Thursday, November 19, 2009

recent scholarship

Thanks to LWI's cooperation with LSN, a division of SSRN, we have these reports on recent legal writing related scholarship, with each author's abstract:

"Thorough Academic Legal Research Will Improve Your Papers" 
Student Lawyer, Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 8-9, October 2009
SHAWN G. NEVERS, Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School
When writing their first academic papers for law school, law students will quickly discover that academic legal research is a bit different than the legal research needed for a motion or a brief. Written for Student Lawyer Magazine, this column discusses some of the helpful tools and techniques used in academic legal research. Topics discussed include the use of law librarians, finding a topic, the literature review, interdisciplinary research, and fifty-state surveys.

"How to Critique & Grade Contract Drafting Assignments" 
The Tennessee Journal of Business Law, Vol. 297, 2009
ROBIN BOYLE, St. John's University School of Law
This article represents the transcribed proceedings of Professor Robin Boyle’s speech given in May 2008, for the Center for Transactional Law and Practice at Emory University School of Law, at a conference entitled “Teaching Drafting and Transactional Skills - the Basics and Beyond.” Prof. Boyle’s presentation at the conference described course content for her upper-level seminar on contract drafting. She also suggests ways to critique students’ contracts submitted for coursework.

"Strategies to Increase the Availability of Skills Education in China" 
Pacific McGeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal, Vol. 22, p. 45, 2009
BRIAN K. LANDSBERG, University of the Pacific (UOP) - McGeorge School of Law
For those who wish to promote experiential legal education, strategies for doing so can be roughly divided into internal and external strategies: those within the academy and those in the broader world. Examination of these strategies reveals that Chinese legal educators have the opportunity to learn from both the successes and the mistakes in other countries and to adapt experiential education to the Chinese system. Change may come incrementally, but we must be aware that a watered down version of experiential education would ultimately be counter-productive.

"The Citation of Blogs in Judicial Opinions"
LEE F. PEOPLES, Oklahoma City University School of Law
This article reports the results of an exhaustive study examining the citation of blogs in judicial opinions. The article begins with an exploration of opinions citing blogs for their discussion of substantive legal issues. The unique status enjoyed by several boutique blogs is examined including the importance of Douglas Berman’s Sentencing Law and Policy blog in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Blakely and Booker decisions. The citation of blogs for factual information is discussed and the impact of these citations on litigants’ constitutional and procedural rights, the law of evidence, judicial ethics, and the judicial role in the common law adversarial system are explored.

Serious questions about the preservation of blogs cited in judicial opinions have yet to be answered. The way that blogs are cited in judicial opinions varies widely. Some judges do not provide enough information to accurately retrieve the blog post viewed by the court. Blog entries frequently change after they are posted. Some blog entries and entire blogs disappear without warning. There is currently no uniform approach to archiving or preserving blogs. Detailed statistics on the completeness and accuracy of citations to blogs in judicial opinions are provided. A set of best practices detailing when and how blogs should be cited is proposed. The Judicial Conference’s recently released Guidelines on Citing To, Capturing, and Maintaining Internet Resources in Judicial Opinions are discussed and critiqued. Solutions explored at the Future of Today’s Legal Scholarship Symposium held at the Georgetown Law Center in July of 2009 are evaluated. The article concludes with a discussion of the impact of blogs on the future of the law.


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