego. The New Scholars Showcase will feature three newer scholars who teach legal writing and who have been selected by the Section's Program Committee through a competitive process.
The presenters will be Professors Erin Carroll (Georgetown University Law Center), Jane Grise, (University of Kentucky College of Law), and Anne Ralph (The Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law). The panel moderators will be Professors Scott Fraley (Baylor University School of Law) and Carol L. Wallinger (Rutgers Law School).
The Association of American Law Schools is holding its annual meeting this week in San Diego. Many of the substantive panels are heavy with legal writing content. One such panel is a program sponsored by the AALS Section on Graduate Programs for Non-U.S. Lawyers, Co-Sponsored by the AALS Section on International Legal Exchange and the AALS Section on North American Cooperation. The panel is called "Focus on the Facts: Teaching Civil-Law Trained Lawyers to Work with Facts in U.S. Legal Writing." Here's the panel description:
Those who teach first-year J.D. students know that it can be challenging to teach them to support their legal arguments by working with the facts in the detailed way that U.S. legal audiences expect. Indeed, it can be even more challenging to teach this skill to our international law students. These students usually come from civil-law legal systems in which cases do not have binding precedential value, so judicial opinions do not need to be made factually consistent with precedent to the extent required in the U.S. Accordingly, many international lawyers are not accustomed to working with the facts at a detailed, concrete level, and find our need to analogize our facts to, and distinguish them from, those of precedent surprising and even perplexing. The panel will discuss what they do to help their international law students develop the skill of writing fact-based U.S. legal analysis, including pre-writing to identify how U.S. lawyers use facts in legal writing; planning to identify, select, and organize arguments and counterarguments, and to choose the most relevant facts; writing fact-based analysis effectively; and editing to strengthen the analysis, add or revise factual descriptions, and look for errors.
The moderators are Professor William H. Byrnes (Texas A&M University School of Law) and John B. Thornton (Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law). The speakers are Dr. Mary Campbell Gallagher (Barwrite and Barwrite Press), and Professors Robin M. Nilon (Temple University, James E. Beasley School of Law), Michael D. Murray (University of Massachusetts School of Law - Dartmouth), and Hether C. Macfarlane, (University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law).
At the same time in a different room, there's a panel sponsored by the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research, Co-Sponsored by the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education, on the topic of "Tips from the Trenches: Teaching Students to Help Social Justice Practitioners From First Year to Graduation." Here's the description of that panel:
This panel brings together legal writing faculty and clinicians who collaborate to make social justice issues central to legal education. One panelist uses "canned" legal writing problems that raise social justice issues and introduce students to the work of lawyers who have accomplished social change. A legal writing professor and a clinical professor from a second school collaborate on simulation exercises that bring social justice issues into the legal writing classroom, assisting students in professional identity development and exposing them to family and juvenile law issues. The legal writing director and clinical director from a third school describe how their collaborations that bring issues from the law clinic or legal nonprofits into the 1L legal writing classes led to collaborative efforts to improve students' ability to transfer their learning from the first-year through clinical and externship experiences and beyond. A legal writing professor from a fourth school will describe upper-level writing projects that engage 2L and 3L students in providing assistance to social justice partners. This panel describes the widely differing ways we bring social justice into our classrooms, offers key "lessons learned" over years of doing this work, and engages the audience about how they might apply these lessons.
The moderator is Professor Shailini J. George (Suffolk University Law School). The speakers are Professors Mary Bowman and Lisa E. Brodoff, (Seattle University School of Law), Kimberly P. Jordan and Katrina June Lee, (The Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law), Sarah E. Ricks (Rutgers Law School), and Amy Vorenberg (University of New Hampshire School of Law).
Other legal writing events being held this week include the luncheon award ceremony for the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research at which Dean Darby Dickerson (the original author of the ALWD Citation Manual) will receive a lifetime achievement award. There will also be a reception on Friday evening co-sponsored by the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute Reception.
If you're attending the AALS conference this week, we invite guest blog posts on panels and events that you attend.
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)
Sunday, December 24, 2017
Congratulations to Sabrina DeFabritis (Suffolk) and Suzanna K. Moran (Denver), Outgoing and Incoming Chairs of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research
Professor Sabrina DeFabritiis of Suffolk University Law School (picutred at left) is about to finish her 2017-18 term as Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. As Section Chair Professor DeFabritiis has overseen the Section's committees, programs, and awards.
Professor Suzanna K. Moran of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (pictured at right) is the incoming Chair for 2018-19. She will assume that role at the upcoming AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego, which his being held from January 3-6, 2018. Professor Moran is the Hartje & Reese Chair in Lawyering Process and Professor of the Practice at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
While still in law school she began her career as a legal editor for The Yearbook of International Environmental Law. She edited that publication for seven years, working with leading environmental lawyers from around the world. She later became a staff attorney at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C., where she wrote and edited for ELR—The Environmental Law Reporter for four years.
Professor Moran then left the field of professional writing and editing for private practice. She represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of litigation matters related to natural resources, environmental law, and real estate.
In 2005, she returned to editing when she became Director of Publications at the Denver Art Museum. She was responsible for the editorial content and quality of the museum’s written materials and managed a staff of eight editors and graphic designers.
In her secret life, Professor Moran performs with the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra. We'll have to ask her which instrument she plays. Her other interests include all manner of outdoor activities, reading, movies, beating back the encroaching wilderness of her backyard, and playing MMORPGs (that's the acronym for massively multiplayer online role-playing games).
Chartered on January 1, 1974, the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research promotes the communication of ideas, interests, and activities among the members of the Section; reports on the status of legal research and writing; and makes recommendations on matters concerning law school administration and matters of interest in the teaching and improvement of law school curriculum.
Professor Wendy Adele Humphrey of Texas Tech University School of Law (pictured at right) is the current Secretary of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. She is expected to become the Section Chair-Elect at the 2018 AALS Annual Meeting. She would then become Section Chair in 2019-20 during the 2019 AALS Annual Meeting, which will be held in New Orleans.
The members of the Section's 2017-18 Executive Committee (in addition to the Section Officers) are:
- Robert Brain, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
- Rebekah N. Hanley, University of Oregon School of Law
- Allison D. Martin, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
- Joseph Mastrosimone, Washburn University School of Law
- Anne Mullins, University of North Dakota School of Law
- Nancy J. Soonpaa, Texas Tech University School of Law
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Here's a final reminder that the schedule has changed this year for nominations for the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education. Nominations are due by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wedneday, December 20, 2017.
The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement highlight the importance of writing in the legal profession, providing a forum to honor legal professionals and law students whose work exemplifies the goals of our field. The Awards were founded in 1999 by William Burton, author of Burton’s Legal Thesaurus and recipient of the Legal Writing Institute’s 2010 Golden Pen Award.
- 2004 - Kent D. Syverund, Dean and Garner Anthony Professor at Vanderbilt University Law School
- 2005 - Darby Dickerson, Vice President and Dean at Stetson University College of Law (now Dean of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago)
- 2006 - Ralph Brill, Professor of Law and Associate Dean, Acting Dean and Associate Dean of Student Affairs at the Chicago-Kent College of Law
- 2007 - Laurel Oates, Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law
- 2008 - Mary Beth Beazley, Associate Professor of Law and Director of Legal Writing at Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law (now a Professor at UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law)
- 2009 - Richard K. Neumann Jr., Professor at Hofstra University School of Law
- 2010 - Helene S. Shapo, Professor of Law Emeritus at Northwestern University Law School
- 2011 - Marjorie Dick Rombauer, Professor Emerita of Law at University of Washington
- 2012 - Tina L. Stark, Professor of the Practice of Law and Director of the Transactional Program at Boston University School of Law.
- 2013 - Mary Lawrence, Professor Emerita at University of Oregon School of Law
- 2014 - Anne M. Enquist, Professor of Lawyering Skills and Director of the Legal Writing Program at Seattle University School of Law
- 2015 - Marilyn Walter, Professor and Director of the Legal Writing Program at Brooklyn Law School
- 2016 - Louis J. Sirico, Jr., Law Professor, Villanova University
- 2017 - Linda Edwards, E.L. Cord Foundation Professor of Law, UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
Friday, December 8, 2017
If you're hosting or attending one of the Legal Writing Institute's One-Day Workshops, please send us a write-up of your workshop (or your part of a workshop) and a photo if you have one. We're happy to post your work as a guest author on the Legal Writing Prof Blog. Thanks!
Thursday, December 7, 2017
The faculty at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas has voted to recommend Emily Grant for tenure and promotion to Professor of Law.
Professor Grant joined the Washburn faculty in 2011, where she teaches courses in legal writing and estates and trusts. She previously taught legal writing courses at her alma mater, the University of Illinois College of Law, where as a student she served as articles editor for the University of Illinois Law Review. She then joined the University of Kansas School of Law faculty as a part-time lecturer in the Lawyering Program and was later named as a full-time lawyering professor while also working with students as part of the Academic Resources Program.
Before starting her teaching career, Professor Grant was Court Counsel for the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau, a small country in the Western Pacific Ocean. She also clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for federal district courts in Illinois and Kansas.
Professor Grant is a co-director of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning.
Hat tip to Joseph Mastrosimone, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Washburn University School of Law.
The American Bar Association Journal and other media outlets have reported that the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and The John Marshall Law School (JMLS) of Chicago have been discussing a possible merger that would make JMLS the first public law school in the city of Chicago. If an agreement is reached, the law school would remain at its downtown location next to the Chicago Bar Association and across the street from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The John Marshall Law School is particularly well-known for its legal writing program.
A page of frequently asked questions about the possible merger provides this additional information:
UIC is one of the few public research universities designated with the highest Research 1 classification by the Carnegie Foundation that does not have a law school. Sixty-five percent of all Research 1 universities, public and private, have a law school.
The John Marshall Law School is an independent law school and the possibility of becoming Chicago’s only public law school would allow it to expand its current mission and grow its quality, unique programs within a strong public university.
A natural alignment exists between UIC’s public mission and JMLS’s commitment to provide access and opportunity to students from underserved communities and to help fill the justice gap for citizens in the Chicago area. The new arrangement would fill a significant void in the country’s third largest city. Chicago is one of very few major cities in the United States without a public law school.
- approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees;
- approval by The John Marshall Law School Board of Trustees;
- degree approval from the Illinois Board of Higher Education;
- approval of a major change in operation from the American Bar Association’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar;
- approval from the Higher Learning Commission, which is a regional accreditor for both institutions.
The timeline for a merger would also depend on the steps needed to ensure a smooth transition for students, faculty, staff, and alumni of each institution.