October 08, 2012
New Website Collects Information on Law Award Programs
A new website provides a fairly comprehensive listing of award programs for the legal profession. The site is intended to encourage more lawyers and law firms to participate in the various award programs and to encourage even greater perfection in the practice of law. Through the new website, lawyers can match skills and accomplishments with the awards that might be available.
The "Featured Award of the Month" right now is The Burton Awards, a non-profit program founded by the Burton Foundation, rewarding excellence in the legal profession. The Burton Awards recognizes major achievements in law, ranging from literary awards to the greatest reform in law, from regulatory excellence to publishing awards, and from recognition for public service to public interest. Regular readers of this Legal Writing Prof Blog know that the Burton Awards are given at the gala event held at the Library of Congress. (The last award presentation even included a performance by Bernadette Peters!)
Other legal writing awards on the website include the Scribes Award (given by Scribes - The American Society of Legal Writers), the Thomas Blackwell Award (given jointly by the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute), and the ClearMark Awards given by the Center for Plain Language.
The new website features several dozen programs in fourteen categories, including: civil rights, education, e-lawyering, environmental, family law, general, legal writing, legal aid, advocacy, marketing, media, pro bono, and women in law. The site is organized by profit or non-profit awards, features a program of the month, and offers advertising opportunities for programs, logo services, and in-depth descriptions.
Hat tip to Michelle Rayzman
March 14, 2009
The notion of brief writing takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to Twitter. Brief -- in the sense of short -- because with Twitter, you write no more than a couple of lines at a time. Think of it as eHaiku, but not as poetic. This video explains Twitter better than I can:
We've begun to see web site collecting legal Twitter feeds. For instance--
What are you doing?
March 13, 2009
A new video game for lawyers called "Objection!" - May count towards CLE credit.
Depending on your age bracket, this is either the coolest ever legal accoutrement or a sure sign that the profession is in steep decline. It's a new video game called "Objection!" that, according to this review in PC World, is a fun way for anyone and everyone - "professionals, law students, or anyone interested in the law" - to sharpen their courtroom skills. The kicker is that you may qualify for CLE credit in several states by claiming that playing this game - which is based on a mock murder trial - counts as "home study."
I wonder if a court will take into consideration your high score in "Objection!" when it rules on the ineffective assistance of counsel claim brought by your now-sitting-on-death-row former client?
Hat tip to ABA Journal Blog.
I am the scholarship dude.
March 12, 2009
This is a great idea - helping student improve their writing skills through Wikipedia
This article from today's Inside Higher Ed. suggests that teachers can make very effective use of Wikipedia to help improve their students' writing by encouraging them to create their own Wiki entries. It's an idea that seems to embrace many principles of good pedagogy - it's a medium that students already know and are comfortable with, it's relevant and hence interesting to them, and it involves a "real world" experience not some artificial classroom exercise and thus has credibility with students.
Read the full article here.
The scholarship dude likey!
Here's a twist on the debate over laptops in the classroom - how about laptops in the courtroom?
While law profs have debated endlessly, or so it seems, whether laptops in the classroom are a good thing or not, today's National Law Journal reports on the nascent debate happening about the use of laptops, Blackberrys and other hand-held electronic devices in the courtroom. Many judges have so far decided to ban the use of such devices by reporters, observers and, of course, jurors.
The common rationale for such a ban is that it helps prevent distractions in the courtroom as well as helps insulate juries from press interference. To date, however, the U.S. Judicial Conference has adopted no formal policy on the use of electronic devices in the courtroom leaving it instead to individual judges to decide how they want to handle the issue.
The NLJ article points out, though, that recently some judges have chosen to drop the ban on such devices on the grounds that more transparency surrounding the judicial process is good. Further, some judges have decided that it's less disruptive to a trial to allow reporters to use electronic devices inside the courtroom rather than have them constantly running outside to use their hand-held devices.
Some feel that change is inevitable:
'The use of such technology in the courtroom will become more accepted as a younger generation of judges that is less affected by media attention and more technologically savvy takes their places on the bench,' said Judge Marten, who is 57. Bennett, the Iowa federal judge, is 58.
'We are moving to a time when there is more rather than less access to the courtroom by what judges view as nonintrusive elements of the press or public,' said First Amendment specialist Floyd Abrams, a partner at New York-based Cahill, Gordon & Reindel.
The reason some federal judges fear allowing electronic messaging from their courtrooms is that they believe it will lead to other types of coverage they consider more intrusive, such as TVs in the courtrooms, Abrams said.
'There are a number of judges afraid of the slippery slope,' Abrams said.
The full article is password protected and is available here. Registration for NLJ online is free.
I am the scholarship dude.
March 11, 2009
Watch this - an amazing video about technology's impact on the world
Maybe you've already seen this - but if you haven't, take a gander. It's a very effective video presentation about the way in which technology has affected our lives and will continue to do so at an exponential rate.
The video was created by a Colorado high school teacher and a University of Minnesota professor. Enjoy!
Hat tip to Professor Tony Chase.
I am the scholarship dude.