Saturday, June 5, 2010

legal writing promotions at SLU

Rollinsc Johnsot The good news from St. Louis University:  LRW Director Chris Rollins and colleague Twinette Johnson have been promoted to Associate Professors of Legal Writing.  They were promoted under guidelines instituted about two years ago, and they are the first to be promoted under them.  Congratulations to you both!
hat tip:  S. Paige Canfield

June 5, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Congratulations to Pam Lysaght

Lysaght, Pam Lysaght, Pam - Book Pam Lysaght has been appointed as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Pam is one of the long-time stars in legal writing will be an outstanding dean.  She is the director of UDM’s Applied Legal Theory and Analysis (ALTA) Program, which she created with Professors Byron Cooper and Leon Lysaght. 

Pam is a past president of the Association of Legal Writing Directors.  Her publications include Michigan Legal Research, which is one of the state-specific legal research guides published by Carolina Academic Press.  She's also the author of Successful Legal Analysis and Writing:  The Fundamentals – Thomson-West (with Bradley G. Clary), CiteStation, an interactive and contextual approach to learning citation (available through Westlaw) (with Bradley G. Clary, Danielle Istl, and Sharon Reich), and one of the contributing authors to the second edition of the The ABA Sourcebook on Legal Writing Programs.

Hat tip to Brad Clary


June 4, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Stephenson tenured at Southern

Gstephenson1 Congratulations to Gail Stephenson on her recent promotion to Associate Professor of Law and her award of tenure at Southern University Law Center!  Gail joined Southern in 2004 as its first legal writing director and helped the law school revise its faculty policy to allow long-term (presumptively renewable five-year) contracts for legal writing faculty.  Well done Gail!


hat tip:  Linda Fowler



June 3, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

job opening in Hong Kong

Images The University of Hong Kong is still looking for a Director of Legal Writing.  The job will start as soon as possible, on a three-year fixed-term basis, with the possibility of renewal.


Applications are particularly sought either from persons having previous experience in teaching legal skills in a common law jurisdiction or from experienced legal practitioners who already have some teaching experience and are seeking a change in career direction. The new Director will be responsible for the administration and development of the Legal Research and Writing courses offered to undergraduate law students. Information about the Department of Law is available at


More information and application forms are available at; by fax (2540 6735 or 2559 2058); e-mail (; in person or by writing to the Appointments Unit, Human Resource Section, Registry, Room 1001, Knowles Building, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong.


hat tip:  Karin Carter



June 3, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

ALWD teaching awards announced

The Association of Legal Writing Directors has announced the 2010 ALWD Teaching Grants.  The applicants and the names of the accepted projects are:

Public Interest Live-Client Research and Writing Clinic by Jason K. Cohen.

Legal Analysis, Research and Communication: Outcome Measures by Melissa Weresh.

Using Interdisciplinary Audiences to Improve Law and Nursing Students' Client-Communication Skills by Carol Wallinger.

hat tip: Chris Rollins & Kirsten Dauphinais (hardworking committee co-chairs)


June 2, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

She's a Jolly Good Fellow

Suzanne Rowe has been named a Dean's Distinguished Faculty Fellow at the University of Oregon School of Law. 

Rowe, Suzanne Suzanne Rowe is the director of Oregon Law's Legal Research and Writing Program and a 2008-2010 Luvaas Faculty Fellow. She is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Stone Scholar. Professor Rowe clerked for the Honorable Rudi M. Brewster in the Southern District of California and then practiced law as a tax associate in Washington, D.C., before joining the faculty at Oregon. She previously taught at the University of San Diego and Florida State University.

Professor Rowe is the author of five books on legal research, and she is the editor of the state legal research series published by Carolina Academic Press.  If you're not familiar with those book, click here -- you may find yourself picking a new text for the fall semester (or at the very least a recommended additional text!).

She has held leadership positions with the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research; the Association of Legal Writing Directors; and the Legal Writing Institute. She is currently on the LWI Board of Directors and she's thrilled that the conference is taking place this year in Florida. She is also the 2009-2011 chair of the Communication Skills Committee of the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which examines and promotes effective communication skills, prepares materials for dissemination to law schools and the practicing bar, and plans programs on current issues relating to communication skills.

She also writes a monthly column called The Legal Writer in the Oregon State Bar Bulletin.

Hat tip to Jane Kent Gionfriddo.  Congratulations Suzanne!


June 2, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Could legal writing be protective for the brain?

NPR reported today on some fascinating correlations found between the density of ideas in the writing of 20-something adults and the likelihood of having Alzheimers in old age.  Extrapolating wildly, perhaps teaching our legal writing students to write precisely and concisely at the same time could be doing their health some good.


June 1, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Marco Island . . . Live!

Marco Island Rowe 1

What's happening at Marco Island?

Click on this link for a live webcam view of Marco Island, where the Legal Writing Institute will be holding its summer conference this year

Don't take the surveys that pop up, and click on the "close" button to shut down those pesky pop-up ads, and enjoy a live view of Marco Island.


June 1, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Early Bird Registration for LWI Conference Expires Tuesday June 1

LWI 25 Early bird registration for the 14th Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute expires on Tuesday, June 1.  That's TODAY!!! 

At least 525 persons have already registered for the LWI Conference as of today.

Mika 4 After Tuesday, the registration fee goes up from $495 to $540. The LWI conference registration page can be found at:

The overflow hotel, the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort (just half a mile from the conference hotel) has extended its deadline to register at the conference rate of $149/night to Friday, June 4.  The Hilton requires advance payment for these rooms at that rate, and the reservations are non-cancelable.)

Information on booking rooms can be found at:

Hat tip to Ken Chestek


May 31, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Former Legal Writing Professor Arrested in Rwanda

Peter Erlinder, a professor at William Mitchell College of Law and a former Bigelow fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, was arrested in Rwanda on Friday in connection with his defense of a presidential opposition candidate.  Click here to read more on the International Law Prof Blog.


May 31, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LWI Conference Preview - Monday

The Legal Writing Institute Conference is the most important event for legal writing professors.  The number of sessions can be overwhelming (particularly for first time attendees) and you will usually find yourself wanting to be in more than one room at the same time. 

To help you plan your LWI experience, we will share with you the selections for each of the sessions.  Here are the choices for Session 2 on Monday, which follows the plenary session. 


Monday, June 27, 2010

Session 2:  11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Islands Ballroom,

Salons B&C

A is for Think-Alouds, B is for (Fill-in) the Blanks of Mindmap, and C is for Clickers.

Robin Boyle-Laisure, Michael Hunter Schwartz & Danton Berube  

We will begin our session with an interactive, clicker-based discussion of the student benefits of teaching to different learning styles.  We will then engage participants in other learning activities designed to meet a variety of learning styles, and we will conclude with a summary of a recent study involving the use of clickers in the classroom.

Format:  Lecture with Q&A

Objective:  Share teaching ideas, present research or scholarly work

Islands Ballroom, Salon F

A Conversation About What Cognitive Scientists and Composition Theorists Know That We Don’t about Using Examples to Improve Learning

Terrill Pollman 

Using sample documents and models like IRAC routinely generate controversy in the legal writing community.  After examining what some cognitive learning theorists and composition theorists have learned about exemplars and models, participants will have the chance to talk about these pedagogies and our teaching practices.

Format:  Lecture with Q&A, round table discussion

Objective:  Share teaching ideas, present research or scholarly work

Islands Ballroom, Salon G

New Teachers

Writing an Effective Syllabus Is a Thoughtful Pedagogical Act

Nancy Soonpaa   

Writing an effective syllabus helps to set up a successful course.  This presentation explores not only the nuts and bolts of an effective syllabus, but also the intended and unintended messages conveyed via both substantive choices regarding the course and the language used to present them.

Format:  Lecture with Q&A, pair and share

Objective:  Share teaching ideas

Islands Ballroom, Salons H&J

Assessment Planning in Legal Research and Writing Courses

Victoria VanZandt   

Assessment in legal education is becoming increasingly important as the American Bar Association considers requiring assessment of student learning outcomes in its accreditation standards.  This presentation will introduce the basics of assessment planning generally and will focus on the assessment of student learning outcomes in legal research and writing courses.

Format:  Lecture with Q&A

Objective:  Share teaching ideas, present research or scholarly work

Capri Ballroom, Salon 1

Branches and Roots: Exploring New Directions for Strengthening the Field of Legal Research and Writing Education

Judy Rosenbaum & Mary Barnard Ray   

This presentation will introduce the audience to trends and theories in writing instruction being used by our colleagues who teach composition in other areas of the curriculum in higher education.  It will engage the audience in a discussion of ways that these trends and theories can be incorporated into the LRW curriculum to enrich and energize our teaching and scholarship.

Format:  Lecture with Q&A, pair and share

Objective:  Share teaching ideas, present research or scholarly work, identify new directions for teaching and scholarship

Capri Ballroom, Salon 6

Social Justice and Legal Writing: Perspectives of Faculty, Students, and Partner Organizations on Collaborative Legal Writing

Mary Bowman, Janet Dickson & Deirdre Bowen   

At Seattle University School of Law, legal writing faculty collaborate with legal service organizations to develop writing problems for our students that address questions posed by the partner organizations, and we provide the best student work product to our partner organizations, who use that work product in a variety of ways, such as litigation or lobbying.  The projects, though not without challenges, have proven to be an energizing and valuable experience for students, faculty, and the organizations.  We will offer some practical advice about how to implement similar projects at other schools, based on our reflections, not only from the professors perspectives, but also from the perspectives of the students and the partner organizations.

Format:  Lecture with Q&A

Objective:  Share teaching ideas, discussion of student engagement

May 31, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

persuasive authority for your Memorial Day observance


    General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868
    1. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

      We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

      If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

      Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from hishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

    2. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
    3. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.

      By order of

      JOHN A. LOGAN,

      N.P. CHIPMAN,
      Adjutant General

      WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.

    4. (spl)

  • May 31, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Sunday, May 30, 2010

    Visiting Shark Valley after the LWI Conference

    DSC02819 DSC03026How much distance DO you need to give an alligator?  If you are planning some extra days after the Legal Writing Institute Conference, consider renting a bike and looking for alligators.  Yes, there's one in the small photo on the right side!  (You can click on the photo to the right to enlarge it if you are having trouble finding the alligator.)

    Since we first posted these photos last week, Christi Hayes, a professor at Florida International University College of Law, wrote in to identify these photos as being taken at Shark Valley, part of the Everglades National Park. There are no sharks there, but there are lots of gators. Anyone in reasonably good health can leisurely bike a 15 mile completely flat asphalt "trail" that loops around the park (Christi wrote that she is not not much of a cyclist but that she found this to be an easy ride, as do most kids). She prefers to do this ride at night under a full moon, although daytime is best for birdwatchers. Sometimes there are alligators everywhere on the sides of the trail (not usually on the trail as in the photo), but they always appear to be asleep and she has never heard of anyone being threatened or harmed by them at Shark Valley. (As with all wild animals, don't get too close.)  You can also tour Shark Valley by tram. You will need lots of sunscreen and to cover up. It will be quite hot here in June, and there is no shade on the trail.

    Christi also gave us this link to the website, where you can find information including driving directions.  It's about an hour and 20 minutes east of the LWI conference at Marco Island.

    Hat tip to Christi Hayes at FIU College of Law


    (Photos by David Austin)

    May 30, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)