Monday, June 16, 2008

moot court roundtable

Greipp_melissa Barger_coleen_7 On Tuesday, July 15, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., a lunchtime roundtable about moot court-related issues will be held at the LWI Conference.  This roundtable discussion will be led by Melissa Greipp of Marquette University School of Law, Coleen Barger of UALR William H. Bowen School of Law (one of this blog's co-editors, pictured here on the right), and Jim Dimitri of Indiana University School of Law–Indianapolis.  The panel plans to introduce three to five topics for discussion.  These topics may include—

          • judge recruitment and management,
          • motivation and training of students for national competitions, and
          • problem creation.

Dimitri_jim All conference attendees are welcome to attend, especially those who are involved in their school’s moot court program.  To participate, pick up your box lunch and head to Room 259.

The roundtable leaders welcome your suggestions for specific issues to discuss.  You may contact Jim at with your suggestions.


June 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

news from Drake

Here's some news from John Edwards, Associate Dean for Information Resources and Technology and Professor of Law at Drake University Law School:


Drake has been selected as a 2008 recipient of the American Bar Association's Gambrell Professionalism Award.  The news release is at .

Melweresh Melissa Weresh played a key role in Drake receiving the award and the release notes one judge's comments:   [T]he writing curriculum for first-year students utilizes "Ethical and Professional Considerations in Legal Writing," a recent book by Drake law professor Melissa Weresh. This "creative and outstanding text," he wrote, "has helped produce law graduates who understand that ethics and professionalism are not just separate subjects in law school, but the very core and the true heart and soul of our legal profession."


Congratulations to Drake and to Mel Weresh!


June 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

resources to help law students' writing skills

The LAWPROF listserv has a thread--started by a non-LRW law prof--on incorporating grammar, punctuation, and other writing skills into a seminar course in which students write a substantial scholarly paper.  Here are some of the resources suggested by other law professors--do you have others?

The Little, Brown Compact Handbook, by Jane E. Aaron

Fajans and Falk, Scholarly Writing for Law Students

the Diana Hacker style manual


June 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

advice for those being edited

Abramsd Professor Doug Abrams at the University of Missouri writes an advice column, Writing It Right, in the Missouri Bar's quarterly magazine, Precedent.  His latest advice, We Are the Products of Editing, 2 Precedent 12-14 (Spring 2008), can help all legal writers accept edits with an open mind and get the most out of those edits.


June 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

info on submitting your work to law journals

Professors Allen Rostron and Nancy Levit, at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, have updated their  chart of Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews and Journals.  This chart contains very helfpul details about each U.S. law journal's preferences on how you should submit articles (e.g., e-mail, ExpressO or regular mail), as well as special formatting requirements and how to request an expedited review.

hat tip:  Professor Nancy Levit



June 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

To Our Friends at the University of Iowa

We send our best wishes to our friends at the University of Iowa and others affected by the floods in Iowa.


June 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

An Appellate Brief Problem for Our Friends in Florida

Miller_colinProfessor Colin Miller at the Evidence Prof Blog has a post on a new case that reveals interesting distinctions between impeachment under the Florida Rules of Evidence and the Federal Rules of Evidence.  Have a look at his post, and see if it would be a good appellate brief problem.   


June 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference Preview - Thursday Session 3

Lwi This post continues the preview of sessions at the upcoming Legal Writing Institute summer conference in Indianapolis.  We're almost done!  The third session on Thursday, July 17, 2008 (the last day of the conference) will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.  Here are your choices.


Algero_mary_garvey Wellford_slocum_robin Mary Garvey Algero (Professor at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, pictured here on the left) and Robin Wellford Slocum (Professor and Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California) present a panel called Beyond PowerPoint and Movie Clips: How to Reach Your Full Potential as a Teacher.  Research shows that the most effective teachers are those who bring their personal identities into the classroom, and who can show a connectedness between themselves, their students, and their subject.  Although technology and innovative teaching techniques can enhance effective teaching, they are not the most important ingredients.  What is the secret?  Come to this presentation to find out.



Rideout_christopher J. Christopher Rideout (Associate Director of the Legal Writing Program at Seattle University School of Law) will discuss the question "Doe Voice Exist in Legal Writing?"  Drawing upon recent work in academic literacies, he'll offer a framework for answering the complex question of whether a legal writer can have a voice.  (For some reason I have this vision of the Little Mermaid and Ursula the sea witch who is going to take her voice, but I am sure that Chris's presentation will not be made underwater.)  The presentation will also pose some possibilities for the legal writing classroom.  Chris was a Co-founder of the Legal Writing Institute, and he chaired its board of directors for several years.  He also has been editor-in-chief of the journal Legal Writing and serves on its editorial board.


Spanbauer Green_sonia_bychkov Obviously I'm not biased . . . but here is a fantastic presentation with three superstars of the legal writing community.  Professors Julie Spanbauer (pictured here on the left), Sonia Bychkov Green, and Maureen Straub Kordesh, all of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, will make a presentation on Incorporating Learning Theory and Student Expectations in Problem Design for a First-Year Writing Course.  As professors we often fail to appreciate how students struggle to understand published cases.  Published cases were never intended to be teaching and learning tools -- rather, they are documents written by experts to resolve legal disputes.  This panel will present Kordesh_maureen_straub teaching and learning theory, samples of classroom techniques, and student surveys addressing how the real world of the law can be effectively incorporated into a first-year legal research and writing classroom.

Want to know something amazing about this panel?  One of the speakers is Julie Spanbauer (who many of you also know as last year's chair of the Legal Writing Institute Awards Committee, which organized the Golden Pen Award at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools).  She will be flying back from China to make this presentation.  That's how important LWI is, and how much we value this every-other-year opportunity.


Payne_sue Sue Payne (Clinical Assistant Professor in the Communication and Legal Reasoning Program at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago) will discuss how to Teach Basic Contract Drafting to First Year Law Students in Four Hours or Less.  Now her presentation won't be four hours, but in the time she does have she'll demonstrate how to introduce basic contract drafting concepts to student teams through interactive lectures and simulated interviews with clients and opposing counsel, guide teams through the process of drafting a basic contract, and conduct a spirited, in-class critique of student drafts.

Cobb_thomas And I'm not sure if this presentation is part of R3D or whether it is its own presentation in R3E (which for some reason is missing its description on my copy of the printed schedule).  In any event, we know that Thomas D. Cobb (pictured here on the left), Sarah Farley Kaltsounis, and Theodore Myrhe (pictured here on the right) are each lecturers at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, and that they are co-presenters on Re-imagining Collaborative Learning: New Techniques and Possibilities.  Myhre_theodore (What a nice topic to collaborate Kaltsounis_sarah on as presenters!)  They will discuss how web-based social networking and collaborative drafting software have opened up new possibilities for collaborative learning in law school classes.  This interactive panel/workshop will survey new collaborative technologies, discussion how they have been used, and invite audience members to collaborate on further innovative applications. 



Soonpaa_nancy And finally for this session, Nancy Soonpaa (Director of the Legal Practice Program and Professor at Texas Tech, and one of the editors of this legal writing prof blog), will discuss the topic of Creating an Effective Syllabus.  Nancy's thought is that drafting an effective syllabus is part of designing an effective course.  A syllabus establishes expectations and defines relationships in the learning environment.  Its presentation, tone, and content require thoughtful attention as part of course development.

Wigal_grace She'll be followed by Grace J. Wigal (Lecturer and Director of Legal Research, Writing, and Appellate Advocacy at West Virginia University College of Law in Morgantown, West Virginia).  Her topic is Teaching Professionalism and Efficient Document Production With an Exercise in Timekeeping.  She'll explain an exercise that she conducted at WVU to teach students valuable lessons on how they spend billable time while teaching them valuable ethics lessons about professionalism, billing ethics, and their own research and writing skills.

For descriptions ofthe opening plenary on Tuesday morning, July 15, click here.

Appeal_4 For information about the law professors who will be visiting from Africa, click here.

For descriptions of session 2 on Tuesday, click here.

For information on the Tuesday Diversity Lunch, click here.

For information on the Tuesday Pink Ink Lunch, click here.

For information on the Tuesday Moot Court Roundtable, click here.

For descriptions of session 3 on Tuesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 4 on Tuesday, click here.

For information on the Tuesday evening dinners for new legal writing professors, click here.

Popcorn_1 For descriptions of the not-to-be missed (because that's when I'm presenting) Tuesday evening Popcorn sessions, click here.

For descriptions of session 1 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 2 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 3 on Wednesday, click here.

For information about the Wednesday afternoon LWI Membership meeting, click here.

For descriptions of session 4 on Wednesday, click here.

For descriptions of session 5 on Wednesday, click here.

For information on the Wednesday evening museum gala, click here.

For descriptions of session 1 on Thursday, click here.

For descriptions of session 2 on Thursday, click here.

For even more information about the conference--including other activities, committee member names, a printable program, and registration information (in case you still are deciding whether to come to Indianapolis), click here

Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School - Chicago

P.S. For information on the 25th Anniversary of the Legal Writing Institute, click here.



June 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LRW news from Case

Starting with the next academic year, the legal writing professors at Case Western Reserve University School of Law will be able to vote on almost everything that comes up at faculty meetings, with the exception of tenure and promotion decisions.  Previously, the legal writing professors at Case couldn't vote at faculty meetings at all, so this is a big step forward!

Friedman_sm Also, Professor Peter Friedman, who has been teaching at Case for a dozen years, will be visiting away at Detroit-Mercy College of Law next year.  There all the legal writing professors get to vote on everything.

(I keep a chart of who gets to vote at law school faculty meetings at each school in the United States, among legal writing, clinic, and law library professors.  It is updated periodically at the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) website.  If you ever need the very most up-to-date version, just e-mail me at

hat tip:  Professor Peter Friedman


June 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)