Wednesday, April 27, 2016

University of Akron School of Law Seeks a Visiting Legal Writing Professor


THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON SCHOOL OF LAW invites applications for one or more Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Writing positions in its J.D. program, beginning in the fall of 2016. The visiting professor will teach two sections (totaling approximately 36-45 students) of Legal Analysis, Research & Writing I & II. (This is a 3-credit course in the fall semester, and a 2-credit course in the spring semester.) A candidate hired as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Writing will be given a one-year contract. We plan on conducting searches for one or two long-term Legal Writing faculty positions later this year with a start date of fall 2017.

Candidates should have strong academic records (including a J.D. or its equivalent) and experience in law practice. They should be able to show a strong interest and competency in teaching legal research and writing. Teaching experience is preferred.

The University of Akron School of Law is a public, mid-size law school of approximately 450 students located in the Akron/Cleveland metropolitan area. Akron Law prides itself on outcomes including our high bar passage rate (first in Ohio for the Feb. 2015 exam), award-winning clinical programs, national championship trial team program and various areas of excellence.

Akron Law is committed to achieving a diverse faculty and staff by including individuals from varied backgrounds and characteristics, including age, gender, religion, ethnicity, disability, national origin, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background. We are also committed to offering competitive salary and benefits packages to qualified candidates.

Applicants must complete an on-line application and submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a writing sample, the names of three references, and teaching evaluations (if available) through the University website (see below) Job # 9540. For additional information, please feel free to direct any inquiries to Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Bill Jordan, at Review of applications will begin immediately. Go to "My Activities" link and upload the required documents under the “my Cover Letters and Attachments” section. Applicants should fully describe their qualifications and experience with reference to the minimum and preferred qualifications. This is the information on which the initial review of materials will be based. For assistance with your application or attachments please call 330-972-8431.

The University of Akron is an equal education and employment institution. It is the policy of this institution that there shall be no unlawful discrimination against any individual in employment or in its programs or activities at The University of Akron because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, genetic information or status as a veteran. The University is also committed to the principles of affirmative action and acts in accordance with state and federal laws.

April 27, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Save the Date: The Fifth “Colonial Frontier” Legal Writing Conference -- Drafting Statutes and Rules: Pedagogy, Practice, and Politics

The Fifth “Colonial Frontier” Legal Writing Conference
Saturday, December 3, 2016 
Hosted by: Duquesne University School of Law
THEME: Drafting Statutes and Rules: Pedagogy, Practice, and Politics
The least common, but perhaps one of the most important, advanced writing subjects addressed in law schools is the drafting of statutes, ordinances, regulations, and rules (for public laws or governance of non-governmental entities).  The current state of law school instruction focuses almost exclusively on the repercussions of poorly written statutes or rules, on the courts’ efforts at application and interpretation of statutory language, and on scholarly criticism of statutes.  Furthermore, required first-year legal writing courses traditionally address predictive and persuasive writing, and upper-level elective legal writing courses typically focus on litigation or transactional drafting.  Thus, in addition to the instruction already provided, law schools should also teach students how to better draft statutes and similar documents to avoid confusion, ambiguities, disagreements, and litigation.  This conference will offer attendees an opportunity to hear from academicians who teach the art of statutory drafting, practitioners who craft statutes and similar rules, and other scholars who study all forms of legislation.
In the morning plenary session Professor Richard Neumann of Hofstra Univ. and Professor J. Lyn Entrikin of the Univ. of Arkansas Little-Rock will speak about the importance of teaching statutory and rule drafting in law school.  In the afternoon plenary session former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett (R) and Pennsylvania Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D) will answer questions about the state legislative process and politics.
The organizers invite presentation proposals from educators and practitioners.   The Duquesne Law Review, which has published papers from three previous Colonial Frontier conferences, plans to devote space in its Summer 2017 symposium issue to papers from the conference.  

Possible topics about pedagogy include:
• Structuring statutory drafting courses
• Simulation courses designed using mock legislatures or committees
• Course linkages with real-world legislators and special interest organizations
• Service learning or clinical opportunities for law students 
• Courses focused on law reform efforts
• How to employ Plain-English principles in statutory and rule drafting
• Theoretical perspectives on statutory drafting
• Involving political realities in law school drafting courses
• Teaching practical aspects of drafting that addresses theories and principles of statutory interpretation and construction
Possible topics about practice include:
• Unique challenges of drafting laws and/or regulations in specific areas such as criminal law, environmental law, health law, etc.  
• Lawyering for nonprofits, federal and state agencies, local governments, and other clients in frequent need of rule-drafting
• Practicing in employment law, health law, environmental law, and other heavily regulated fields where private clients require rule and policy drafting
• Non-legal drafting opportunities, such as sports league rules, industry trade group policies, and university rules
Possible topics about politics include:
• Political influences affecting legislative drafting
• Direct democracy and the unique challenges of drafting initiatives and referenda
• The implications of special interests driving drafting decisions 
• Politics and its influence on legislative history
• Lobbyists as legislative drafters
We welcome proposals for 30-minute and 50-minute presentations on these topics, by individuals or panels.   Proposals for presentations should be sent as an e-mail file attachment in MS Word to Professor Jan Levine at by June 1, 2016.  He will confirm receipt of all submissions.  Proposals for presentations should be 1000 to 2000 words long, and should denote the topic to be addressed, the amount of time sought for the presentation, any special technological needs for the session, the presenter’s background and institutional affiliation, and contact information.  Proposals should note whether the presenter intends to submit an article to the Duquesne Law Review, based on the presentation.  Proposals by co-presenters are welcome.  Proposals will be reviewed by Professors Julia Glencer, Jan Levine, Ann Schiavone, and Tara Willke of the Duquesne University School of Law, and by the editorial staff of the Duquesne Law Review.  
Decisions on proposals will be announced by June 15, 2016.  Full drafts of related articles will be due by September 9, 2016; within a month of that date the Duquesne Law Review will determine which of those articles it wishes to publish.  Final versions of articles will be due by January 13, 2017.  

Attendance at the one-day conference, on Saturday, December 3, 2016, will be free for presenters and $50 for non-presenters with an academic affiliation; other attendees will be charged $250. Continuing legal education credit of approximately four hours will be offered, depending upon the sessions included in the final agenda. Duquesne will provide free on-site parking to conference attendees.  The conference will begin 9:00 a.m. with a welcoming breakfast and reception at the Duquesne University School of Law, followed by two hours of presentations.  We will provide a catered, on-campus lunch, followed by 90 additional minutes of presentations, ending at approximately 3:00 p.m.  We will then host a closing reception in the “Bridget and Alfred Pelaez Legal Writing Center,” the home of Duquesne’s LRW program.   
Pittsburgh is an easy drive or short flight from many cities.  To accommodate persons wishing to stay over in Pittsburgh on Friday or Saturday evenings, Duquesne will arrange for a block of discounted rooms at a downtown hotel adjacent to campus, within walking distance of the law school and downtown Pittsburgh.  They will also provide attendees with information about the Pittsburgh area’s attractions, including our architectural treasures, museums, shopping, and sporting events.
Hat tip to Jan Levine.


April 27, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Julia Glencer Wins Excellence in Teaching Award at Duquesne

Julia Glencer DuquesneProfessor Julia Glencer of Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh has won her law school's Student Bar Association Excellence in Teaching award.  

Professor Glencer, a native of Pittsburgh, holds a B.A. in English from Carlow College (with a concentration in literature & philosophy) and a J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law. She spent six years as a judicial law clerk, serving the Honorable Joseph F. Weis, Jr. and the Honorable D. Michael Fisher, both on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and more recently, a judge on the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. Professor Glencer also practiced law for five years with the national law firm of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP, where she concentrated in appellate litigation and governmental affairs.

The teaching award recognizes "a professor who has made outstanding contributions in teaching."  "Candidates must demonstrate the ability to engage students actively in the learning process through teaching that is intellectually rigorous and innovative. Other criteria include:  knowledge about the subject matter, well-organized lectures, assignments and course work load; enthusiasm regarding teaching and learning, interest in the students, sensitivity to the learning environment, and innovation of instruction." Congratulations, Julia!

Hat tip to Jan Levine


April 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ross Guberman to Receive the 2016 Golden Pen Award from the Legal Writing Institute

Ross Guberman The Legal Writing Institute (LWI) announced that Ross Guberman is the recipient of the 2016 Golden Pen Award. The author of three books, Point Made, Deal Struck, and Point Taken, Guberman is known around the world as an expert and advocate for better legal writing.  The award will be presented during the 2016 Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute, July 10-13, 2016, in Portland, Oregon. 

LWI LogoThe LWI Awards Committee recommended Guberman for the 2016 Golden Pen to recognize his significant contribution to advancing the cause of legal writing.  In addition to his books, he gives legal writing seminars around the world.  Guberman’s nominator noted that his “work is . . . targeted at improving the writing of everyday lawyers. Ross’s techniques aren’t esoteric; they’re easy to understand, they can be implemented quickly and easily, and they greatly improve the quality of writing.”  The members of the LWI Awards Committee have used his books in their teaching, and know many other legal writing teachers who have done the same.  The LWI Board unanimously approved this recommendation.

The Golden Pen Award honors those who make significant contributions to advance the cause of better legal writing.  These contributions may take any form, such as promoting the use of clear language in public documents, improving the quality of legal writing instruction, advocating for better writing within the legal community, outstanding scholarship or journalism about legal writing or legal topics, or exceptional writing in law practice.  The award is normally given to someone who is not an active member of LWI, but active members are considered in exceptional circumstances.

In the ABA’s Appellate Issues on-line magazine, Wendy McGuire Coats wrote that in Point Made, “Guberman has assembled example after example of creative, clever, clear, common-sense legal writing.  He’s compiled in one book the great writing that will cause a legal writer to sigh, ‘I wish I'd written that.’  But he did not stop there.  Guberman has written a useable handbook that will aid the writer in crafting similar envy worthy moments of argument . . . Guberman’s techniques provide immediate ways to improve, tighten, and enliven the language and persuasive force of your prose.”

Guberman is a Professorial Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University Law School, where he teaches a seminar on drafting and writing strategy.  He also provides seminars throughout the United States and internationally.

Previous recipients of the Golden Pen award are Arthur Levitt, Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Don LeDuc, Dean of the Thomas Cooley Law School; Linda Greenhouse, Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times; the late Honorable Robert E. Keeton of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts; Richard Wydick, Professor at the University of California at Davis School of Law; the Honorable Ronald M. George, the Honorable Carol A. Corrigan, and the Honorable James D. Ward, Justices of the Supreme Court of California and the California Court of Appeal; the Honorable Ruggero J. Aldisert of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; the National Association of Attorneys General; William C. Burton, Esq.; George Gopen, Professor of the Practice of Rhetoric in the English Department at Duke University; Jeffrey Rosen, Professor of Law at The George Washington University and President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center; Ken Adams, author; and Judge Michael A. Ponsor of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

The LWI Awards Committee in identifying nominees includes Chair Susan Bay and members Anne Enquist, Myra Orlen, and Kathy Vinson. Hat tips to LWI President Linda Berger and LWI President-Elect Kim D. Chanbonpin.


April 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Congratulations to Kent Streseman

Kent Streseman, the Director of Appellate Advocacy at Chicago-Kent College of Law, was chosen as Professor of the Year by the Student Bar Association at Chicago-Kent. This marks the fourth time the SBA has selected him for that award. Congratulations!

Hat tip to Professor Elizabeth De Armond


April 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Professor Lou Sirico is the 2016 Recipient of the Burton Award for Contribution to Legal Writing Education

Louis JProfessor Louis J. Sirico, Jr. of Villanova University School of Law is this year’s recipient of the Burton Award for Contribution to Legal Writing Education. He will receive his award at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. on May 23, 2016.

His nomination letter described him as a “giant in the legal writing community.” His books include Persuasive Legal Writing (4th ed. 2015) (with Nancy Schultz), Legal Writing and Other Lawyering Skills (6th ed. 2014) (with Nancy Schultz), and Judging: A Book for Student Clerks (2003). He was the Technical Editor for Roy Stuckey’s Best Practices for Legal Education (2007), he sits on the Academic Advisory Panel for Black’s Law Dictionary, and he has written many articles both inside and outside our field. For decades, he has supported the scholarship of other members of our community—both as a generous mentor and in the more formal role of serving on the editorial boards of Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing and Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute. For seven years, he served on the Board of Directors of the Legal Writing Institute; he was a member of the Executive Committee from 2000 to 2002. He chaired the AALS Section on Teaching Methods and the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. He served on numerous committees, penned many editorials, advised the Plain English Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar, and offered limitless wisdom to our community at conferences and through the LWI listserv. In recognition of Lou’s career-long, outstanding service to the legal writing community, LWI and ALWD awarded him the Thomas Blackwell Award in 2007.

Hat tip to Noah A. Messing



April 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Northwestern Law Profs Read Mean Course Evaluations

Anonymous course evaluations can be cruel. Some professors at Northwestern, following a model established by the Jimmy Kimmel show, read some of the "mean" course evaluations. Enjoy!


Hat tip to Sue Liemer.


April 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Winners of the Legal Writing Institute Board Election

Five individuals have won election as Directors-at-Large on the 2016-20 Board of Directors of the Legal Writing Institute.  The new Directors will take office during the 2016 LWI Biennial Conference in Portland, Oregon in July.
  • Robert D. Brain, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
  • Iselin Gambert, The George Washington University Law School  
  • Samantha A. Moppett, Suffolk University Law School  
  • Jason Palmer, Stetson University College of Law  
  • Judith A. Rosenbaum, Northwestern Pritzger School of Law  

April 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Above The Law Music Video Finalists

Above the Law announced six finalists in its annual Law Revue Video Contest. Paul Caron of the Tax Law Prof Blog picked "Give Me My Grades Today" as his favorite (from the University of Texas). Here's the link where you can view the six finalists and vote for your favorite.

And if those aren't enough, you can click here for videos that didn't make it into the finals.


April 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

SALT Teaching Conference at The John Marshall Law School

SALTThe Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) will hold its 2016 Teaching Conference in Chicago at The John Marshall Law School. The conference, "From the Community to the Classroom: Teaching and Advancing Social Justice," will be held on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1, 2016.

Proposals for the SALT Teaching Conference are due by June 15, 2016. Click here for more information.

Additionally, the 10th Annual Junior Faculty Development Workshop organized by LatCrit, Inc. and SALT will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2016. The Faculty Development Workshop is intended to familiarize junior faculty with Lat Crit and SALT and to support faculty in their scholarship, teaching, and service.


April 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Global Legal Skills Conference in Verona, Italy

Verona Bridge David Austin PhotoThe 11th Global Legal Skills Conference will be held in Verona, Italy from May 24 to May 26, with an optional day trip to Padua (Padova) on May 2th. The conference schedule (including panels, speakers, and additional information) is available by clicking here. 

Registration is still open and available for the GLS-11 conference.


Photo by David Austin

April 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Save the Date: Central States Law Schools Scholarship Conference in September

The Central States Law Schools Association Scholarship Conference will be held on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24, 2016 at the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks, North Dakota. CSLSA is an organization of law schools dedicated to providing a forum for conversation and collaboration among law school academics. The CSLSA Annual Conference is an opportunity for legal scholars, especially more junior scholars, to present working papers or finished articles on any law-related topic in a relaxed and supportive setting where junior and senior scholars from various disciplines are available to comment. More mature scholars have an opportunity to test new ideas in a less formal setting than is generally available for their work. Scholars from member and nonmember schools are invited to attend. 

Registration will open in July. Hotel rooms are already available, and more information about the CSLSA conference can be found on the conference website at
Hat tip to Christopher Odinet.

April 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Memorial Service for Molly Lien, Former Director of the Legal Writing Programs at Chicago-Kent and John Marshall

Molly LienMolly Lien, the former Director of the Legal Writing Programs at Chicago-Kent College of Law (1993-2001) and The John Marshall Law School (2004-2008), died last September 11, 2015 at the very young age of 67. She had been recognized as a leader in legal writing in the United States and also for her work in Russia and Singapore. A memorial service is being held today at the Chicago Bar Association in Chicago to honor her memory.

When Molly retired from The John Marshall Law School in 2008, she shared this message with the Legal Writing Professors' Listserve:

In the end, we all strive to do the greatest good. Sometimes pursuing the good means leaving dear friends to focus on other areas of life, including family, friends, community, and causes.

Please know that I am grateful beyond words for the support of the many, many wonderful colleagues in this organization. You are the absolute best, and I will treasure these friendships forever. God bless you all, and I hope to give many hugs [at the Legal Writing Institute Conference] in Indianapolis.

At that conference in 2008, Molly Lien and Professor Ralph Brill of Chicago-Kent College of Law received the Terry LeClercq Courage Award from the Legal Writing Institute.

Molly was a tremendous teacher, mentor, and friend. Her kindness and friendship live on in our memories.

Click here to read more about Molly Lien.

Mark E. Wojcik

April 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Scribes Legal Writing CLE in Chicago on Friday, April 15th at The John Marshall Law School

Scribes LogoScribes--The American Society of Legal Writers--will present a CLE program this Friday, April 15, 2016, at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. The CLE program will be followed by a presentation of the Scribes Book Award to Wil Haygood, author of Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America. That presentation will then be followed by a conversation led by Bryan Garner (editor of Black's Law Dictionary) and Judges Frank Easterbrook and Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Judges Easterbrook and Posner will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from Scribes.

Here is the program for Friday:

Scribes – The American Society of Legal Writers

2016 CLE Program

“Legal Writing: From Basics to Application”

The John Marshall Law School -- Goldberg Courtroom, 4th Floor -- Chicago, IL 60604

Friday, April 15, 2016

1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

1:00 p.m.                    Registration

1:15 p.m.                    Welcome – Prof. Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School, Vice President of Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers

1:20 p.m.                    Welcome – The Honorable Michael B. Hyman, Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court (First District), President of Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers

1:30-2:25 p.m.           Ethics and Writing Panel

  • The Honorable Thomas Donnelly, Associate Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County (Moderator)
  • Kevin L. Hopkins, The John Marshall Law School
  • Chief Justice Kem Thompson Frost, Texas Court of Appeals (Houston)
  • Dennis Rendleman, Lead Senior Counsel for Ethics, American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility

2:30-3:25 p.m.           Storytelling for Lawyers Panel

  • Darby Dickerson, Dean and W. Frank Newton Endowed Professor of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law (Moderator)
  • Jill Patterson, Texas Tech University Department of English and Case Storyteller for the Texas Regional Public Defender’s Office for Capital Cases
  • Lisa McElroy, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law—Philadelphia

3:30-4:25 p.m.           Opinion Writing Panel

  • The Honorable Kevin G. Ross, Minnesota Court of Appeals (St. Paul) (Moderator)
  • The Honorable Mary Jane Theis, Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court
  • The Honorable David Ellis, Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court (First District), award-winning author of multiple fiction novels, and member of the Mystery Writers of America
  • The Honorable A. Benjamin Goldgar, Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois

4:30-5:15 p.m.           Basic Writing Tips

  • Mark Cooney, Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Editor-in-Chief, The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing
  • Kim Chanbonpin, Director of Lawyering Skills, The John Marshall Law School, and President-Elect, Legal Writing Institute

5:15 p.m.                    Reception

5:30 p.m.                    Presentation of the Scribes Book Award to Wil Haygood, author of Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America (Alfred A. Knopf 2015).

5:45 p.m.                    Vote on Scribes Constitution and Bylaws

6:00 p.m.                    Presentation of Lifetime Achievement Awards and Q&A

  • Bryan Garner (Presenter), Founder and President of LawProse, Inc., Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, author of more than two dozen books on legal writing, and editor of Black’s Law Dictionary
  • The Honorable Frank H. Easterbrook, Judge and former Chief Judge (2006-2013), U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • The Honorable Richard A. Posner, Judge and former Chief Judge (1993-2000), U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Late registration is still available. The seminar is free for members of Scribes and its institutional members. Visit for more information.



April 12, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)