Sunday, January 19, 2020

Southwestern Law School (Los Angeles) is Hiring

Southwestern Law SchoolSouthwestern Law School in Los Angeles is seeking applicants for a full-time position as a professor of Legal Analysis, Writing and Skills (LAWS).  Its innovative LAWS course offers first-year students six credits of instruction in core lawyering skills including research, writing, oral advocacy, and professionalism.  Entry-level appointment as an Associate Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing, and Skills is for an initial contract of one year with the possibility of presumptively renewable five-year contracts after the third year. 


LAWS professors participate actively in the life of Southwestern and enjoy full faculty voting rights.  The LAWS program has a director and shared core assignments, but faculty members each select and develop their own teaching materials and lessons.  Applicants must have a law degree, strong academic record, and at least two years of post-law school experience demonstrating the potential for excellence in teaching legal writing and other practical lawyering skills.  Teaching experience is preferred but not required.  Southwestern is committed to faculty diversity.  Applicants should be prepared to start work as early as July 1, 2020 and to start teaching as early as August 10, 2020. 


Salary is estimated at $80,000 to $89,999, but the salary may be negotiable above that level if the candidate is highly experienced. Faculty hired get to vote during faculty meetings. Estimated 41-45 students per semester.


Please send a cover letter and resume to  You can address your cover letter to Members of the LAWS Hiring Committee. 


Hat tip to Tracy Turner, Associate Dean for Learning Outcomes and Director of the Legal Analysis, Writing, and Skills Program at Southwestern Law School.



January 19, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mitchell Hamline is Hiring THREE Legal Writing Professors

MitchellHamlineThe Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, invites applications for three full-time faculty positions in its legal writing program beginning in the 2020-2021 academic year. The successful candidates will join a vibrant faculty in a flourishing law school and teach in the required first-year legal research and writing course, currently titled Lawyering: Advice and Persuasion. For more information about the Lawyering program, please visit their website at

These positions are full time and include (1) security of position, (2) voting rights, and (3) compensation equity with doctrinal and clinical faculty. Faculty members who teach legal writing will be fully included in the life of the institution and will be encouraged to take on leadership roles consistent with their talents and areas of interest. Depending on the candidate’s interests and the law school’s needs and capacity, the successful candidate will be offered either an appointment on the tenure track or a position eligible for presumptively renewable long-term contracts consistent with ABA standard 405(c).

The school states that its goals are ambitious. First, we hope to build a first-class, nationally recognized legal writing program committed to innovative teaching, useful scholarship, and highly engaged community service—building on the strengths of the existing program and its steadfast respect for the practice of law. Second, we plan to remain a leader among U.S. law schools in blended legal education (an approach that combines online and on-campus instruction in each course) and experiential learning. Mitchell Hamline pioneered blended legal education among accredited law schools, and our legal writing program will embrace the latest learning technologies and principles of instructional design—including team-based and distance learning—to help students from diverse backgrounds all over the country (and, in some cases, around the world) to prepare for successful and influential legal careers. For more information about MHSL’s blended enrollment options, please visit our website at

The Mitchell Hamline program is currently in transition from a highly centralized model in which skilled practitioners served as adjunct faculty and took responsibility for most of the instruction to one that relies on autonomous, full-time faculty to serve as students’ primary source of training in legal writing. Experienced adjunct faculty will continue to play an important role, but one that is supportive of full-time faculty teaching. Professors will teach one section of about 50 students in the residential program or one section of about 70-90 in the blended program. Professors will eventually implement the course’s learning goals through teaching materials of their choice, though they anticipate at the outset needing a high degree of coordination as they launch their new curriculum.

Given the relatively large number of students in each section, professors will receive a high degree of support in curricular design, problem development, and student feedback and assessment by collaborating with an experienced team that includes the Director of Legal Writing, law librarians, writing specialists in a top-notch Academic Excellence program, educational technology professionals, and a group of seasoned adjunct professors assigned to each section.

Over the course of their careers, professors should expect to teach legal research and writing in both the law school’s residential and blended learning enrollment options. In addition to their regular skills-related teaching, faculty members who teach legal writing will have opportunities to teach doctrinal courses in their areas of expertise, either as part of their regular teaching package or as an overload for additional compensation.

Applicants for these positions must have a J.D. degree with a strong academic record; excellent research, analysis, and writing skills; current bar membership in at least one jurisdiction; and at least three years of law practice experience post-J.D. The school is open to entry-level candidates but strongly prefer applicants who have experience teaching legal writing and managing a team. They also prefer candidates who have served as a judicial law clerk in a state, federal, or tribal court or who have written for publication. Finally, they prefer candidates with substantive knowledge in one or more areas of law or legal practice, an interest in producing scholarship, and a record of community engagement and service.

Mitchell Hamline School of Law is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We seek candidates who can contribute to the diversity of the campus community, as well as candidates who wish to work in a collaborative atmosphere with faculty and staff.

The law school is in an historic area of Saint Paul, Minnesota, along the longest avenue of Victorian homes in the United States and adjacent to Rondo, a resilient historic black neighborhood that boasts a yearly Jazz festival and a cutting-edge professional African American theater (Penumbra). Just a few miles away, Minneapolis is home to the Walker Art Center, the Guthrie Theater, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and one of the nation’s liveliest performing arts scenes; it was ranked the fifth most “creatively vital” city in the country, after D.C., New York, L.A., and Boston.

Saint Paul itself has an active theater and restaurant scene, a well-regarded opera, and one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. Minneapolis and Saint Paul are top cities for biking, cross-country skiing, active lifestyles, low cost of living, non-profit organizations, and exceptionally high levels of volunteer engagement. For all these reasons, the Twin Cities have been recognized consistently as being among the best places in the nation to start a career.

Interested candidates should submit the following materials to  (1) a letter of interest; (2) a resume or CV; (3) a 1-2 page statement of teaching philosophy and practice; (4) a 5-15 page writing sample demonstrating legal analysis; (5) a 1-2 page diversity statement addressing your past efforts and future plans to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion through your teaching, service, and scholarship; and (6) a list of 3-5 references. While they will continue to consider applications until the positions are filled, candidates should submit their application materials before January 31, 2020, for priority consideration. Please contact Prof. Tom Cobb, Director of Legal Writing, with any questions at

The anticipated salary range indicated starts at $80,000 and goes above $120,000. The number of students to be taught each semester is estimated at 46 to more than 60, depending on whether the professor teaches in the blended or residential learning program.


January 19, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

CFP: SALT Teaching Conference at Loyola Chicago

SALT-logoThe Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) announced that the 2020 SALT Teaching Conference will be held on September 25–26, 2020 at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. The Conference, Social Justice in Action, will provide opportunities to engage in broad, substantive, and innovative discussions on the roles that the legal academy and the profession can and should take to prepare our students to address the social injustices of our time. 
Call for Proposals --  The CFP is available on Google Drive by clicking here.  

Please submit proposals via email to by June 1, 2020. Given the many different areas of law that intersect with social justice and the myriad of settings in which lawyers practice, we encourage submissions that address a range of topics. 
Hat tip to the 2020 SALT Teaching Conference Committee


January 19, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Craig Hoffman of Georgetown Wins 2019 Global Legal Skills Award

Craig HoffmanDr. Craig Hoffman is a Professor of U.S. Legal Discourse and Director of the Graduate Writing Program at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. At the 14th Global Legal Skills Conference held last month at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Dr. Hoffman was honored with a 2019 Global Legal Skills Award in recognition of his contributions to the development of the field of Legal English.

Professor Hoffman is a linguist and a lawyer who has specialized in transactional writing and negotiations. He teaches courses that introduce students to how U.S. lawyers use language to communicate about the law. He consults with law schools around the world on issues of language and the law and with law firms on the interpretation of statutes and contracts.  

20200119_213131He received his B.A. from William & Mary; his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut; and his J.D. from the University of Texas. Professor Hoffman has also received several fellowships in linguistics, cognitive science, business, and writing. His scholarship includes forensic linguistics, statutory and contract interpretation, discourse analysis, and genre analysis. 

He was co-chair of the Fourth Global Legal Skills Conference when it was held at Georgetown in June 2009.

His focus on law and language has directly inspired many programs around the country. At least one prominent law school based its hiring decisions on trying to find someone with Craig’s dual background and expertise in both law and linguistics.

Dr. Hoffman has accomplished much but he also has plans for the future. He plans now to develop at Georgetown a Masters’ Program in Teaching Legal English.

For his past work and future vision in developing the field of global legal skills education, we congratulate Dr. Craig Hoffman on receiving a 2019 Global Legal Skills Award. He is pictured here with the Co-Chairs of the 14th Global Legal Skills Conference, Professors Kim Holst (Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law) and Mark E. Wojcik (UIC John Marshall Law School).


January 19, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Teresa Brostoff and Ann Sinsheimer Win 2019 Global Legal Skills Awards

BrostoffSinsheimerProfessors Teresa Kissane Brostoff (pictured at left) and Ann Sinsheimer (pictured at right) are professors at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where they created the English for Lawyers Program, now titled U.S. Law and Language.

They co-authored a legal English text now in its third edition. Their book, United States Legal Language and Culture, is published by Oxford University Press.

At the 14th Global Legal Skills Conference held last month at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Professors Brostoff and Sinsheimer were recognized with individual Global Legal Skills Awards for this publication – a book that helped develop the field of legal English education – and for their many contributions to the development of the field of Legal English.

In addition to their publication, Professors Brostoff and Sinsheimer have taught many classes of international lawyers not only at the University of Pittsburgh but also around the world including in China, Ethiopia, Iceland, Japan, Oman, Poland, Serbia, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries. They were also deeply involved as participants and peer reviewers in the Fulbright program helping to share legal English education around the world.

We congratulate Professors Brostoff and Sinsheimer on their award and thank them for their many contributions to international legal skills education.


January 19, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

CFP: Global Legal Skills Conference in Bari, Italy in May 2020

Bari-MapThe Global Legal Skills Conference shares the latest teaching techniques and materials for international legal skills education and for teaching lawyers and law students who speak English as a second language. The GLS conference originated at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Past conferences have been held in Australia, Costa Rica, Italy, Mexico, and the United States. Attendees come from law schools and law firms around the world. After our most recent conferences at Melbourne Law School and Arizona State University, the 15th edition of the conference will be held at the University of Bari Department of Law in southern Italy.

The organizers invite proposals for presentation at the GLS-15. Proposals are invited for individual presentations, group presentations, and for participation in international legal education roundtable discussions.The first call for proposals will close on January 31, 2020. Decisions will be made by February 29, 2020. Additional presentation proposals will be accepted until March 31, 2020 if space is still available. The link to submit proposals is

  • or

Questions about the conference can be directed to the Conference Co-Chair, Professor Mark E. Wojcik, at 312-987-2391 or by email at Several airlines serve the international airport at Bari or you might decide to fly earlier to Rome and take an express train to Bari.


January 16, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Kimble Center for Legal Drafting

Joe KimbleWe congratulate Western Michigan University Thomas Cooley Law School for creating the Kimble Center for Legal Drafting, named in honor of Joseph Kimble, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Cooley.

The Kimble Center is intended to serve both an academic and public-service function. Academically, it will teach research and drafting to interested students through directed studies. As a public service, the Center will develop consumer-friendly forms for public use and also offer free drafting seminars for practitioners. Every seat was taken at the inaugural legal-drafting seminar for the Kimble Center for Legal Drafting, held on November 1, 2019 at WMU-Cooley's Lansing campus and through distance education at their other campuses.

Professor Kimble was a staff attorney for the Michigan Supreme Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals. He later practiced law in Flint, Michigan, and was an adjunct professor at WMU–Cooley. He joined the full-time Cooley faculty in 1984.

He is senior editor of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing and the longtime editor of the "Plain Language" column in the Michigan Bar Journal. He also writes an editing column called “Redlines” for Judicature. He has published dozens of articles on legal writing and written three popular books — Lifting the Fog of Legalese: Essays on Plain Language; Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law; and Seeing Through Legalese: More Essays on Plain Language. He has lectured on writing to legal organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. He served as a drafting consultant to the Sixth Circuit Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions and the Michigan Committee on Standard Criminal Jury Instructions. He now serves as the drafting consultant to the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States. He led the redrafting of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Kimble and ScaliaProfessor Kimble is also a past president of the international organization Clarity, served as the executive director of Scribes (the American Society of Legal Writers), is a founding director of the Center for Plain Language, and was on the board of the Legal Writing Institute. In 2000, he was named a "Plain English Champion" by the Plain English Campaign, in England. He is one of the first persons to receive that award. In 2007, he won the first Plain Language Association International Award for being a "champion, leader, and visionary in the international plain-language field." He has twice won a prestigious Burton Award for Reform in Law — in 2007 for his work on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and in 2011 for his work on the Federal Rules of Evidence. In 2010, he won a lifetime-achievement award from the Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research of the Association of American Law Schools. In 2015, he received the John W. Reed Lawyer Legacy Award from the State Bar of Michigan. And in 2017, Scribes created the Joseph Kimble Distinguished Service Award.

20200119_212904Professor Kimble taught Research & Writing and Advanced Research & Writing. He developed the original course for Introduction to Law I. He is now senior director of WMU–Cooley's Kimble Center for Legal Drafting.

He is a past recipient of Section Award from the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research.

Professor Kimble most recently presented at the 14th Global Legal Skills Conference held last month at Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

Professor Kimble is pictured above with the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who is holding a copy of one of Joe's books. He's also pictured at right with Professor Mark E. Wojcik, President of Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers.

Further information about the Kimble Center is available by clicking here.

Hat tip to Mark Cooney.


January 15, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Last Call for Nominations for the Scribes Law-Review Award

Scribes LogoEach year, Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers—sponsors a legal writing competition to recognize an outstanding note or comment written by a law student who is associated with a student-edited law review or journal. This award has the distinction of being the only national award for student authors that places no limitation on subject matter.

Scribes invites law schools to submit one outstanding student note or comment that has been, or will be, published between June 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020. The competition will be judged by the Scribes Law-Review Committee. The winning journal and the author of the winning note or comment will each receive a plaque.

Scribes was founded in 1953 with the goal of recognizing legal writers and improving legal writing. Its members consist of judges, lawyers, law professors, and students who served on law reviews or journals. Scribes also publishes its own journal, The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, and offers two national awards in addition to the Law-Review Award.

To get an entry form or for any questions, contact Scribes Executive Director Philip Johnson at Please submit your nomination by January 15, 2020. If the article has already been published you can also send the citation to that email address with a note that you're nominating it for the Scribes Law-Review Award.


January 14, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 10, 2020

Dr. Alissa Hartig Wins a 2019 Global Legal Skills Award

ALISSA AWARDDr. Alissa J. Hartig, a professor at the Portland State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Applied Linguistics, received a Global Legal Skills Award last month in recognition of her scholarship and work to improve our understanding of the intersections between law and language.

The award presentation was made at Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law during the 14th Global Legal Skills Conference.

Dr. Hartig's research interests include:

  • Second language writing
  • Discipline-specific literacy
  • English for Specific Purposes
  • Sociocultural theory and second language learning
  • Usage-based linguistics
  • Intercultural competence

Those who read Dr. Hartig’s scholarship appreciate the substantial training and wide-reaching experience that stands behind her work. Dr. Hartig received her B.A. summa cum laude in French from New York University and her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from Penn State University. After graduating from New York University she taught English as a foreign language as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea, and she later taught or did research in Ecuador, Mexico, and South Korea. She was also an Applied Linguistic Specialist at Penn State Law. She has also presented her work at academic conferences in Canada, Costa Rica, Italy, Norway, and Poland. Dr. Hartig’s global experience sets her apart in this field because very few experts have accumulated global experience in Africa, Asia, North and South America, and Europe.

            Her scholarship on advanced academic literacy in law for non-native speakers of English fills a void in academic research and scholarship on second language legal literacy. Her publications include:

  • Hartig, A.J. (2017). Connecting language and disciplinary knowledge in English for Specific Purposes: Case studies in law. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
  • Hartig, A.J. (2016). Intersections between law and language: Disciplinary concepts in second language legal literacy. Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric, 45(1), 69-96.
  • Hartig, A.J. (2016). Conceptual blending in legal writing: Linking definitions to facts. English for Specific Purposes, 42, 66-75.
  • Hartig, A.J., and Lu, X. (2014).  Plain English and legal writing: Comparing expert and novice writers.  English for Specific Purposes.  33, 87-96,

Pictured here (from left to right) at the award presentation are the GLS Conference Co-Chairs Professors Mark E. Wojcik (UIC John Marshall Law School) and Kim Holst (Arizona State University), Dr. Hartig, and Professor Lurene Contento (Chicago-Kent College of Law).


January 10, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Professor Brad Clary of Minnesota Receives the 2020 Blackwell Award

20200108_182509Bradley G. Clary, a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, received the 2020 Thomas F. Blackwell Award in Washington D.C. during the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools. The award was presented by Professor Anne E. Mullins (Stetson University College of Law), who serves as President of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), and Professor Kristen Konrad Tiscione (Georgetown Law), who serves as President of the Legal Writing Institute (LWI).

A video of Professor Clary's remarks upon receiving the Blackwell Award is available on the LWI Facebook Page,

The Blackwell Award is jointly conferred by ALWD and LWI to recognize a person who has made an outstanding contribution to improve the field of Legal Writing by demonstrating:

  • an ability to nurture and motivate students to excellence;
  • a willingness to help other legal writing educators improve their teaching skills or their legal writing programs; and
  • an ability to create and integrate new ideas for teaching and motivating legal writing educators and students.

This Blackwell Award honors the late Professor Thomas Blackwell (Appalachian Law School), who was killed by a disturbed student in January 2002. The award was first conferred in 2003, presented by Tom's widow Lisa Blackwell. Professor Blackwell was an active member of both the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute, and the organizations joined together to present the award in his memory.

Professor Clary was recognized for his many contributions to the field of legal writing, including service as a Past President of ALWD, a contributor to the ABA Sourcebook on Legal Writing Programs, and service as the ALWD Liaison to the Council of the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

Professor Clary was the 2004-2006 Vaughan G. Papke Clinical Professor of Law at Minnesota. From 1999-2016, he coordinated and supervised the legal writing and moot court programs, along with, from time to time, the basic trial advocacy programs. He regularly teaches evidence, deposition skills, and law in practice. He received his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, in History from Carleton College and his J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School. He became an associate at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly in 1975 and a partner in 1982. At various times between 1993 and 1998, he chaired the Antitrust, General Litigation, and Business Litigation practice groups, respectively. Professor Clary was an adjunct professor teaching antitrust at the William Mitchell College of Law in 1997 and 1999, and an adjunct instructor teaching lawyering skills for the University of Minnesota in 1995-1996 and 1998. He joined the University of Minnesota faculty full-time in 1999.

Professor Clary joined this distinguished list of previous recipients of the Blackwell Award:

  • 2020: Bradley G. Clary, Univeristy of Minnesota Law School
  • 2019: Terrill Pollman, University of Nevada at Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law
  • 2018: Ian Gallacher, Syracuse University College of Law
  • 2017: Melissa H. Weresh, Drake University
  • 2016: Coleen Miller Barger, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law.
  • 2015: Helene Shapo, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  • 2014: Jan Levine, Duquesne University School of Law
  • 2013: Judy Stinson, Arizona State University
  • 2012: Suzanne Rowe, University of Oregon
  • 2011: Carol McCrehan Parker, University of Tennessee
  • 2010: Steve Johansen, Lewis & Clark
  • 2009: Linda Edwards, Mercer Law
  • 2008: Diana Pratt, Wayne State University
  • 2007: Louis Sirico, Villanova Law School
  • 2006: Mary Beth Beazley, The Ohio State University (now at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas)
  • 2005: Ralph Brill, Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • 2004: Pam Lysaght, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
  • 2003: Richard K. Neumann, Hofstra University

The Blackwell Award consists of a cash award of $1000, a plaque, and a desk lamp -- a symbol of the light that Tom Blackwell shed on his students and a reminder of his penchant for lightbulb jokes. [How many legal writing teachers does it take to change a lightbulb? We wish that we had the resources to change the lightbulb.]


January 8, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New ALWD Citation Manual Expected in Summer 2021

The Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) announced that Carolyn Williams will be the next author of the ALWD Guide to Legal Citation. ALWD expects to publish the next edition in Summer 2021.


January 8, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

UNLV Announces Terrill Pollman Visiting Professorship

Terrill PollmanThe University of Nevada at Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law recently voted to award Professor Emerita status to Terrill Pollman, one of the founding faculty at UNLV, and to name a visiting professorship in her honor.

UNLV expects to fill the Pollman Visiting Professorship for one-year terms during most academic years, beginning with the 2020-2021 year.

The Pollman Visitor will be expected to teach two sections of a first-year Lawyering Process (LP) course each semester. LP courses typically have 18 students, and never more than 20. The Pollman Visitorship is entirely unrelated to hiring; it is not meant to be a "look see" visitorship. The school is particularly interested in selecting faculty who are excellent teachers of legal writing.

The fall semester begins on August 24, 2020, and the last day of classes is Wednesday, November 25 (the day before Thanksgiving, which is late again in 2020). The spring semester begins on Tuesday, January 19 (the day after MLK day), and Spring Break is March 15-19. The last day of classes is Tuesday, April 27, 2021.
If you are interested in applying, UNLV would love to hear from you by Valentine’s Day. Please send a current C.V. to Associate Dean Sara Gordon at Please include (1) names and contact information for three references, and (2) recent course evaluations or other evidence of excellence in teaching.

If you have questions about the visitorship or about life in Las Vegas, you may contact Sara Gordon or any other members of the UNLV Legal Writing Faculty:;;;;

Hat tip to Professor Mary Beth Beazley at UNLV.

January 8, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Darby Dickerson is the First Legal Writing Professor to Become AALS President

Darby DickersonDarby Dickerson, Dean of the UIC John Marshall Law School, has become President of the Association of American Law Schools. She is the first AALS President to come from the field of legal writing.

Among other contributions to the field of legal writing, she was the author of the first edition of the ALWD Citation Manual. She is a Past President and current Board Member of Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers.

In 2005 she received the prestigious Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education. In 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the Darby Dickerson Award for Revolutionary Change in Legal Writing, named by the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) to honor her contributions to legal writing. In 2016 the National Jurist magazine named her as one of the “most influential people in legal education.” In 2018 she received the Section Award for Lifetime Contributions to Legal Writing from the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning.

20200105_220451Dean Dickerson became President of the AALS this past weekend in Washington, D.C. during the Association's Annual Meeting. She follows Professor Vicki Jackson of the Harvard Law School who finished her term as AALS President. Dean Dicerkson will serve a one-year term until the AALS holds its next Annual Meeting in San Francisco next January. She has announced that the theme of the 2021 AALS Annual Meeting will be "The Power of Words."

The AALS is an association of 179 member and 18 fee-paid law schools. AALS member schools enroll most of the nation’s law students and produce the majority of the country’s lawyers and judges, as well as many of its lawmakers. Founded in 1900, the mission of AALS is to uphold and advance excellence in legal education. In support of this mission, 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 its many communities–local, national and international.

From 2011-2016, Darby Dickerson served as Dean and the W. Frank Newton Professor of Law at Texas Tech University School of Law. Before that, she was Interim Dean and Dean at Stetson University College of Law in Florida from 2003-2011. She started her full-time academic career at Stetson, joining the faculty in 1995. At Stetson, she also served in a wide variety of other administrative roles, including Vice Dean, Associate Dean, Director of Legal Research and Writing, Moot Court Board Director, and Law Review Advisor.

Dean Dickerson received her B.A. and M.A. from the College of William & Mary, and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. She clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and practiced commercial litigation with the firm now known as Locke Lord in Dallas, Texas.

As Dean of The John Marshall Law School, Dean Dickerson brought about a successful merger of the law school with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), creating the first public law school in Chicago.

We congratulate Dean Darby Dickerson on her many accomplishments in the field of legal writing and in legal education.


January 5, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 3, 2020

The Multi-Generational Teaching of Legal Writing

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Nominations for the Scribes' Law-Review Award Requested by January 15

Each year, Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers—sponsors a competition to recognize an outstanding note or comment written by a law student who is associated with a student-edited law review or journal. This award has the distinction of being the only national award for student authors that places no limitation on subject matter.

Scribes invites law schools to submit one outstanding student note or comment that has been, or will be, published between June 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020. The competition will be judged by the Scribes Law-Review Committee. The winning journal and the author of the winning note or comment will each receive a plaque.

Scribes was founded in 1953 with the goal of recognizing legal writers and improving legal writing. Its members consist of judges, lawyers, law professors, and students who served on law reviews or journals. Scribes also publishes its own journal, The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, and offers two national awards in addition to the Law-Review Award.

To get an entry form or for any questions, contact Scribes Executive Director Philip Johnson at Please submit your nomination by January 15, 2020.

Mark E. Wojcik, President, Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers


December 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 13, 2019

Global Legal Skills Conference Being Held This Week in Phoenix

The fourteenth Global Legal Skills Conference is being held this week at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor School of Law. The Global Legal Skills Conference is the leading international gathering for global skills education. Presenters at this year's conference include:

  • Rummana Alan (University of Illinois)
  • David W. Austin (California Western School of Law, visiting at Brooklyn Law School)
  • Marta Baffy (Georgetown University Law Center)
  • Elizabeth Baldwin (University of Washington)
  • Kevin Bennardo (UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Hilary Bell (Hamad bin Khalifa University, Qatar)
  • Kate Brem (University of Houston Law Center)
  • Teresa Kissane Brostoff (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Tatiana Calda Lottiger (Executive HUB, Sweden)
  • Susan Chesler (Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law)
  • Bruce Ching (Syracuse)
  • Dean Adam Chodorow (Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law)
  • Diana Coetzee (Georgia State University)
  • Lurene Contento (Chicago-Kent College of Law)
  • Rachel Croskery-Roberts (UC Irvine School of Law)
  • Evelyn Cruz (Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law)
  • Leslie P. Culver (California Western School of Law, visiting at UC Irvine School of Law)
  • Megan Davis (University of Houston Law Center)
  • Susan DeJarnatt (Temple)
  • Janet Dickson (Seattle University)
  • Beverly C. Dureus (SMU Dedman School of Law)
  • Kathryn Falk Campbell (Southwestern)
  • Fabio Fisicaro (University of Catania, Sicily, Italy)
  • Eun Hee Han (Georgetown University Law Center)
  • Priscilla Harris (Vanderbilt University Law School)
  • Alissa Hartig (Portland State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Applied Linguistics)
  • Maryann Herman (Duquesne)
  • Kimberly Holst (Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law)
  • Marcy Karin (UDC)
  • Rosa Kim (Suffolk)
  • Leila Lawlor (Georgia State University)
  • Sylvia Lett (University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law)
  • Antonino Longo (University of Catania, Sicily, Italy)
  • Alan Mamood (LexisNexis)
  • John Mounier (California Elder Protection Attorneys)
  • Michael Murray (University of Kentucky)
  • Mark Nadeau (DLA Piper)
  • Nell Navarro (Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law)
  • Nadia Nedzel (Southern University Law Center)
  • Olugbenga Oke-Samuel (Kampala International University, Uganda)
  • Cathren Page (Barry)
  • Trevor Reed (Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law)
  • Trilby Robinson-Dorn (UC Irvine School of Law)
  • Karen Ross (New York University School of Law)
  • Victoria Saliani (Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law)
  • Susan Salmon (University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law)
  • Kirsten Schaetzel (Georgetown University Law Center)
  • Rebecca Scharf (UNLV)
  • Diana J. Simon (University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law)
  • Sheila Simon (Southern Illinois University School of Law)
  • Ann Sinsheimer (University of Pittsburg)
  • Clayton Carter Steele (Brooklyn Law School)
  • JoAnne Sweeny (Louisville)
  • Maria Termini (Brooklyn Law School)
  • John Thornton (Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law)
  • Grace Tonner (UC Irvine School of Law)
  • Maggie Vath (Georgia State University)
  • Jesse Weins (Arizona State University School of Criminology and Criminal Justice)
  • Mark E. Wojcik (UIC John Marshall Law School)
  • Bobette Wolski (Bond University, Australia)

Professors from other law schools around the world are also attending the conference. Click here for more information about the conference. The next Global Legal Skills Conference will be held in southern Italy at the University of Bari Department of Law from May 20-22, 2020.


December 13, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Qatar University is Hiring

Position Announcement
Legal Skills Department Faculty, Qatar University College of Law

Qatar University anticipates hiring one faculty member, commencing August 2020, to teach Legal Writing/Legal Skills courses in English in the College of Law’s LL.B. program. In addition to teaching, the selected candidate will lead various endeavors and support the Legal Skills Department.

Required qualifications for this full-time faculty appointment include a J.D. or Ph.D. and at least two years of experience teaching legal writing/legal skills courses, preferably to first-year J.D. or undergraduate law students. Practice, clerkship, or other post-graduate legal experience is also desirable. Preference will be given to candidates who have a record of publication, or show great potential for publication, and have potential for service to the law school and the local legal community. Preference will also be given to candidates who are willing to commit to the College of Law for an initial contract length of three years. Candidates who have taught international students and/or are bilingual (English and Arabic) will bring added benefit to the program, although this is not a required qualification. 

Very competitive salary commensurate with experience. Benefits for full-time hires, as governed by the university’s policies and regulations, include:

  • furnished accommodation or housing allowance;
  • potential annual salary increase based on performance;
  • annual round-trip air tickets to one’s registered city of residence for the faculty member, spouse, and up to three children (under 18 years of age);
  • health insurance for the faculty member, spouse, and up to four children;
  • educational allowance for up to three children (from grade 1 up to 18 years of age);
  • annual summer leave, winter, and semester breaks in accordance with the university’s H.R. policies and calendar;
  • conference travel support; and,
  • end-of-service gratuity.

    About the College of Law

    The College of Law, Qatar’s sole law school, has a record of academic excellence and scholarly influence and aspires to be the premier law school in the region. It is committed to excellence in legal education in accordance with international standards.

    The College of Law prepares students for success in the complex, competitive, and ever-changing worlds of law practice, business, public service, and teaching. A number of its courses are in English, including the legal skills courses that the hired faculty member will teach. In its ninth year now (after evolving from the Lawyering Skills Program), the Legal Skills Department has brought legal writing, analysis, advocacy, legal English and research skills that are foundational to common law systems to the mixed Qatari civil and common law system.

    About Qatar and Qatar University

    On the Arabian Gulf, Qatar has a rapidly growing economy, a richly diverse national and expatriate community, and ambitious development goals. Qatar is a wealthy, stable, and safe country with an international outlook. In recent times, Qatar has played a prominent role in hosting negotiations and mediating regional disputes. Qatar has hosted various international events including the Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations, the 20th World Petroleum Congress (the first in the region), and the 2006 Asian Games. It looks forward to hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a first for the region.

    Located in the capital city of Doha, Qatar University is the oldest and most popular university in Qatar. It has considerable teaching and research expertise and students from over 52 nations. It is undergoing continued expansion as Qatar rapidly develops.
  • Application Submission

    Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until December 15, 2019. Please direct a cover letter and your curriculum vitae to Dr. Mohamed Mattar at the email address below. If available, reference letters, teaching evaluations, and/or transcripts will also be helpful.

    Dr. Mohamed Mattar
    Clinical Professor of Law & Head of the Legal Skills Department
    Qatar University College of Law
    P.O. Box: 2713 Doha - Qatar

November 23, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

University of San Francisco is Looking to Fill a Chair in Animal Law

The University of San Francisco School of Law is conducting a search for a Chair in Animal Law. The position begins in the fall of 2020.

By virtue of the generous support of an anonymous donor, this fully funded tenured or tenure-track Chair will establish and build an Animal Law Program in a law school backed by Jesuit values located in beautiful San Francisco. USF’s geographic location will put the Chair in the physical center of cutting-edge debates over climate change, sustainability, and animal welfare. In addition to substantial experience teaching, writing, and advocating in the animal law field, the ideal candidate will have the capacity to build a program from the ground up within a supportive environment. Expertise in some combination of the following categories is desirable: factory farming, conservation of wildlife, the use of animals in research, and the intersection of animal law and environmental sustainability, food law/safety, or public health.

Applications from members of minority or historically disadvantaged groups and individuals whose background or interests will enhance our diversity are highly encouraged. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, link to recent scholarship, and recent teaching evaluations (if available) to Lara Bazelon, Chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee, USF School of Law, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, California 94117. Email: The application deadline is December 9, 2019.

Hat tip to Eugene Y. Kim at the University of San Francisco School of Law


November 23, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Harvard Law Review Crossword Puzzle

In case you missed it, the Harvard Law Review now includes a crossword puzzle. You can find the November 2019 crossword puzzle at 133 Harv. L. Rev. 428 (2019).

You're welcome.


November 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Our Favorite Halloween Cases

Here are some of our favorite Halloween cases:

  • United States ex rel. Mayo v. Satan and His Staff, 54 F.R.D. 282 (W.D. Pa. 1971). A civil rights action against Satan and his servants for allegedly placing deliberate obstacles in the pro se plaintiff's path, causing his downfall and depriving him of his constitutional rights. The court questioned whether the plaintiff could obtain personal jurisdiction over the defendant in Pennsylvania, although the court noted an unofficial account of "a trial in New Hampshire where this defendant filed an action of mortgage foreclosure as plaintiff." Id. at 283.
  • Lugosi v. Universal Pictures, 160 Cal. Rptr. 323, 603 P.2d 425 (Cal. 1979). The widow and son of the actor who played Dracula sued Universal Pictures for licensing others to use the Count Dracula character. The California Supreme Court ruled that the right to exploit a name and likeness is personal to the artist and must be exercised, if at all, during the artist's lifetime.
  • Stambovsky v. Ackley, 169 A.D.2d 254, 572 N.Y.S.2d 672 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dept.1991). The court ruled that because a home seller had previously reported the Victorian house as being haunted, the seller was estopped from denying the existence of poltergeists on the premises. The house was haunted as a matter of law. The court also ruled that haunting cannot ascertained by reasonable inspection of the premises. Id. at 257, 572 N.Y.S.2d at 675 ("[T]he notion that a haunting is a condition which can and should be ascertained upon reasonable inspection of the premises is a hobgoblin which should be exorcised from the body of legal precedent and laid quietly to rest.").
  • Griffin v. Haunted Hotel, Inc., 194 Cal. Rptr. 3d 830, 242 Cal. App. 4th 490 (2015). A patron of a haunted house attraction assumed the risk of injury from being frightened by an actor confronting him with a chain saw. "The risk that a person will be frightened, run, and fall is inherent in the fundamental nature of a haunted house attraction . . . ." Id. at 834, 242 Cal. App. 4th at 493.
  • Galan v. Covenant House New Orleans, 695 So.2d 1007 (La. Ct. App. 1997). "[T]he very purpose of a haunted house is to frighten its patrons." Id. at 1009.
  • Hayward v. Carraway, So.2d 758 (La. Ct. App. 1965). The court held that believing that house is haunted was not a defense to liability for vandalism.

Looking for a book? Try this:

  • Douglas Graham, Trick or Treaty?, (Institute of Policy Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand 1997).

If you're looking for a law review article, try this:

  • Adam Chodorow, Death and Taxes and Zombies, 98 Iowa L. Rev. 1207 (2013) (probably can be used to support the proposition that taxes are very scary).

And here's a link you'll want to explore further: the Harvard Law School Law Library's Halloween and the Law.

Happy Halloween!

Hat tips to Adriana Duffy, Kim Holst, and Tami Lefko.


October 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)