Monday, June 17, 2019
Professor Royal Gardner, who teaches the Environmental Law Research and Writing first-year persuasion course at Stetson University College of Law, received Stetson’s Dickerson-Brown Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship. This award was created by Dean Darby Dickerson when she was Dean at Stetson.
The award recognizes Professor Gardner’s work on the Global Wetland Outlook, a wetland conservation treaty that includes 170 countries. The treaty is the first-ever comprehensive report on the state of the world’s wetlands and their services to people. It provides a snapshot of wetland status, trends, and pressures. It further articulates a broad range of effective wetland conservation options available at the national, international, catchment, and site levels, underscoring the need for good governance, knowledge generation, management, investment, and public participation.
Professor Gardner’s work on the conservation treaty began in 2016, and the treaty was launched at a conference of the signatories in Dubai, United Arab Emeriates, in October 2018, where Professor Gardner presented it at a plenary session. The treaty has been published in English, French, and Spanish, and the Administrative Authority for China has stated that it will be translated into Mandarin. The GWO is available at https://www.global-wetland-outlook.ramsar.org/outlook.
Hat tip to Dr. Kirsten K. Davis, Professor of Law and Interim Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Director of the Stetson Institute for the Advancement of Legal Communication
Monday, June 10, 2019
The early bird registration fee of $375 for the Seventh Applied Legal Storytelling Conference ends on June 15, 2019. Starting June 16, 2019, the registration fee will be $400. You can register by clicking on the link - – Applied Legal Storytelling .
The conference is hosted by the University of Colorado School of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and University of Wyoming School of Law, and coordinated by the Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Scholarship Group. The keynote speaker will be Professor Susan Schulten, author and history professor at the University of Denver, who will speak on “Maps and the Stories They Tell.” The Gala evening reception will be held at Chautauqua National Historic Landmark, located at the foot of the iconic Flatirons. Hotel information is available on the registration website. You can also learn view the schedule and see the speakers.
Hat tip to Jason Palmer and the rest of the Seventh Biennial Applied Legal Storytelling Planning Committee.
Saturday, June 1, 2019
Here's a reminder that The Legal Writing Journal, invites submissions for possible publication in Volume 24, to be published in spring 2020. The Journal aims to provide a forum for the publication of essays, articles, and book reviews about the theory, substance, and pedagogy of legal writing. Additional information about the Journal may be found on its website. You may email your submission through the website (email@example.com), or via Express.
Saturday, May 25, 2019
Vanderbilt University School of Law in Nashville, Tennessee is hiring part-time legal writing instructors for its JD and LLM programs. Click here to see the application and job description.
Hat tip to Prof. Jennifer S. Swezey, Director of Legal Research and Writing at Vanderbilt
Friday, May 24, 2019
St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, is looking to hire three instructors for its Law Success Program. Information about the program and the application system is available by clicking here. They are accepting applications through June 7, 2019.
Hat tip to Afton Cavanaugh.
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Congratulations to Professor Mary Nagel of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, who was given the Lex Ancilla Justitiae Award (favorite professor) at the John Marshall Commencement this year. As all of Mary's friends know, this award was no surprise. Mary received a standing ovation from the graduating class.
After law school, Mary clerked for judges on the Circuit Court of Cook County and the Illinois Appellate Court. She then worked in private practice and later served as an Illinois assistant attorney general as Chief Legal Counsel for the Illinois Department of Labor.
h/t Lurene Contento
Thursday, May 16, 2019
UCLA School of Law is seeking a full-time instructor with a background in legal research and writing to coordinate and teach in the LL.M. Legal Research and Writing program, which is designed for graduate law students who have a foreign law degree. This is a full-time, nine-month, academic, non-tenure track appointment as a Lecturer in Law (lecturer). The appointment will be effective July 1, 2019, with classes beginning August 14.
The lecturer will coordinate all aspects of the LL.M. LRW program including curriculum design, formative and summative assessment development, assistance with hiring of part-time LRW instructors and other aspects of the program to ensure an excellent, robust, and responsive legal research and writing program. The lecturer will teach up to four sections of LL.M. Legal Research and Writing each year. Each section is two units, graded on a pass/no pass basis and enrolls approximately 25 students. Currently the course is designed to develop skills needed by practicing lawyers, including legal research, writing and analysis and is taught through the clinical method with students learning through practice and feedback. Students are taught how to proficiently research client problems and analyze the law within the context of those problems. Students then focus on drafting objective memoranda and engage in other writing assignments. Excellent and extensive feedback on assignments is required. In addition to the class meetings, the lecturer is expected to hold regular office hours and meet with students to counsel them about their writing projects, career interests and other matters of academic or professional concern.
Depending on background, the lecturer will likely also teach one or two substantive law courses for LL.M. students, with the total number of semester teaching units not to exceed 16 per year, as well as engage in other duties expected of faculty on an as-needed basis, such as serving on faculty committees, assisting in a clinical course, or supervising student externships. The lecturer should also expect to collaborate with the Vice Deans and Associate Deans, Assistant Dean for Graduate and International Programs and LL.M. Academic Support faculty on issues of curriculum and program planning, and collaborate with other legal research and writing instructors in developing assignments and coordinating due dates.
The salary and level of appointment will be commensurate with qualifications and experience but generally in a range of $80,000 to $90,000 per year.
A J.D. degree or foreign professional law degree is required. This position also requires evidence of past or potential ability for:
• Effective classroom teaching (including command of the subject matter, ability to organize and present material, and ability to awaken student interest, curiosity, creativity, and achievement).
• Effective and timely feedback on written assignments with extensive oral and written comments on student work product.
• Successfully coordinating a legal research and writing program including developing course materials for self and others teaching within the program
A professor at ASU since 2001, Tamara Herrera teaches a variety of courses, including Legal Writing and Method, Legal Advocacy, Writing for Law Practice, Indian Legal Research, and first-year Property. Her scholarly interests include legislative drafting and tribal law, as well as the intersection of legal writing and legal research.
Professor Herrera currently serves as the Secretary of the Association of Legal Writing Directors. She writes a monthly column about legal writing for the Maricopa County Bar’s publication, Maricopa Lawyer. Following her graduation with distinction from the University of Nebraska School of Law, Professor Herrera practiced law at the firm of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite in Phoenix. She performed complex legal research in water and Indian law; drafted proposed rules and legislation relating to natural resources issues in Arizona; and represented clients in both state and federal court. In addition to her law degree, Professor Herrera has a Masters Degree in Information and Library Science from the University of Arizona.
Hat tip to Amy Langenfeld
Friday, May 10, 2019
Elon University School of Law in North Carolina announced that it will have two new LRW professors starting next month: Tiffany Atkins and Vanessa Zboreak.
Professor Atkins is the first graduate of Elon to join the faculty full-time. She worked for several years at Legal Aid of North Carolina, then was appointed to a two year fellowship at Elon, teaching in its LRW program. This year she’s been teaching as a visitor at Wake Forest.
Professor Zboreak is also joining ELon from Wake Forest, where she’s been teaching LRW courses and administrative law, remedies, and food law and policy. She also had a faculty appointment in Wake’s graduate programs in sustainability. She previously served as a staff attorney in the Wake Forest Innocence & Justice Clinic.
Hat tip to Professor Sue Liemer, Director of the Legal Method & Communication Program at Elon University School of Law.
The UCLA School of Law is accepting applications for instructors to teach one or two sections of the LL.M. legal research and writing course, or the first-year J.D. course, or other advanced writing courses. Openings are for the 2019-2020 academic year. The successful candidate(s) will be expected to start on or as soon as practical after July 1, 2019.
Professor Jessica Webb has been promoted to Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law. Professor Webb developed and teaches Appellate Advocacy, a course that now includes the Theodore Reimel Moot Court Competition. She is also the Moot Court Board’s faculty advisor. She received her B.A. from Penn State University and her J.D. from the Villanova University School of Law (cum laude). Before teaching she was an associate in the litigation group at Blank Rome LLP. Subsequently, she practiced employment law at Rubin Fortunato & Harbison P.C. and medical malpractice defense at Post & Post LLC, where she specialized in appellate advocacy. Before joining Villanova Law as an Assistant Professor of Legal Writing in 2013, Professor Webb was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Writing at Villanova and an Adjunct Professor of Legal Writing at Widener Law School. She also developed and regularly teaches a graduate level course at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and several law and education courses for public school administrators and teachers at the Delaware County Intermediate Unit.
Professor Candace Centeno, who recently assumed the role of Director of the Duane Morris LLP Legal Writing Program at Villanova, has been appointed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Villanova. Professor (now Dean) Centeno teaches in the first year Legal Writing Program and an upper level medical malpractice course. She is a graduate of Muhlenberg College (summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) and Boston College Law School (cum laude). Before joining the Legal Writing Faculty at Villanova Law School in 2006, Professor Centeno was a defense litigator for thirteen years at White & Williams in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she represented physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare professionals in medical malpractice and premise liability actions; she also served as an Arbitrator for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. She served as Treasurer on the Legal Writing Institute Executive Board from 2014-2018, and she has helped coordinate and plan three national conferences (2010 program committee member and poster presentation chair, 2012 co-chair of program committee, and 2014 conference co-chair).
Hat tips to Mary Ann Robinson, Heather Baum, Diane Edelman, Amy Emerson, Christine Mooney, and Mitch Nathanson.
Professor Claire Robinson May has been named a "Dean's Teacher" at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law for 2019-2020. The "Dean's Teacher" title was created by Dean Lee Fisher to acknowledge excellence in teaching, and to ensure that the law school is appropriately recognizing the importance of teaching.
Professor May focuses her teaching on developing students' writing, research, and professional skills needed for success in real world legal practice. Before joining Cleveland-Marshall in 2001, she was in private practice with law firms in Cleveland and Washington, D.C. She and colleague Professor April Cherry recently developed and co-taught an innovative new course integrating the doctrine of estates and trusts with the research, document drafting, and other professional skills required for an estates and trusts practice.
Hat tip to Karin Mika
Professor Kenneth D. Chestek, a former President of the Legal Writing Institute, was recently elected Chair of the university-wide Faculty Senate at the University of Wyoming. Ken will begin his one-year tenure has the head of the Faculty Senate in the fall.
Professor Chestek joined the University of Wyoming College of Law faculty in the summer of 2012. He graduated cum laude from University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he was Editor in Chief of the Law Review. He practiced law for 21 years in Pennsylvania in a variety of settings, from solo practice to managing attorney for a branch office of a large law firm. While in practice, he also served for 18 years as Chief Civil Counsel to Erie County, Pennsylvania.
From 2010 to 2012 he served as President of the Legal Writing Institute (LWI), an organization of more than 2700 legal writing professionals in the United States and around the world. Previously, he served as a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of LWI. From 2005-2008 he co-chaired the ALWD/LWI Annual Survey Committee, and from 2004-2008 he served as a member of the Editorial Board of Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, a peer-reviewed academic journal..
Hat tip to Michael Smith.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
LWI Joins SALT and CLEA in Opposing Proposed Revisions to ABA Standard 316
Dear members and colleagues,
On the agenda for the April 2019 monthly LWI Board meeting was a discussion of Resolution 105—the proposed revision to ABA Accreditation Standard 316, which would require all law schools to achieve a 75 percent bar passage rate for all graduates within two years of graduation.
The current standard holds that accredited law schools are not in compliance if within five years, fewer than 75 percent of first-time test-takers do not pass bar exams or the schools are not within 15 points of state bar passage rates. The proposed revision was rejected by the ABA House of Delegates in 2017. The Council sent the proposal back to the House of Delegates in January 2019, and the House rejected it again. The Council’s options now are to abandon the effort to revise the standard, propose a different revision, or reaffirm and implement the changes. The Council meets again May 16-18 in Chicago.
At that meeting, the Board voted to join SALT and CLEA in opposing the proposal for a number of reasons including the lack of transparency in the process, the impact on minority students, and the likely adverse impact on the legal writing community.
The text of the statement is reprinted below:
The Legal Writing Institute (LWI) is the second largest organization of law professors in the United States. Our nearly 3,000 members also include lawyers and judges, researchers, consultants, and undergraduate researchers.
LWI joins the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA), the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), and other interested parties that have raised strong objections to the proposed revision to Standard 316. LWI is concerned about both the process surrounding the proposed change as well as the proposal itself. As other groups have noted, the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar’s (the Council’s) decision-making over the past several years has lacked transparency in process as well as collaboration with affiliates and other constituencies. Additionally, LWI notes that the Council has been made aware of the “substantial negative impact on HBCU and other law schools with significant enrollment of people of color, including the law schools in Puerto Rico. . . .” See Letter from Chairs of ABA Goal III Entities (Jan. 2019) (extensive discussion of ABA data). The predicted disparate impact on law students of color is an important concern, which has not been adequately debated during open sessions of the Council.
Radical changes to Standard 316—without adequate input and attention to differences in the degree of difficulty of different states’ bar exams, investigation of the cause of declining bar passage rates, the impact on schools with the mission of admitting students with lower predictors of success, and existing, dramatically expanded academic success and bar preparation programs in law schools—will likely have an adverse impact on the legal writing community.
Enacting a more rigorous standard at a time when law schools are already struggling to comply with current Standard 316 will divert valuable resources to even more academic success and bar preparation programs—activities with which our community is often tasked without course relief, additional compensation, or adequate governance rights to give meaningful input at their own institutions. As CLEA has noted, it will also likely “shift legal education away from courses that integrate doctrine, theory, and skills and prepare students for the practice of law.” CLEA Statement to ABA House of Delegates, January 27, 2019, at 3. Because LWI believes these resources are better spent continuing to improve integrated skills teaching in the schools’ existing curriculum, the LWI Board has voted to support the efforts of both CLEA and SALT and joins the statements submitted by those organizations in opposition to the proposed revision. See, e.g., SALT letter to ABA House of Delegates, Jan. 21, 2019; CLEA, SALT Joint Memo to Council, Feb. 20, 2019.
For more information, as well as the statements filed by CLEA and SALT, see https://www.lwionline.org/lwi-joins-salt-and-clea-opposing-proposed-revisions-aba-standard-316.
LWI Board of Directors
Kristen Tiscione, President
Kimberly Holst, President Elect
Kim Chanbonpin, Immediate Past President and SALT Affiliate
Jason Palmer, Treasurer
Rebecca Scharf, Secretary
Iselin Gambert, Communications and Public Relations Officer
April 30, 2019
Thursday, April 25, 2019
The Global Lawyering Skills Program at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California anticipates the need to hire visitor for the entire academic year, 2019-2020. If you are interested in joining a great group of colleagues, on a lovely campus, in a nice climate, for an academic year, please send expressions of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. The position is a one-year visitorship. Other faculty at McGeorge have 405(c) or 405(c) track positions. If the school were to hire the following year, the visitor would be eligible to apply. Visiting professors do not have voting rights, but are welcome to attend faculty meetings. The school anticipates paying a base salary of $70,000 to $89,999 The visitor would teach one section of GLS I (their first-year course) and one section of GLS II (their second-year course).
Hat tip to Mary-Beth Moyland, Associate Dean for Experiential Learning, Professor of Lawyering Skills, and Director of the McGeorge Global Lawyering Skills Program.
The University of Washington School of Law in Seattle is looking for a visiting professor to teach two sections of its first-year Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing course. Each section tends to have about 18-22 students, though the numbers fluctuate depending on the size of the incoming class.
This position would be a true one-year visit! As detailed below, they don’t currently expect the visit to transition into a longer-term position.
If you are interested, please email me a PDF of: (1) a resume, and (2) a cover letter that discusses (a) your interest in the position, (b) how your experience has prepared you to teach two sections of first-year legal writing at the law school, (c) how this one-year visit fits into your long-term career goals, and (d) anything else you’d like to tell then. The letter should be addressed to Scott Schumacher, our Associate Dean. But please send the materials to David J.S. Ziff, the Director of Legal Writing at the University of Washington School of Law, who is collecting the applications.
Hat tip to David Ziff
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s Board of Directors announced that James McGrath, professor of law and associate dean for academic support and bar services at Texas A&M University School of Law, will be the law school’s next president and dean. McGrath will be the third president and sixth dean since the law school’s founding in 1972.
Dean McGrath replaces Don LeDuc, who retired after 16 years serving as WMU-Cooley’s President and Dean. Dean LeDuc was a recipient of the Legal Writing Institute's Golden Pen Award for his advocacy on behalf of legal writing and legal writing professors.
Thursday, April 18, 2019
California dreaming? Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles is seeking applicants for a full-time or part-time position as a visiting professor of Legal Analysis, Writing and Skills (LAWS).
The LAWS course offers first-year students six credits of instruction in core lawyering skills including research, writing, client counseling, oral advocacy, and professionalism. 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 2019 and to start teaching as early August 10, 2019. Please send a cover letter and resume to email@example.com. You can address your cover letter to Members of the LAWS Hiring Committee.
This is a one-year visitorship with a possibility of renewal. We anticipate the need for a full-time hire. However, we would consider candidates who need part-time appointments for personal reasons. Although this is initially a visitorship, if the need becomes long-term, the school may subsequently offer a nonvisiting position (such a position would be 405(c)-compliant with renewable one-year contracts and eligibility for a five-year presumptively renewable contract after three years).
Hat tip to Tracy Turner, Director and Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing, and Skills at Southwestern Law School.