Thursday, April 21, 2016

Global Legal Skills Conference in Verona, Italy

Verona Bridge David Austin PhotoThe 11th Global Legal Skills Conference will be held in Verona, Italy from May 24 to May 26, with an optional day trip to Padua (Padova) on May 2th. The conference schedule (including panels, speakers, and additional information) is available by clicking here. 

Registration is still open and available for the GLS-11 conference.

(mew)

Photo by David Austin

April 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Save the Date: Central States Law Schools Scholarship Conference in September

The Central States Law Schools Association Scholarship Conference will be held on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24, 2016 at the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks, North Dakota. CSLSA is an organization of law schools dedicated to providing a forum for conversation and collaboration among law school academics. The CSLSA Annual Conference is an opportunity for legal scholars, especially more junior scholars, to present working papers or finished articles on any law-related topic in a relaxed and supportive setting where junior and senior scholars from various disciplines are available to comment. More mature scholars have an opportunity to test new ideas in a less formal setting than is generally available for their work. Scholars from member and nonmember schools are invited to attend. 

Registration will open in July. Hotel rooms are already available, and more information about the CSLSA conference can be found on the conference website at www.cslsa.us.
Hat tip to Christopher Odinet.
(mew)

April 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Memorial Service for Molly Lien, Former Director of the Legal Writing Programs at Chicago-Kent and John Marshall

Molly LienMolly Lien, the former Director of the Legal Writing Programs at Chicago-Kent College of Law (1993-2001) and The John Marshall Law School (2004-2008), died last September 11, 2015 at the very young age of 67. She had been recognized as a leader in legal writing in the United States and also for her work in Russia and Singapore. A memorial service is being held today at the Chicago Bar Association in Chicago to honor her memory.

When Molly retired from The John Marshall Law School in 2008, she shared this message with the Legal Writing Professors' Listserve:

In the end, we all strive to do the greatest good. Sometimes pursuing the good means leaving dear friends to focus on other areas of life, including family, friends, community, and causes.

Please know that I am grateful beyond words for the support of the many, many wonderful colleagues in this organization. You are the absolute best, and I will treasure these friendships forever. God bless you all, and I hope to give many hugs [at the Legal Writing Institute Conference] in Indianapolis.

At that conference in 2008, Molly Lien and Professor Ralph Brill of Chicago-Kent College of Law received the Terry LeClercq Courage Award from the Legal Writing Institute.

Molly was a tremendous teacher, mentor, and friend. Her kindness and friendship live on in our memories.

Click here to read more about Molly Lien.

Mark E. Wojcik

April 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Scribes Legal Writing CLE in Chicago on Friday, April 15th at The John Marshall Law School

Scribes LogoScribes--The American Society of Legal Writers--will present a CLE program this Friday, April 15, 2016, at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. The CLE program will be followed by a presentation of the Scribes Book Award to Wil Haygood, author of Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America. That presentation will then be followed by a conversation led by Bryan Garner (editor of Black's Law Dictionary) and Judges Frank Easterbrook and Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Judges Easterbrook and Posner will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from Scribes.

Here is the program for Friday:

Scribes – The American Society of Legal Writers

2016 CLE Program

“Legal Writing: From Basics to Application”

The John Marshall Law School -- Goldberg Courtroom, 4th Floor -- Chicago, IL 60604

Friday, April 15, 2016

1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

1:00 p.m.                    Registration

1:15 p.m.                    Welcome – Prof. Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School, Vice President of Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers

1:20 p.m.                    Welcome – The Honorable Michael B. Hyman, Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court (First District), President of Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers

1:30-2:25 p.m.           Ethics and Writing Panel

  • The Honorable Thomas Donnelly, Associate Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County (Moderator)
  • Kevin L. Hopkins, The John Marshall Law School
  • Chief Justice Kem Thompson Frost, Texas Court of Appeals (Houston)
  • Dennis Rendleman, Lead Senior Counsel for Ethics, American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility

2:30-3:25 p.m.           Storytelling for Lawyers Panel

  • Darby Dickerson, Dean and W. Frank Newton Endowed Professor of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law (Moderator)
  • Jill Patterson, Texas Tech University Department of English and Case Storyteller for the Texas Regional Public Defender’s Office for Capital Cases
  • Lisa McElroy, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law—Philadelphia

3:30-4:25 p.m.           Opinion Writing Panel

  • The Honorable Kevin G. Ross, Minnesota Court of Appeals (St. Paul) (Moderator)
  • The Honorable Mary Jane Theis, Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court
  • The Honorable David Ellis, Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court (First District), award-winning author of multiple fiction novels, and member of the Mystery Writers of America
  • The Honorable A. Benjamin Goldgar, Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois

4:30-5:15 p.m.           Basic Writing Tips

  • Mark Cooney, Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Editor-in-Chief, The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing
  • Kim Chanbonpin, Director of Lawyering Skills, The John Marshall Law School, and President-Elect, Legal Writing Institute

5:15 p.m.                    Reception

5:30 p.m.                    Presentation of the Scribes Book Award to Wil Haygood, author of Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America (Alfred A. Knopf 2015).

5:45 p.m.                    Vote on Scribes Constitution and Bylaws

6:00 p.m.                    Presentation of Lifetime Achievement Awards and Q&A

  • Bryan Garner (Presenter), Founder and President of LawProse, Inc., Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, author of more than two dozen books on legal writing, and editor of Black’s Law Dictionary
  • The Honorable Frank H. Easterbrook, Judge and former Chief Judge (2006-2013), U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • The Honorable Richard A. Posner, Judge and former Chief Judge (1993-2000), U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Late registration is still available. The seminar is free for members of Scribes and its institutional members. Visit www.scribes.org for more information.

(mew)

 

April 12, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Reminder: Nominations for the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education

Here's a reminder that nominations are sought for the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education. Nominations are due on March 21, 2016 (at 11:59 p.m. EDT).

The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement promote and publicize the importance of writing in the legal profession. The Awards, which recognize lawyers and law students whose work exemplifies the goals of our field, were founded in 1999 by William Burton, author of Burton's Legal Thesaurus and recipient of LWI's 2010 Golden Pen Award. More information about the awards is available by clicking here.

For fifteen years, the Burton Awards have included a category--the award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education--that emphasizes the vital role that educators play in improving legal writing throughout our nation's legal system. The award is given annually during a black-tie gala at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. to an individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution to the education of lawyers in the field of legal analysis, research, and writing, whether through teaching, program design, program support, innovative thinking, or writing. We consider an array of achievements, including significant acts in a given year or the accumulated work of a career.

Previous recipients of the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education are:

  • Dean Kent Syverud of Vanderbilt
  • Dean Darby Dickerson of Texas Tech (previously at Stetson)
  • Professor Ralph Brill of Chicago-Kent
  • Professor Laurel Oates of Seattle University
  • Professor Mary Beth Beazley of The Ohio State University
  • Professor Richard Neumann of Hofstra
  • Professor Helene Shapo of Northwestern University
  • Professor Marjorie Rombauer of the University of Washington
  • Professor Tina Stark of Boston University
  • Professor Mary Lawrence of the University of Oregon School of Law
  • Professor Anne Enquist of Seattle University
  • Professor Marilyn Walter of Brooklyn Law School

The Burton Awards are an excellent forum to publicize the achievements of those in our field. The award committee asks that you nominate deserving individuals or groups for the Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education Award. Nominations should describe the contributions of the nominee and should be sent to one or more of the following members of the selection committee by e-mail by March 21, 2016.

  • Noah Messing (noah.messing@yale.edu)
  • Grace Tonner (gtonner@law.uci.edu); or
  • Nancy Schultz (nschultz@chapman.edu).

Hat tip to Noah A. Messing at Yale Law School.

(mew)

March 16, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Nominations Sought for the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education

Nominations are sought for the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education. Nominations are due on March 21, 2016 (at 11:59 p.m. EDT).

The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement promote and publicize the importance of writing in the legal profession. The Awards, which recognize lawyers and law students whose work exemplifies the goals of our field, were founded in 1999 by William Burton, author of Burton's Legal Thesaurus and recipient of LWI's 2010 Golden Pen Award. More information about the awards is available by clicking here.

For fifteen years, the Burton Awards have included a category--the award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education--that emphasizes the vital role that educators play in improving legal writing throughout our nation's legal system. The award is given annually during a black-tie gala at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. to an individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution to the education of lawyers in the field of legal analysis, research, and writing, whether through teaching, program design, program support, innovative thinking, or writing. We consider an array of achievements, including significant acts in a given year or the accumulated work of a career.

Previous recipients of the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education are:

  • Dean Kent Syverud of Vanderbilt
  • Dean Darby Dickerson of Texas Tech (previously at Stetson)
  • Professor Ralph Brill of Chicago-Kent
  • Professor Laurel Oates of Seattle University
  • Professor Mary Beth Beazley of The Ohio State University
  • Professor Richard Neumann of Hofstra
  • Professor Helene Shapo of Northwestern University
  • Professor Marjorie Rombauer of the University of Washington
  • Professor Tina Stark of Boston University
  • Professor Mary Lawrence of the University of Oregon School of Law
  • Professor Anne Enquist of Seattle University
  • Professor Marilyn Walter of Brooklyn Law School

The Burton Awards are an excellent forum to publicize the achievements of those in our field. The award committee asks that you nominate deserving individuals or groups for the Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education Award. Nominations should describe the contributions of the nominee and should be sent to one or more of the following members of the selection committee by e-mail by March 21, 2016.

  • Noah Messing (noah.messing@yale.edu)
  • Grace Tonner (gtonner@law.uci.edu); or
  • Nancy Schultz (nschultz@chapman.edu).

Hat tip to Noah A. Messing at Yale Law School.

(mew)

March 10, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Illinois Supreme Court Gives Brief Writers an Option: Number of Pages or Number of Words

The Illinois Supreme Court recently amended Rule 341, changing fundamentally how Illinois lawyers will write their briefs and reply briefs. Under the new rule that became effective in January, lawyers will have the option of writing briefs of up to 50 pages or 15,000 words, and reply briefs of 20 pages or 7,000 words.

Here's the amended rule:

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 341(b) Length of Briefs.

      (1) Page Length Limitation. The brief of appellant and brief of appellee shall each be limited to 50 pages, and the reply brief to 20 pages. Alternatively, the brief of appellant and brief of appellee shall each be limited to no more than 15,000 words, and the reply brief to 7,000 words. This page length limitation excludes pages containing and words contained in the Rule 341(d) cover, the Rule 341(h)(1) statement of points and authorities, the Rule 341(c) certificate of compliance, the certificate of service, and those matters to be appended to the brief under Rule 342(a). Cross-appellants and cross-appellees shall each be allowed an additional 30 pages, or alternatively 8,400 words, and the cross-appellant’s reply brief shall not exceed 20 pages, or alternatively 7,000 words.

See also Jonathan Amarilio, Why One Seemingly Minor Change Will Transform the Way We Write, Chicago Bar Ass'n Record, Jan. 2016, at 32.

(mew)

March 9, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

the impact of Scalia's writings and writing style

Scott Fraley, the LRW director at Baylor, and his colleague Matt Cordon, director of the school's legal writing center, were recently interviewed about Justice Scalia's death and the impact of his writings and writing style.  You can find that interview here.

(njs)

February 25, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Scribes CLE

On April 15, Scribes will host a CLE at John Marshall Law School in conjunction with a reception honoring Life-time Achievement Award Winners Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judge Richard Posner in a Q&A session with Bryan Garner.

Register here.

(njs)

February 24, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

How to Prune Jargon From Your Writing

The February 19, 2016 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education includes a helpful article called "How to Prune Jargon From Your Writing." Although the article focuses on academic writing, its advice would easily apply to many types of legal writing. Two tips in the article are (1) to "talk out your text" and (2) to have someone outside of your discipline read your draft. The article is by Theresa MacPhail, an assistant professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

(mew)

February 18, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Global Legal Skills Conference in Verona

Verona BridgeThe first round of acceptance letters is now going out for proposals to present at the upcoming Global Legal Skills Conference, May 24-26, 2016 at the University of Verona Department of Law. The conference is followed by a day trip to Padua.

Professors from at least 15 countries submitted proposals for the conference, which is co-sponsored by The John Marshall Law School of Chicago where it was first held. This year marks the 11th time that the conference has been held. Previous conferences have also been held in Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, and Washington, D.C.

Although the first round of proposals has already closed, proposals are still being accepted on a space-available basis until March 31, 2016.

Nominations are also still open for the GLS Awards to be presented in Verona.

(mew)

February 16, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Today's Quote About Teaching

"Better than a thousand days of diligent study is a single day spent with a great teacher."

Japanese poverb.

February 15, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Congratulations to Anna Hemingway of Widener Law Commonwealth

Anna Hemmingway WidenerWidener University Commonwealth Law School announced that the university’s Board of Trustees acted upon the recommendation of the law school faculty to award tenure to Anna.

Professor Hemingway is the director of the Legal Methods Program at Widener Law Commonwealth. In January, she presented at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools as part of the panel discussion on the arc of the career for legal writing faculty organized by the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. 

We join her colleagues in congratulating Anna Hemingway.

Hat tip to Amada Smith (on behalf of the Legal Writing faculty at Widener Law Commonwealth)

(mew)

February 15, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Justice Antonin Scalia's Remarks at the 2008 Scribes Meeting (Part 2)

And here is the second part of the 2008 video of Justice Antonin Scalia's remarks upon receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers.

 

(mew)

February 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Justice Antonin Scalia's 2008 Remarks Upon Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from Scribes -- The American Society of Legal Writers

In his remarks at the Scribes Annual Meeting in 2008 in New York, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia surprised the audience by disclosing that he had been a legal writing teacher. Here's Part 1 of his remarks that day, when he received a lifetime achievement award from Scribes -- The American Society of Legal Writers.

 

(mew)

February 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Learning is Not Attained by Chance

Today's quote:

"Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence."

Abigail Adams (1744-1818)

(mew)

February 10, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

“How to Conduct Free Legal Research Online”

Barbara Bavis, Senior Legal Reference Specialist in the Public Services Division of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., will present a program at the American Bar Association Midyear Meeting in San Diego this Friday, February 5, 2016, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina Hotel. The program is free and well worth the investment of your time if you're attending the ABA Meeting in San Diego. The program is organized by the ABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress.

(mew)

January 31, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Latest Issue of The Scrivener is Now Online

The Scrivener is the newsletter for Scribes -- The American Society of Legal Writers. The Winter issue is now available online at the Scribes website.

Maureen Collins (JMLS)Professor Maureen Collins (pictured at the far right) of The John Marshall Law School serves as the chief editor of The Scrivener.  She and other professors at John Marshall, including Professor Maureen Straub Kordesh (pictured near right), comprise the editorial board of the Society's newsletter. Maureen Kordesh

Judge Michael HymanThe latest issue of The Scrivener includes a column from the new Scribes President Michael Hyman, a justice of the Illinois Appellate Court (pictured at left). His column invites Scribes members to become more involved in Scribes committees.

The issue also includes photos from the Scribes luncheon held in Chicago during the annual meeting of the American Bar Association. The keynote speaker at the luncheon was Bryan Garner, a former Scribes President and current board member.

At that luncheon and annual meeting, Bryan Garner presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Lord Woolf of the United Kingdom, who had served as Master of the Rolls from 1996 to 2000 and was Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 2000 to 2005. The Constitutional Reform Act of 2005 made him the first Lord WoolfLord Chief Justice to be President of the Courts of England and Wales. When he served as Master of the Rolls (the third most senior judge in England and Wales), Lord Woolf brought forth legal reforms that have been described as “the most fundamental reform of the civil justice system of the 20th century.”

The Winter Issue of The Scrivener also includes remarks from the winner of the Scribes Book Award, Professor John Bessler of the University of Baltimore School of Law. His book was on The Birth of American Law: An Italian Philosopher and the American Revolution (Carolina Academic Press, 2014), and focused on Cesare Beccaria, an Italian philosopher who had a profound effect on the development of proportional punishment in criminal matters in early American society.

The issue also includes a photo and remarks from the winners of the Scribes Brief-Writing Award, Camile Rosca and Andrew Obergfell of Seton Hall University School of Law. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in moot court competitions, comparing the winning briefs from different national and international moot court competitions to find an overall winner.

The issue also includes other news for Scribes members, including the revised bylaws for the Society, news of articles published in the Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, an update about the new website for Scribes, and a save-the-date for a Scribes CLE Program to be held in Chicago on Friday afternoon, April 15, 2016, at The John Marshall Law School.

Individual membership in Scribes is limited to members of the legal profession who have: (a) published a book on a legal subject; (b) published two or more articles on legal subjects in a journal, magazine, or newsletter; (c) published two or more opinions as a  judge; (d) served as an editor of a legal publication; or (e) received an award or recognition from Scribes. Membership is also open for law schools and other institutions, and to associate members.

(mew)

January 29, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

CFP Institute for Law Teaching and Learning

Here's a reminding of the upcoming deadline for proposals for the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning—Summer 2016 Conference on “Real-World Readiness,” June 10-11, 2016 at the Washburn University School of Law—Topeka, Kansas

The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning invites proposals for conference workshops addressing the many ways that law schools are preparing students to enter the real world of law practice.  With the rising demands for “practice-ready” lawyers, this topic has taken on increased urgency in recent years.  How are law schools and law professors taking on the challenge of graduating students who are ready to join the real world of practicing attorneys?  Can we be doing more?

The Institute takes a broad view of educational practices that promote real-world readiness.  Accordingly, we welcome proposals for workshops on incorporating such teaching techniques in doctrinal, clinical, externship, writing, seminar, hybrid, and interdisciplinary courses.  Workshops can address real-world readiness in first-year courses, upper-level courses, required courses, electives, or academic support teaching.  Workshops can present innovative teaching materials, course designs, curricular or program designs, etc.  Each workshop should include materials that participants can use during the workshop and also when they return to their campuses.  Presenters should model best practices in teaching methods by actively engaging the workshop participants. 

The Institute invites proposals for 60-minute workshops consistent with a broad interpretation of the conference theme.  To be considered for the conference, proposals should be one single-spaced page (maximum) and should include the following information:

  • ·         the title of the workshop;
  • ·         the name, address, telephone number, and email address of the presenter(s);
  • ·         a summary of the contents of the workshop, including its goals and methods; and
  • ·         an explanation of the interactive teaching methods the presenter(s) will use to engage the audience.

The Institute must receive proposals by February 1, 2016.  Submit proposals via email to Emily Grant, Co-Director, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, at emily.grant@washburn.edu.

Conference Details

Schedule of Events:

Washburn University School of Law will host a welcome reception on the evening of Thursday, June 9, and the conference workshops will take place at the law school all day on Friday, June 10, and until the early afternoon on Saturday, June 11. 

Travel and Lodging:

Topeka is about 75 minutes away from the Kansas City airport (MCI).  You may wish to rent a car at MCI for the drive to Topeka.  There are a few shuttle services available. A block of hotel rooms will be reserved for a discounted rate at the Ramada Topeka Downtown Hotel and Convention Center.

Fees:

The conference fee for participants is $450, which includes materials, meals during the conference (two breakfasts and two lunches), and a welcome reception on Thursday evening, June 9, 2016.  The conference fee for presenters is $350. 

(mew)

January 27, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Submit a Proposal for the Global Legal Skills Conference in Verona

20151127_144119The 11th Global Legal Skills Conference will be held in Italy at the University of Verona Department of Law from May 24-26, 2016 with an additional day field trip to Padua on May 27, 2016.

The conference focuses on legal skills training for lawyers and law students around the world, although there's also a substantive international law track. Presenters include experienced and new teachers and directors, as well as law students from Italy and the Philippines. Other confirmed presenters are coming from Mexico, Italy, Qatar, and the United States. Participants are expected from approximately 20 countries. There will also be sessions for law students who want to pursue LL.M. degrees or other advance study opportunities in the United States and Canada.

Early bird registration is now open and presentation proposals are now being accepted. Visit the conference website for more information. First round proposals are due by the end of the month but proposals can still be submitted after that date on a space-available basis.

The photo is of Juliet's balcony in Verona. We acknowledge that there's some debate as to whether this is the actual balcony, but we also remember that Juliet was not a real person but only a fictional character. So we're calling it THE TRUE BALCONY!

:)

(mew)

January 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)