Friday, April 2, 2021

Washington & Lee is Hiring

Washington & Lee School of Law invites applications for the position of Professor of Practice. 

This member of the school's full-time faculty will be one of three professors who constitute the Legal Writing Program at Washington & Lee Law. Responsibilities of the position include teaching two sections of first-year legal writing each semester while working collaboratively with other faculty in program to maintain a modern curriculum in this subject matter. 

In addition to holding a Juris Doctor degree from an ABA-accredited school, candidates for the position must have at least two years of post-J.D. experience in a position or positions requiring substantial legal writing. 

The Professor of Practice position is a nine-month contractual position with teaching responsibilities beginning annually in mid-August and ending in mid-May. The initial appointment to the position will be for a two-year term, with eligibility for a longer-term appointment thereafter.  The anticipated starting salary for the nine-month position is $80,000. 

The school is an Equal Opportunity employer that adheres to a robust nondiscrimination policy. They welcome candidates who are members of communities traditionally under-represented in the legal profession and academia. Interested individuals should submit a statement of interest, C.V., and references to through our application portal at  The position is open until filled, and applications will be considered on a rolling basis beginning April 5, 2021.

Hat tip to Allison Weiss.


April 2, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 26, 2021

Congratulations to Wanda Temm

Professor Wanda Temm of the University of Missouri at Kansas City has been awarded the Presidential Faculty Award for Innovative Teaching by the President of the University of Missouri System. One recipient is chosen from over six thousand faculty members in the University of Missouri system. Professor Temm received her bachelor of arts in 1977, graduating summa cum laude from Ottawa University. After receiving her master of science from Purdue University in 1979, Professor Temm was a social worker for six years until she entered the University of Kansas School of Law. She received her J.D. in 1988 after serving as note and comment editor of the Kansas Law Review. Professor Temm was admitted to the Kansas Bar in 1988 and the Missouri Bar in 1989. Prior to joining the faculty in 1991, she practiced with the firm of Shook, Hardy and Bacon specializing in business litigation and appellate practice. Professor Temm is the inaugural recipient of the Eleanore C. Blue Lawyering Skills Professorship, named after the first full-time female faculty member at the University of Kansas City School of Law. She received the 2017 Daniel L. Brenner Faculty Publishing Award for her book, Clearing the Last Hurdle: Mapping Success on the Bar Exam, the leading textbook on bar preparation. Temm received the 2013 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching–UMKC’s highest honor for excellence in teaching for clinical faculty. She also received the 2012 Women’s Justice Legal Scholar Award from Missouri Publishers Media, which recognizes women faculty members who demonstrate leadership, integrity, service, sacrifice and accomplishment in improving the quality of justice and exemplifying the highest ideals of the legal profession. Temm received the 2006 Tiera Farrow Faculty Award for her leadership, dedication, and commitment to improving the position of women in the law. Hat tip to Barbara Wilson. (mew)

March 26, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Webinar on "Modern Written Advocacy in the Digital Age"

Save the Date!

ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

Appellate Advocacy Committee Webinar

(Part of the ABA TIPS Seventh Annual Section Conference)

Thursday, April 29, 2021

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM CST


Our courts are getting busier by the day and operating in the age of information bombardment. Judges almost universally report that they are increasingly frustrated with the volumes of written materials they are asked to review. But creative use of technology can be a brief writer’s best friend. This panel will explore effective writing techniques, including clarity, organization, persuasion, as well as formatting and use of graphics, in creating substantive motions and appellate briefs. They will share strategies for writing in a concise manner that quickly gets your point across with impact and advocating in a world where many judges are reading briefs on digital devices, including tablets. Learn how to make your points most effectively in this brave, new, digital world.


Mark E. Wojcik, Professor of Law
UIC John Marshall Law School, The University of Illinois at Chicago


Hon. Robert E. Bacharach, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Denver, Colorado [author of Legal Writing: A Judge’s Perspective on the Science and Rhetoric of the Written Word]

Hon. Louise Dovre Bjorkman, Judge, Minnesota Court of Appeals, St. Paul, Minnesota

Hon. Jane B. Stranch, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Cincinnati, Ohio

Rocky Dhir, Atlas Legal Research, Dallas, Texas

Robert DuBose, Alexander Dubose & Jefferson LLP, Houston, Texas [author of The Rewired Brain]

March 21, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Appellate Advocacy Committee of the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

Here's a secret for those of you who teach or practice appellate advocacy.
The American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section has a committee on Appellate Advocacy. I've been a member of it for several years. At most meetings, I'm often the only law professor attending. I am privy to top-rate advice on appellate advocacy shared in a group of friendly appellate experts. These meetings are less than an hour and easy to attend. At each meeting I learn something from these appellate practitioners that I can use when I teach appellate advocacy.
If you're a professor at a U.S. law school you're probably already a member of the ABA from the group membership at your school. And you might already even be a member of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section. If you're not, that's easy enough to fix. And then it's an easy thing to add your name to the Appellate Advocacy Committee. The return on my small investment of time has been great.
Of course the committee is open to lawyers who aren't law professors, so please feel free to search out and join the committee.
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

March 21, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Transnational Conference on the Future of Legal Education

This may be the longest legal education conference in history.  The "Transnational Conference on the Future of Legal Education, the Practice of Law, and the Judiciary" has lots of content of interest to legal writing professors. We've just watched an engaging and informative presentation by LWI President Kim Holst, Professor Lurene Contento, and Professor Janet Dickson on teaching persuasion in an online environment.

The conference is organized and hosted by Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi in Istanbul, Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, and the Mitchell Hamline School of Law. It's being held from February 9-12 and February 15-18, 2022 on zoom. And it's free.

Click here for more information about the conference schedule and how to access the presentations each day. 

Hat tips to Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi, Professor Kathleen Burch, and to the many presenters over these two weeks.


February 11, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Reminder of Upcoming Deadline

 ALWD-LWI Scholarship Grant Applications are due on February 22, 2021.


February 10, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Legal Writing Professors and AALS Sections of the Year

The Association of American Law Schools has 104 sections. The Section of the Year award is granted to one or two of the 100+ AALS Sections each year in recognition of excellence in member support and other activities that promote AALS’s core values, including annual meeting programming, facilitating outstanding scholarship, providing teaching support and course materials, community/pro bono service, engagement with the bar and bench, mentoring programs, expanding membership and member engagement, creative use of technology, and more.

In January 2020, the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research and the AALS Section on Environmental Law were chosen to receive the AALS Section of the Year Award.

In January 2021, the award went to the AALS Section for Associate Deans of Academic Affairs and Research and to the AALS Section on Balance in Legal Education. 

We were reminded that both of those winning sections have officers and executive committee members heavily populated by legal writing professors.

Of the four members of the executive committee of the Associate Deans' Section, three are LRW professors.  Mary Algero is the chair, Michael Higdon is the chair-elect, and Mary-Beth Moylan is a member of the board.  The Balance in Legal Education executive committee is much larger, but it also has its share of LRW folks, including Rosie Lozada (chair-elect), and members Kathy Elliott Vinson and Rebecca Scharf. 

Congratulations and thank you to all of the legal writing professors serving on AALS Section Committees.


February 7, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chicago-Kent is Hiring a Bar Success Program Director

Chicago-Kent College of Law seeks an energetic, innovative, and experienced teacher to direct its Bar Success Program. The Director will design and implement bar-related programming and will be responsible for monitoring, developing and enhancing a complete Bar preparedness program for Chicago-Kent Students.

The Director will assume leadership of a program that has already developed several classes and strategies to facilitate bar preparedness. Chicago-Kent is committed to enriching and streamlining its current program by hiring someone who can work fulltime on bar preparedness efforts. The Director will work closely with faculty and staff (particularly the Director of Academic Skills, the Dean for Student Affairs and the Director of Legal Writing and the faculty currently working on bar readiness) to provide tailored assistance for at-risk students including advising, coaching, instruction, and referrals to resources; develop and present programming for all JD students concerning bar readiness; offer bar-related advising and support to individual students on matters such as character and fitness concerns or course selection; and track relevant data related to bar passage and other academic success metrics. Scholarly writing, especially on topics related to teaching and learning, is welcome but not required.

Position Category: Full Time

Education and Experience:

●Juris Doctor Degree from an ABA-accredited law school plus three years of relevant experience
●Bar membership in a US jurisdiction (may be inactive)

Knowledge & Skills:


*At least three years of experience in law practice or teaching
*Strong academic achievement, particularly in law school
*Advising, counseling, or tutoring experience
*Experience working with students with disabilities, including non-apparent disabilities

Online App. Form:

Hat tip to Elizabeth De Armond


February 7, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 6, 2021

The University of Washington is Hiring

The University of Washington School of Law invites applications for a full-time Assistant or Associate Teaching Professor to teach the first-year Legal Analysis, Research & Writing course (LARW) with an anticipated start date of September 16, 2021.

Legal writing courses at UW Law are taught by a team of dedicated and experienced faculty who stress collaboration and innovation. In collaboration with the LARW team, the successful candidate will develop curriculum that is consistently improved with new discoveries and learning outcomes. Assistant/Associate Teaching Professors will also engage in service and are encouraged to pursue scholarship publication.

This is a fixed-term appointment on a 9-month basis with the initial term expected to be (3) years from date of hire with reappointment decisions thereafter. This is a non-tenure eligible position and reappointment is contingent upon performance, instructional needs and funding.

Click here for more information.


February 6, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Some Helpful Websites and Other Resources to Improve Your Writing

On his "Law Practice Tips" blog, Michael Goldblatt has collected a smattering of suggested books and websites that writers can use to improve their writing. 

Click here to view that post.


February 6, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Barry University is Hiring

Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law is seeking to fill two full-time, tenure-track faculty positions beginning in the Fall 2021 semester. They are particularly interested in receiving applications from candidates who teach primarily in Legal Research & Writing. Nice.


February 6, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 5, 2021

AALS Section on Post-Graduate Legal Education

We're happy to congratulate the new officers and executive committee members of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Post-Graduate Legal Education.

Chair: Colleen Ference Burke, Georgetown University Law Center
Chair-elect: John B. Thornton, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
Treasurer: Celeste Hammond, The University of Illinois at Chicago John Marshall Law School

Secretary: Ashley Sim, USC Gould School of Law

Executive Committee Members 

William H. Byrnes, Texas A&M University School of Law
Cecilia Caldeira Frain, Pace University, Elisabeth Haub School of Law
Deborah Call, University of Southern California, Gould School of Law 
Robert Coulthard, New England Law, Boston
George E. Edwards, Indiana University McKinney School of Law
Jon Garon, Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad College of Law
Gabrielle Goodwin, Indiana University, Mauer School of Law
Karen L. Jones, University of Houston Law Center 
Sarah Kelly, St. John's University School of Law
Spencer Kimura, University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law
Polly Lawson, University of Virginia School of Law
Eric Menkhus, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
Rebecca Purdom, Emory University School of Law
John N. Riccardi, Boston University School of Law
Karen Alicia Shaw, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Carole Silver, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
John Smagula, Temple University School of Law
Audrey Woods, Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law

February 5, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Northern Illinois University is Hiring

NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW invites applications for an anticipated opening for an entry-level tenure-track faculty position beginning August 2021. Duties include engaging in high quality research and teaching, as well as being an active participant in law school and university service. Applicants must hold a J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school, or a foreign law school equivalent, and must provide evidence of the potential for engaging in high quality research and teaching.  


Preferred qualifications include record of scholarly publication, teaching experience (particularly in a law school), legal practice experience, strong law school record, law journal membership, and clerkship experience. 


The law school will consider candidates with a broad range of teaching and research interests, but the successful candidate will be expected to teach at least one first-year course (which may include Constitutional Law I: The Federal System). Our upper-level needs include, but are not limited to, Business Law, Commercial Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Tax, Trusts and Estates, and skills courses. Applications are encouraged from women, members of minority groups, and others whose background and experience would contribute to the diversity of the law school community.  


If you wish to apply, please go to the position posting at the NIU applicant tracking system at where you will find a full description of the position (including preferred qualifications) along with a list of documents you will need to submit for the search committee’s consideration.  


Please direct questions to the search committee chair, Professor Marc Falkoff, at, or to Tita Kaus, Administrative Assistant to the Dean, at 815-753-1068 or For full consideration, applications should be received by March 1, 2021. 


February 5, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 1, 2021

Congratulations to Rhea Ballard-Thrower

Rhea Ballard-ThrowerFebruary 1 is Rhea Ballard-Thrower's first day as University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

Dean Ballard-Thrower was previously the Executive Director of the Howard University Library System and as a member of the Howard University law faculty. She was Director of the Howard University Law Library, Associate Director at the Georgia State University Law Library in Atlanta, Georgia, and a Reference Librarian at the Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas-Austin. She has been a legal bibliography instructor, conference presenter, and author of many articles on law librarianship.

At UIC, Dean Ballard-Thrower will also hold the rank of Professor in the University Library and will hold an affiliate faculty position at the UIC John Marshall Law School.

Congratulations to Dean Rhea Ballard Thrower.


February 1, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Teri McMurtry-Chubb Receives the 2021 Blackwell Award

McMurtry-ChubbThe Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute presented the 2021 Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Legal Writing to Professor Teri A. McMurtry-Chubb of the UIC-John Marshall Law School.

Professor McMurtry-Chubb researches, teaches, and writes in the areas of critical rhetoric, discourse and genre analysis, and legal history. She has lectured nationally on structural discrimination in educational institutions and the workplace and is a leader in designing curricula to facilitate diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Professor McMurtry-Chubb is a past president of Association of Legal Writing Directors and has served as a mentor for countless members of the legal research and writing community. She is the author of several books, book chapters, and articles. She is a past recipient of the Legal Writing Institute's Phelps Award for Scholarship in Legal Communication, an award presented annually to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to improve the field of Legal Writing by demonstrating (1) an ability to nurture and motivate students to excellence; (2) a willingness to help other legal writing educators improve their teaching skills or their legal writing programs; and, (3) an ability to create and integrate new ideas for teaching and motivating legal writing educators and students.

Professor McMurtry-Chubb has taught at Loyola Law School-LA, California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, the University of Iowa, Des Moines Area Community College, Drake University School of Law, and Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Washington University. While at Fairhaven College, she served as an Assistant Professor of Law and Hegemony Studies, and was the co-founder and first director of Fairhaven’s Center for Law, Diversity and Justice.

She was a Civil Litigation Associate at a mid-sized law firm in Des Moines, Iowa. When she joined the firm, she was the first person of color ever to be hired there and one of two African-American women in the entire state of Iowa in private practice. She practiced in the areas of insurance defense, employment discrimination, and employee benefits. Before entering private practice, McMurtry-Chubb became the first African-American woman hired as a law clerk for the Fifth Judicial District of Iowa.

The Blackwell Award honors the memory of Thomas Blackwell, a legal writing professor at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia.  He was one of three people killed at the law school on January 16, 2002, when a former student opened fire at the school with a handgun. Tom's widow Lisa participates annually in the award ceremony and did so again this year.

Recognizing the contributions that Tom Blackwell made to the legal writing community, the Blackwell Award is presented annually to 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.

Previous winners of the Blackwell Award include:

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

The 2021 award presentation was the first virtual presentation of the award. Legal writing professors and friends joined the event from across the United States.

Congratulations to Professor Teri McMurtry-Chubb.


February 1, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 29, 2021

You'll Be Back! The UIC Song for Law Students

Attention Hamilton Fans!

The faculty and staff of the UIC John Marshall Law School at the University of Illinois have just released the law school version of "You'll Be Back" from the Musical Hamilton.


Among the legal writing professors you'll see in the chorus at the end of the video are Sonia Bychkov Green, Maureen Staub Kordesh, and Mark Wojcik. Feel free to sing along!


January 29, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Southwestern is Hiring

Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles iss seeking applicants for a full-time position as a professor of Legal Analysis, Writing, and Skills (LAWS).  Its 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 three 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, 2021 and to start teaching as early as August 10, 2021.  Please send a cover letter and resume to

Hat tip to Tracy Turner.


January 5, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Your AALS Legal Writing Online Dance Card

AALS LogoThe Association of American Law Schools (AALS) holds its annual meeting this week online instead of in San Francisco. Most U.S. law schools (and maybe all of the accredited ones?) have purchased packages that allow faculty members to attend all of the sessions without having to register individually. If you're a faculty member at a U.S. law school you should look into this right away -- the AALS Conference starts on Tuesday!

The 2021 AALS Annual Meeting is also notable because it's the first time that the Annual Meeting is taking place with a former legal writing professor as AALS President. Dean Darby Dickerson of the UIC John Marshall Law School has chosen "The Power of Words" as her theme for the meeting.

Here is a list of events of particular interest to legal writing professors and law librarians: your 2021 Legal Writing Online Dance Card!

All times listed here are Eastern Standard Time (EST). Programs sponsored or co-sponsored by the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research are in bold. Visit the AALS website for descriptions of each panel and the lineup of speakers.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EST. Section on Teaching Methods, Co-Sponsored by Balance in Legal Education: Mindfulness in Legal Pedagogy

12:15 to 1:15 p.m. EST. Section on Law Libraries and Legal Education - Law Libraries and Legal Information Award Presentation to Pauline Aranas (University of Southern California, Gould School of Law).

1:15 to 2:30 p.m. EST. AALS Awards Ceremony: Honoring AALS Impact Award Winners, Scholarly Paper Winners, Section Award Winners, and Teachers of the Year.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

12:15 to 1:15 p.m. EST. Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research - Presentation of the AALS Section Award for Lifetime Contributions to Legal Writing Education to Cassandra L. Hill (Northern Illinois University College of Law).

1:15 to 2:30 p.m. EST. Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Co-Sponsored by Technology, Law and Legal Education, Law Libraries and Legal Information: The Future Has Arrived - The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Legal Writing and Research.

2:45 to 4:00 p.m. EST. Section on Global Engagement, Co-Sponsored by Teaching Methods, Technology and Law and Legal Education: Virtual Mobility: Innovating and Promoting Global Legal Education in Times of Crisis.

Thursday, January 7, 2021 [some programs of interest are at the same time]

12:15 to 1:15 EST. Section on Law Libraries and Legal Information - Networking Session.

1:15 to 2:30 EST. AALS Hot Topic Program: Breaking News in U.S. Legal Regulatory Reform.

1:15 to 2:30 EST. Law School Admission Council Program: The Future of Assessment in Legal Education - New Tools that Advance Learning in Law.

1:15 to 2:30 EST. Section on Alternative Dispute Resolution: Effective Twitter Advocacy - Is it Possible? 

2:45 to 4:00 EST. AALS Discussion Group: How the Pandemic Made Me a Better Teacher - Lessons Learned and Plans for Change.

2:45 to 4:00 p.m. EST. AALS Open Source Program: Rhetoric, Justice and the Construction of Law

2:45 to 4:00 p.m. EST. AALS Open Source Program, Author Meets Reader: Paving the Way: The First American Women Law Professors: A Discussion of Herma Hill Kay's Forthcoming Book.

4:15 to 5:30 p.m. EST. AALS Open Source Program: Author Meets Reader: Shortlisted: Women in the Shadows of the Supreme Court.

Friday, January 8, 2021 [some programs of interest are at the same time]

11:00 a.m to 12:15 p.m. EST. AALS Discussion Group: Race, Racism & the Language of Law School: Power of Words in Shaping Professional Identity.

2:45 to 4:00 p.m. EST. Section on Law Libraries and Legal Information: What Does the Modern Law Library Look Like? 

2:45 to 4:00 p.m. EST. Section on New Law Professors: Spreading the Word - Law Professors as Teachers, Scholars, and Legal Influencers 

4:15 to 5:30 p.m. EST. Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research: New Scholars Showcase. Session with Abigail A. Patthoff (Chapman), Adam Eckart (Suffolk), Maria Termini (Brooklyn), and J. Danielle Tully (Northeastern).

7:15 to 8:30 p.m. EST. Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) Annual Celebration to honor recipients of the Great Teacher Award, the M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award, and the Junior Faculty Teaching Award. Register here:

Saturday, January 9, 2021 [some times overlap]

1:15 to 2:30 p.m. EST. Section on Scholarship, Co-Sponsored by Constitutional Law, Comparative Law, and Law and Anthropology: Defining Scholarship in the Twenty-First Century.

1:30 to 2:30 p.m. EST. As a side event to the AALS Annual Meeting, the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) and the American Constitution Society (ACS) host a panel discussion on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, "The Notorious RBG: Looking Back with her Clerks." The panel will examine RBG's legacy through the eyes of her former clerks. Register in advance for this webinar:

4:15 to 5:30 p.m. EST. Section on International Law: New Voices in International Law and International Legal Research Update.

Visit the AALS website for the full program of offerings this week.


January 3, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Empire State Legal Writing Conference (Online)

The Empire State Legal Writing Conference will return for a two-day virtual event on Thursday and Friday, May 13 and 14, 2021. The conference will be hosted by New York Law School and will include sessions for scholars with works in progress on the 13th, as well as presentations and panels on both days. There will not be a charge to attend the online conference.


Hat tip to Stephen Paskey (Buffalo) and the 2021 Empire State Legal Writing Conference Committee Members:

Pam Armstrong, Albany

Robin Boyle, St. John’s

Heidi Brown, Brooklyn

Catharine Du Bois, Brooklyn

Elizabeth Fajans, Brooklyn

Anne Goldstein, NYLS

Antonella Milevski, NYLS

Aliza Milner, Syracuse

Ann Nowak, Touro

Stephen Paskey, Buffalo

Amy R. Stein, Hofstra

Lynn Su, NYLS

Michelle Fongyee Whelan, Cornell



December 30, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2021 Legal Writing Scholarship Grants

The Legal Writing Institute (LWI), the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), and LexisNexis have announced the 2021 Legal Writing Scholarship Grants for teachers of legal research and writing.  These research grants enable gifted educators to spend their summers exploring scholarly ideas and producing scholarship that will assist others in the field of legal research and writing. While preference is given to proposals in the field of legal research and writing, consideration will be given to all proposals from legal research and writing professionals if the proposals are related to legal research and writing or inform the teaching of legal research and writing. The grants provide evidence of the three organizations’ support for the scholarly pursuits of legal research and writing professionals. 

In the past, the grants have varied from $2,000 to $10,000. The number of grants awarded depends on the quality of the applications and funds available. In 2020, LWI and ALWD cooperatively evaluated and awarded grants to three applicants.

The joint LWI-ALWD committee awarding grants consists of two groups that function independently. Committee members are either voters or mentors for the grant applicants. Voters review and score grant applications with no information about the identities of the applicants. Applicants may approach the mentors for advice on the grant application.  Mentors will not score applications or participate in any way in deciding who receives a grant. 

Application Procedures

  1. Eligibility: The grants are open to both full-time and adjunct teachers of legal writing and research. Teachers who have previously received a scholarship grant are ineligible for this program for three years after they have received such a grant. LWI and ALWD Board members, officers, and members of the Joint LWI-ALWD Scholarship Committee or the LWI Scholarship Development Committee are ineligible to participate until they have been out of those positions for a full academic year.  LWI, ALWD and LexisNexis encourage proposals from both veteran professionals and those new to the field. 

LWI, ALWD and LexisNexis specifically encourage proposals by faculty from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups and from those who have not, for example, received grants, presented in panels, or published in the past. LWI, ALWD, and LexisNexis recognize the historical inequalities that pervade the legal profession and the legal academy and affirms its commitment to contributing to a legal writing discipline that is equitable and inclusive. They further recognize that increasing diversity brings added intellectual, scholarly, cultural, social, and economic benefits to the academic and lawyering communities. 

  1. Deadline: Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. East Coast Time on February 22, 2021.  Please email the application as a Word document to: Susan Chesler,, Sarah Morath,, and Jane Grisé,
  1. Application materials: The Grant Application Form is available by email from Susan Chesler,, Sarah Morath,, or Jane Grisé,
  1. Where to get help: If you would like a mentor for your grant application, please contact Sarah Morath,
  1. Review Process and Standards: The Proposal Description of the Grant Application Form, including the Detailed Description/Abstracts, will be blindly reviewed by the non-mentoring members of the Joint LWI-ALWD Scholarship Committee.  Personal information will be removed from the application before voters see it. 

The non-mentoring committee members will rank and rate the applications. First, they will  consider whether the applications meet the following requirements:

  • Is the proposed work related to Legal Writing?
  • Is the scope of the project realistic?
  • Is the work likely to be published?

In addition, the non-mentoring committee members will consider the following:

  • Is the proposal well thought-out and well written?
  • Are there appropriate research sources?
  • Is the topic interesting and will it appeal to targeted readers?
  • Is the topic one that has previously been covered in the relevant literature?  If so, does the proposed work add something substantive to the discussion?
  • Are the research methods (empirical research, multi-disciplinary research, statistical analysis, traditional legal research) chosen likely to result in a good quality written product?

Once the voters have scored and ranked the anonymous applications and have made their recommendations, the Joint Scholarship Committee will forward those recommendations to the LWI and ALWD Boards of Directors who make the final grant decisions. The Boards will, at the time they make their selections, have access to the information on the application forms in order to balance substantive review of the projects with due consideration for need (as reflected by eligibility for research grants at one’s own institution). 

Whether a person is eligible for funding from their own school is a significant factor for the Boards to weigh when awarding the grants. If a successful grant winner receives funding from another source after receiving a grant, the grant will be reduced by the amount of that funding. Recipients, however, may continue to publicize their status as a grant recipient in CVs or other documents.

  1. Selection date and grant disbursement: The committee will announce recipients of the research grants by May 3, 2021. At the time of selection, 40% of the research-grant award will be paid to each grant recipient. The grant recipient will receive the remaining 60% of the award when the article has been accepted for publication.  Grant recipients should submit the completed article to the Joint LWI-ALWD Scholarship Committee along with a copy of the acceptance for publication.
  1. Mentors: At the time that the awards are announced, each grant recipient will be assigned a mentor by the Joint Scholarship Committee. This mentor, chosen based upon the topic of the proposed scholarly work or any other criteria mutually agreed upon by the applicant and the Committee, will provide the recipient with guidance and assistance in developing the project through to completion and placing it for publication. 
  1. Formalities: Grant winners should thank both LWI & ALWD for the grant in the footnotes of the article. Recipients of the LexisNexis funding should thank that organization.
  1. Publication rights: Grant winners should negotiate permission from the publisher to post the article on the LWI & ALWD websites.  This requirement can be waived if it would prevent placing the article in a well-regarded publication or require that the author purchase rights. 
  1. Reporting requirement: Every June 1 and December 1, until the grant recipient publishes the article, the grant recipient will submit a written progress report to the Co-Chairs of the Joint LWI-ALWD Scholarship Grant Committee. 
  1. Time limit for completing the article: The time limit for completing the article for which the recipient is awarded a scholarship grant is 24 months. Completed, for the purposes of the grant, means that the article has been accepted for publication.

Adapted from an announcement from LWI and ALWD.


December 29, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)