Saturday, December 26, 2015

AALS Legal Writing Outreach Committee

The Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research has a tremendous outreach committee that plans activities and welcomes newbies navigating the massive AALS Annual Meeting.  Here's a reminder of the Outreach Committee's activities planned for New York.  This schedule does not include the substantive panels or section lunch, so be sure that those are also on your AALS dance card!


Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research

2016 AALS Annual Meeting Outreach Activities

Happy Hour and Welcome

-       Wednesday, January 6, 6:00 p.m.–7:45 p.m. 

-       Bridges Bar at New York Hilton Mid-Town

-       Come socialize, meet new colleagues and catch up with old friends before going to the Blackwell Award Reception at 8:00 in the same hotel


Welcome Coffee and Continental Breakfast for all LWRR Members

-      Thursday, January 6, 8:00-8:45 a.m.

-       Exhibit Hall

-       Enjoy some coffee, pastries, and conversation


Coffee/pastries and informal discussion on Global Legal Skills and the LWRR section

-      Thursday, January 7, 1:45-3:00 p.m.

-      Exhibit Hall

-       Enjoy some coffee, pastries, and conversation about Global Legal Skills


New Teachers Coffee and Continental Breakfast

-       Friday, January 8, 8:00 a.m. -8:45 a.m.

-       Exhibit Hall

-       Form connections with peers and mentors and enjoy some coffee and pastries


Afternoon refreshment Coffee/pastries for experienced teachers

-      Friday, January 8, 4:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m.

-       Exhibit Hall

-       Catch-up with experienced teachers and enjoy some refreshments


Afternoon refreshment Coffee/pastries

-       Saturday, January 9, 1:30 p.m. -2:30 p.m.

-       Exhibit Hall

-       Decompress, catch your second wind, and socialize


Coffee/continental breakfast and conference recap and farewell

-       Sunday, January 10, 8:00 a.m.-8:45 a.m.

-       Hudson Market & Bistro (Sheraton)

-       Enjoy coffee and breakfast and wish your colleagues well


Casual good-bye lunch

-       Sunday, January 10, 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

-       Location TBA

-       Enjoy a meal for the road and see your colleagues one last time before traveling


Walking Tour of New York Neighborhood

-       Sunday, January 10, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

-       Meeting place TBA

-       Unwind and decompress with a walk, a little sight-seeing, and some visiting

December 26, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Four Legal Writing Professors Promoted at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago

ChanbonpinThe John Marshall Law School in Chicago recently promoted one professor from Assistant to Associate Professor and three of its Associate Professors to Full Professors. All of these professors teach in the Lawyering Skills Program at The John Marshall Law School.

Kim Chanbonpin (Director of the Lawyering Skills Program at The John Marshall Law School and President-Elect of the Legal Writing Institute, pictured here) was promoted to the rank of Full Professor. Also promoted to full professor were Maureen Collins (new editor of the Scrivener, the newsletter of Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers) and Steven Schwinn (an editor on the Constitutional Law Prof Blog). Hugh Mundy ws promoted to Associate Professor on his road to tenure.

Congratulations to all.

Hat tip to Mary Nagel.



December 24, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Save the Dates! Upcoming AALS Annual Meetings in New York, San Francisco, San Diego, and New Orleans

AALS LogoThe Association of American Law Schools holds its well-attended annual meeting each January. Here's the schedule of upcoming meetings for the next few years:

  • January 6-10, 2016: New York
  • January 4-7, 2017: San Francisco
  • January 3-6, 2018: San Diego
  • January 2-6, 2019: New Orleans

The Association of American Law Schools is a nonprofit association of 180 law schools. Its law school members enroll most of the law students in the United States.  The AALS describes its mission as "to uphold and advance excellence in legal education." The AALS promotes the core values of excellence in teaching and scholarship, academic freedom, and diversity, including diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints, while seeking to improve the legal profession, to foster justice, and to serve local, national, and international communities.

Visit the AALS website for more information about the Association and its upcoming meetings and other activities. The AALS has a large number of Sections focused on various topics, including its Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. That section holds at least one program at each Annual Meeting and a luncheon at which it confers its prestigious Section Award in recognition of lifetime contributions to the teaching of legal writing and research. The section also publishes a newsletter with information about upcoming AALS events and news of legal writing professors across the United States.


December 21, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Call for Proposals

The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning has issued a Call for Proposals for its Summer 2016 conference on Real-World Readiness:


 Institute for Law Teaching and Learning—Summer 2016 Conference

“Real-World Readiness”

June 10-11, 2016

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

hat tip:  Emily Grant


December 18, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

congratulations to Sarah Ricks

The Black Law Students' Association at Rutgers is honoring Sarah Ricks at its annual event in January — the 20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Banquet and Awards Ceremony.  Here are details from the announcement that just went out:

The event will be from 6-9PM on Friday, January 15, 2016. There will be a cocktail hour from 6PM to 7PM, with the program officially beginning at 7PM.

Honorees include Professor Sarah Ricks (Rutgers Law School Co-founder and Co-Director of the Pro Bono Research Project; Commissioner of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations; Co-chair of the ABA Section 1983 Subcommittee on Civil Rights Litigation)

hat tip:  Suzanne Rowe


December 18, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Newsletter for the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research

AALS LogoJust in time for the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, here's a link to the Fall Newsletter of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. You'll want to have a look at the section newsletter even if you're not going to the annual meeting in New York.

Articles include:

  • A column by Section Chair Jennifer Murphy Romig (Emory University)
  • A description of the Joint Scholars and Scholarship Workshop on Feminist Jurisprudence, sponsored by the Legal Writing Institute, the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research
  • The list of AALS Section Officers slated by the nominating committee for election at some unbelievably early section meeting at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning. (New York really is the city that never sleeps!)
  • News about the presentation of the Section Award to Suzanne Rowe (University of Oregon) and of a remembrance of Molly Lien, former Legal Writing Director at Chicago-Kent College of Law and The John Marshall Law School
  • An Update from the Section's Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  • Tips from Heidi Holland (Gonzaga) on What to Do Over Winter Break to Make Your Spring Semester More Successful
  • Reports (and photos) from LWI One-Day Workshops
  • Announcements of Awards to legal writing faculty across the country
  • New publications by legal writing faculty
  • News of promotions, moves, and milestones for legal writing faculty

Click here to see the newsletter.


December 16, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

President of the University of Iowa Apologizes for Suggesting that Unprepared Professors Should Be Shot

Several news sources are reporting today that the President of the University of Iowa, J. Bruce Harreld, has apologized for suggesting that professors who are unprepared to teach should be shot.


December 15, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Congratulations to Susan Stuart at Valparaiso

Susan StuartAssociate Dean and Professor of Law Susan Stuart, a long-time legal writing professor, was appointed this week as the Louis & Anna Seegers Distinguished Chair in Law at Valparaiso University School of Law. She had practiced law for 11 years in Indianapolis after a three-year clerkship with the Indiana Court of Appeals. Her practice focused on education, labor and employment law, and included commercial litigation and bankruptcy matters. She join the faculty at Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington in 1996 and the Valparaiso University School of Law faculty in 2000.
Hat tip to Prof. Faisal Kutty/

December 15, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Period in Your Text Message Makes it . . . Less Sincere?

Celia KlinA study by Professor Celia M. Klin, Associate Professor of Psychology at Binghamton University asked 126 undergrads to evaluate several one-word text message responses (like "Sure" and "Yep") that ended with various forms of punctuation. Texts that ended in periods were rated as being less sincere — but handwritten notes with the same message and punctuation weren't.  Click here to read more.  Period.

Hat tip r/w


December 10, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Yale claims Bluebook as its creation

An article in the NYTimes yesterday explored the history of the Bluebook and presented two Yale librarians' historical research showing that Yale, not Harvard, originated the Bluebook.  Although the Yale librarians conceded that a claim of creation may not be a point of pride given the now-hyper-complicated nature of the citation classic, they point out the the first two versions of the precursor to the Bluebook were 1 and 15 pages long.


December 9, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Don't Call on Me (the Law School Music Video)

Thank you, UCLA Law Revue. Enjoy!



December 3, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

HappyThanksgivingWe wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers around the world.

The Editors





November 26, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Joint Scholars & Scholarship Workshop on Feminist Jurisprudence in New York on January 6th

If you're going to New York for the January 2016 meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, you might consider going a day early to attend a Joint Scholars and Scholarship Workshop on Feminist Jurisprudence on Wednesday, January 6, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Fordham Law School.

The event is co-sponsored by the Legal Writing Institute (LWI), the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), the Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS-LWRR), and Fordham Law School.

There is no charge to attend, but the organizers ask attendees to register by December 1, 2015 to help them plan the workshop.

Click here for more information.

Hat tip to Linda Berger and ​other members of ​the planning committee: Bob ​Brain​, ​Robin Boyle, ​Kim Chanbonpin, Mel Weresh, Nantiya Ruan, Shailini George, Emily Grant, Kathy Stanchi, ​Jessica Clark, Mary-Beth Moylan, Teri McMurtry-Chubb, and Jennifer Romig.


November 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Friday Fun: Urban Dictionary Defines "Law Student"

From the Urban Dictionary . . .

Law student Someone who has no tangible skills except the ability to read a book and memorize Latin terms such as "res ispsa" and "de novo."


November 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"Monkey See, Monkey Sue"

You have to love a motion to dismiss that starts like this:

"A monkey, an animal-rights organization and a primatologist walk into federal court to sue for infringement of the monkey’s claimed copyright. What seems like the setup for a punchline is really happening. It should not be happening. Under Cetacean Community v. Bush, 386 F.3d 1169 (9th Cir. 2004), dismissal of this action is required for lack of standing and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Monkey see, monkey sue is not good law – at least not in the Ninth Circuit."

For the full text, click here.

hat tip:  Brian Shannon, Texas Tech


November 11, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 6, 2015

New Word of the Week: Skaddenfreude

Above the Law reports that Skadden Arps is increasing the minimum hours for associates to be eligible for bonuses from 1600 hours to 1800 hours.

Click here to read more.


November 6, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

LWI One-Day Workshops: Tropical Miami on December 4

MiamiSeveral years ago the Legal Writing Institute started a series of one-day workshops held around the country in early December.  Hundreds of individuals have attended over the years as speakers or attendees. The national event is a fundraiser for the good work of the Legal Writing Institute. It also offers law schools an opportunity to show their commitment to legal writing and allows individual professors an opportunity to present their work. 

We'll highlight these workshops as information becomes available.

Florida International University College of Law will host a workshop in tropical Miami on Friday, December 4.  The theme will be “Teaching: Both Tried & True and Something New.”  Presentations will cover topics such as professional communication, pre-writing skills, fundamental skills, research, analogical reasoning, appellate advocacy, and learning outcomes.  There will also be a session on sharing teaching ideas.  To register, click here.

Hat tips to Dionne Anthon and Christi Hayes at FIU.


November 6, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vague Pronouns

I read a great "laughter" item in the November 2014 Reader's Digest about the impact of a vague pronoun.

A wanna-be apprentice blacksmith approached the village smithie about working with him.  The more-experienced man said, "Let's see how good you are.  I'll hold this horseshoe and nail up to the horse's hoof, and you take this big hammer.  When I nod my head, hit it as hard as you can."

The wanna-be apprentice did, and that's how he became the new village blacksmith.


November 6, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Love Your Lawyer Day?

Some folks are promoting the first Friday in November as a day to celebrate lawyers.  What do you think?  The ABA's law practice division passed a resolution last month, and according to The Wall Street Journal, reaction is mixed.

What do you think? 


November 6, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Legal Education: New U.S. Policy Guidance on Student Loans

On November 2, 2015, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a Policy Guidance relating to its Joint Statement of Principles on Student Loan Servicing, released in conjunction with the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Education. FR67389

Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office.


November 5, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)