Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New study highlights importance of writing and research skills

Computer-research vendor Lexis-Nexis recently conducted a study of 300 hiring partners and supervising attorneys to determine what they seek in newly-hired lawyers. Among the study’s findings are that 66% of the respondents want new lawyers to have good writing skills--especially the ability to draft motions, briefs, and pleadings. The study also found that newer attorneys spend 40% – 60% of their time conducting legal research. These findings, along with the study’s other conclusions, highlight the importance of topics covered in legal research and writing courses.


May 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Scholars' Forum at The John Marshall Law School

Wilson AbramsonThe GLS-10 Scholars' Forum is continuing with presentations on secrets of foreign and international law research. Presenters pictured here are Clare Gaynor WIllis (Chicago-Kent College of Law) and Anne Abramson (The John Marshall Law School-Chicago).  The program includes useful international and foreign law legal research resources, including many legal research secrets.

The Scholars' Forum is being held in advance of the 10th Global Legal Skills Conference, being held in Chicago at The John Marshall Law School and Northwestern University School of Law. The Facultad Libre del Derecho de Monterrey is an additional co-sponsor of the GLS conference. The Scholars' Forum being held in advance of the GLS Conference is sponsored by the Association of Legal Writing Directors.


May 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

GLS Scholars' Forum Underway at The John Marshall Law School

Wilson BelfastPaulina E. Wilson of Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland is among the presenters speaking today at the GLS-10 Scholars Forum, in advance of the Global Legal Skills Conference.  Her presentation is on the subject of “Comparative Legal Skills in the Context of Criminal Justice: A Call for Interdisciplinarity." Her presentation explores differences in how criminal statutes are construed in different countries, including close readings of statutory examples from the Criminal Codes of Spain, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.

The Scholarship Forum is sponsored by the Association of Legal Writing Directors and is being held at The John Marshall Law School in advance of the 10th Global Legal Skills Conference being held this week at John Marshall and Northwestern University.


May 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Law Student Essay Competition on Public Interest Law

The University of Pennsylvania Law Review announced a competition for student-authored submissions for its first annual public-interest essay competition.  The author of the first-prize paper will receive $3,000, and the winning article will be published in volume 164 of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. Here's what you need to know about it.


Submissions must focus on a specific legal issue within the public interest. This encompasses any issues relating to social justice or advancing the general welfare and good of the public. Topic selection will be one of the criteria judged.

Essays must be submitted in PDF format and include footnote citations. Submissions must be no longer than 9,000 words, including all footnotes, and be named "PIEC.pdf". All submissions will be considered anonymously. Students must ensure that their essays do not contain any identifying information. Any essays that include identifying information, such as name, class year, or institutional affiliation, will be disqualified.

The competition is open to all current law students (Classes of 2015, 2016, and 2017) from any ABA accredited American law school. Submissions are limited to one per person and must be an original, unpublished academic essay.


The University of Pennsylvania Law Review is accepting submissions for its first annual Public Interest Essay Competition. The deadline for submissions is Monday, June 22, 2015, at 5pm EDT, via the online submission portal.

All submissions will be considered anonymously by a selection committee from Volume 164 of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. The best submissions will demonstrate originality and superior literary effort that advances and serves the interests and understanding of a specific topic within the broad arena of public interest and the law. The winning essay will be announced in the fall of 2015, receive $3,000, and be published in print in Volume 164 of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

These guidelines and the link to the online submission portal are accessible through the Public Interest tab on the website of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

Hat tip to Eleanor Barrett, Associate Dean for Legal Practice Skills, University of Pennsylvania Law School


May 17, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Job Posting: Associate Director for Distance Education Programs at Texas A&M University School of Law

Texas A&M University School of Law is seeking to employ an Associate Director for Distance Education Programs. Seven years of progressively responsible management experience, including three years with Course Management Systems (e.g. Blackboard/Webcourses), webinar systems (e.g. FUZE, WebX, GoToMeeting) and multi-media production (e.g. Echo 360) in an online teaching environment.

Preferred post-graduate degree in law, such as J.D., L.L.M. or equivalent Masters degree in subject matter, such as risk management or wealth management.  Licensed attorney.

Here's the link to the job description.

Hat tip to William Byrnes


May 13, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Two Spaces After a Period?

Grammar Girl takes on this issue. It took me a while to get used to using only one space, but I got there.


May 12, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Better than Books?

As someone who has publicly stated it is time to "Say Goodbye to the Books," I was pleased to see Lawyerist's suggestions for "Better Things than Law Books to Take Your Picture in Front Of."


May 11, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Legal writing professor's students write about homelessness

A project overseen by Seattle legal writing professor Sara Rankin has been causing a lot of Rankinsbuzz in Seattle. The Human Rights Advocacy Project revealed that "It’s often difficult or impossible for homeless people not to break . . .  laws" against activities like sleeping in public. Rankin's students became engaged with the topic by writing about it.


May 8, 2015 in Games | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Recent scholarship about the Supreme Court

A recent article in the New York Times notes an increase in quantitative analysis of U.S. Supreme RobertsCourt opinions. It cites forthcoming scholarship by Daniel Rockmore, Keith Carlson, and  Michael Livermore as showing that the Court's current opinions are “sprawling, accessible and testy.” Illustrating the latter two traits, the article quotes a pointed response by Chief Justice John Roberts  in Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar, a recent judicial ethics opinion. Dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia argued that the judicial canon against judges’ campaigning has “nothing to do with the appearances created by judges’ asking for money.” Writing for the majority, Roberts’ rejoinder was one word: “Nothing?”

Hat tip: Terrill Pollman


May 6, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Creating credibility by writing well

"[G]ood briefs demand little physical or mental effort from the reader."  So writes Bryan Garner in his latest ABA Journal column. Garner also cites Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman about the "halo effect"--the idea that a good first impression creates credibility, while even small errors can make a reader think poorly of the writer. And Garner reminds brief writers that "less is more," a point supported by Kahneman's science.


May 5, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

ALWD Summer Conference Schedule

The Association of Legal Writing Directors Conference Program Committee has released the full program for the 2015 Biennial Conference in Memphis, from June 3-5, 2015.  Click here to have a look.  The program includes information about the conference presentations, travel information, and a baseball game. There, you want to go look at that program now, don't you?
Hat tips to the ALWD Program Sub-Committee and its members Megan McAlpin, Brooke Bowman, Kirsten Dauphanias, Erin Donelan, Jason Palmer, and Nancy Soonpa.

May 3, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Registration Still Open for the Carolinas Legal Research and Writing Colloquium

Registration remains open for the 2015 Carolinas Legal Research and Writing Colloquium, which will take place on May 15, 2015, in Durham, North Carolina, at Duke. Click here to learn more about the Colloquium and to register. The website includes an agenda, information about parking, and information on local hotels.  The Colloquium is free to attend but you must register by May 8th to allow the organizers to plan for food and other refreshments.

Hat tip to Jeremy Mullem


May 3, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Anne Enquist Stepping Down as Director at Seattle

Anne M. Enquist of Seattle University School of Law announced that she will be stepping down as Director of Seattle’s Legal Writing Program at the end of this school year. She wants us to know that she's not retiring, but just stepping down as Program Director. Mary Bowman (who has been the Associate Director at Seattle for the past three years) will move into the Director position. 


May 3, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)