Monday, July 25, 2016

Job Opening in San Diego

California Western School of Law (CWSL) invites applications for the position of Assistant Director of Academic Support.

Summary Description: Under the general direction of the Assistant Dean for Academic Achievement, the Assistant Director of Academic Support provides academic support to law students, particularly those at academic risk. The Assistant Director is primarily responsible for supervising the tutoring program, presenting skills workshops, and working with first-year students who are facing academic difficulty. The Assistant Director teaches the Academic Achievement Workshop for second-year students and assists alumni who are studying for the California bar exam.

About the School: California Western School of Law is a not-for-profit, independent law school located in downtown San Diego, with approximately 800 students. San Diego’s oldest law school, CWSL was accredited by the American Bar Association in 1962 and has been a member of the Association of American Law Schools since 1967. In addition to its strong JD and LLM programs, California Western offers dual and joint degrees with UC San Diego and San Diego State University and administers numerous clinical programs including the California Innocence Project, Community Law Project, and several programs focused on improving the rule of law in Latin America.

Qualifications: Juris Doctor Degree from an ABA-accredited law school; successful passage of California Bar exam; at least one year of law teaching experience in an academic support or bar preparation program required. Experience in course planning, classroom presentations, and one-on-one tutoring; experience in learning theories and effective pedagogy, including formative and summative assessment; and knowledge of California Civil Procedure preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Candidates must be self-starters, able to prioritize and complete multiple tasks of varying complexity and urgency in a timely and efficient manner. This individual will be joining a great Academic Achievement team that consistently collaborates and reinforces each other’s efforts in furtherance of a truly supportive learning community for our students. The individual must have a firm commitment to provide exemplary services in a demanding and challenging environment, while understanding processes and compliance requirements necessary to execute academic success programming. Demonstrating good judgement is key. The applicant must have a demonstrated ability to speak effectively to groups. The individual must have poise, tactfulness, diplomacy and professionalism when dealing with staff, faculty, students and outside constituents. The candidate must also demonstrate a passion for working with students – particularly those who struggle academically – and have a track record of developing robust relationships with students.

Salaries are commensurate with qualifications and experience. The institution offers competitive benefits, including 403(b) and flexible spending plans.

Interested individuals should provide a cover letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position, salary requirements, and resume to: Human Resources at by August 1, 2016. The search will continue until the position is filled.

Start Date: Ideally September 2016 to facilitate transition into the fall trimester and prior to the kick-off of student tutor programming.

The institution is an Equal Opportunity Employer dedicated to affirmative action and to excellence through diversity. The institution provides reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants with disabilities upon request.

h/t Leslie Culver


July 25, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 22, 2016

LWI Conference Guest Post: Two Minutes for Professional Status in Legal Writing

Please welcome a guest post from Stetson's Kirsten Davis, reflecting on last week's wonderful LWI Biennial Conference in Portland!


From Kirsten:

Two Minutes for Professional Status in Legal Writing

I had the great pleasure of speaking on what I’ll call a “pop-up panel” (a short panel at the end of longer conference session that featured other speakers on the same topic) at the Legal Writing Institute Biennial Conference last week in Portland, Oregon. Each panelist had two minutes to speak on the subject of professional status for legal writing faculty. My friend, Brian Larson of Georgia Tech, also on the pop-up, posted his two minutes here.

Here are my two minutes:

As professors who teach legal writing in law schools, our collective professional status depends on three choices we can make in imagining and talking about ourselves.

First, we should imagine ourselves as subject matter experts who study and teach “legal communication”--not just “legal writing”—but also legal speaking and legal symbolism. Perhaps this imagining doesn’t require much work at all; our scholarship and our teaching have almost always extended beyond the boundaries of legal writing. But, I think it's time that each of us, supported by our national organizations, name ourselves as legal communication experts.

Second, our value in law schools goes well beyond the labor of our red pens; our value is not just as lawyers who pass on the received wisdom of the profession through intensive student interaction. Instead, we should recognize that we are valuable for our new ideas, our insights, and our knowledge-generating research in the field. And we should tell the world about them.

Finally, we should imagine ourselves as critical scholars of legal communication. We are not limited to teaching and research about whether legal communication is effective; instead, we can take normative positions on the value, ethics, morality, and social impact of legal messages. Our expertise and position within the academy empower us to judge legal communication for its impact on political participation, marginalized communities, wealth distribution, community violence, perpetuation of exclusion, perceptions of difference, hateful speech, and access to justice. Perhaps there is no other moment in our history that more passionately calls for us, as legal communication scholars, to critically evaluate legal and quasi-legal messages and to speak publicly about them.

What are your two-minutes on professional status in legal writing?

{ldj} Thanks to Kirsten Davis!

July 22, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Word That Only Lawyers and Judges Could Love: Defalcation

"Defalcation" is "a word that only lawyers and judges could love," according to a recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. In re Jahrling, No. 15-2252, Slip Op. at 5 (7th Cir. Mar. 18, 2016). Congress first used the term in a federal bankruptcy statute enacted in 1867 shortly after the end of the Civil War, and "legal authorities have disagreed about its meaning ever since." Id. (citing Bullock v. BankChanpaign, 133 S. Ct. 1754 (2013).

The Jahrling case involved a claim not for fraud, but for defalcation -- something less than fraud or embezzlement but something greater than negligence or mistake. In Jahrling, the Seventh Circuit affirmed a bankruptcy court ruling that a legal malpractice judgment was not dischargeable in bankruptcy because the judgment was for a "defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity." The lawyer had prepared closing documents for a real estate transaction for a 90-year-old man who sold his $106,000 home for just $35,000 on the understanding that he would keep a life estate in the property. All well and good, but the lawyer forgot to include the life estate for the man when he drafted the documents. The man spoke only Polish and could not read the closing documents. When the buyers tried to evict the man after the sale, he sued for legal malpractice but died before that case went to trial. The estate pursued the action and obtained a malpractice judgment against the lawyer, who tried to have it discharged in bankruptcy.

The Supreme Court said that defalcation requires proof of "a culpable state of mind . .  . involving knowledge of, or gross recklessness to, the improper nature of the relevant fiduciary behavior." 133 S. Ct. at 1757. The Supreme Court also said that defalcation can also be used "to refer to nonfraudulent breaches of fiduciary duty." Id. at 1759.

The bankruptcy court refused to discharge the debt because the judgment was for a "defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity." The Seventh Circuit affirmed that ruling, and affirmed that "defalcation" was a word that "only lawyers and judges could love."


July 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Registration Open for CSLSA Conference

Registration is now open for the Central States Law Schools Association 2016 Scholarship Conference, Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24& at the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Law faculty from across the country (and, hey, let's be honest, they'll probably take a Canadian professor too) to submit proposals to present papers or works in progress. 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 on any law-related topic in a relaxed and supportive setting where junior and senior scholars from various disciplines are available to comment. More seasoned 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. 

Please click here to register. The deadline for registration is September 2, 2016.  

Hotel rooms are now available for pre-booking. The conference hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn in Grand Forks. The hotel phone number is (701) 775-6000. When booking, identify yourself as part of the “UND School of Law” block to receive a daily rate of $89. Conference participants are responsible for all of their own travel expenses including hotel accommodations.

Hat tip to the 2016 CSLSA Board


July 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Coleen Barger, Mark Wojcik, and the ALWD Manual

Barger Wojcik ALWDPhoto caption contest?














July 13, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Kim Chanbonpin is the New LWI President; Kristen Tiscione is the new LWI President-Elect; Kim Holst is the New LWI Secretary; Candace Centeno Continues as LWI Treasurer

LWI OfficersThe Legal Writing Institute Board of Directors held elections on Sunday for the officers for the 2016-2018 Term.

Professor Kim Chanbonpin (The John Marshall Law School--Chicago) has become the new President of the Legal Writing Institute. She will serve a two-year term as President. She follows Professor Linda Berger (University of Nevada at Las Vegas), who is now the Immediate Past President.

Professor Kristen Konrad Tiscione (Georgetown University Law Center) was chosen as President-Elect and will become president in 2018. Professor Kim Holst (Arizona State University) was elected as Secretary and Professor Candace Mueller Centeno (Villanova University School of Law) was re-elected as LWI Treasurer.

Pictured here (from left to right) are: Outgoing LWI Secretary Professor Samantha A. Moppett (Suffolk University Law School); incoming LWI Secretary Kim Holst, LWI Treasurer Candace Centeno; LWI President Kim Chanbonpin; Immediate Past President Linda Berger; and LWI President-Elect Kris Tiscione.



July 11, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Members of the 2016-2018 Board of Directors of the Legal Writing Institute

LWI Board 2016-18Here's a photo of the 2016-2018 Board of Directors of the Legal Writing Institute, which is holding its Biennial Conference this week in Portland, Oregon.

Front row (from left to right): Cassandra Hill (TSU Thurgood Marshall School of Law); LWI President-Elect Kristen Konrad Tiscione (Georgetown University Law Center); LWI Secretary Kimberly Holst (Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law); and Rebecca L. Scharf (University of Nevada at Las Vegas Boyd School of Law).

Second row (from left to right): LWI Immediate Past President Linda L. Berger (University of Nevada at Las Vegas Boyd School of Law); Iselin Gambert (The George Washington University Law School);   LWI President Kim Chanbonpin (The John Marshall Law School--Chicago); Mary Nicol Bowman (Seattle University School of Law); and Judith Rosenbaum (Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law).  

Back row (from left to right): Samantha A. Moppett (Suffolk University Law School); LWI Treasurer Candace Mueller Centeno (Villanova University School of Law); Alison E. Julien (Marquette University Law School); Mark E. Wojcik (The John Marshall Law School--Chicago); Bob Brain (Loyola University School of Law, Los Angeles); and Jason Palmer (Stetson University School of Law).



July 11, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

LWI Spouses Enjoying Portland

LWI SpousesWhile we're hard at work in the sessions of the 2016 Legal Writing Institute Conference, some LWI Spouses are enjoying Portland without us.  

Hat tip to Anne Enquist.



July 11, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kim Chanbonpin and Linda Berger

Kim Chanbonpin and Linda BergerProfessor Linda Berger of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas completed her term as President of the Legal Writing Institute and turned over the gavel to incoming President Kim Chanbonpin of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

They are both pictured here at the Monday Luncheon at the Biennial LWI Conference in Portland, where approximately 500 professors from the United States and Canada are meeting this week.



July 11, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stephanie Juliano Wins the 2016 Hecht Memorial Writing Award

Stephanie Juliano Hecht AwardLegal writing specialists and past winners of the Deborah Hecht Memorial Writing Award congratulate Stephanie Juliano of the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, winner of the 2016 Deborah Hecht Memorial Writing Award. #LWI2016.

The award is presented by the Legal Writing Institute in honor of Deborah Hecht, who served as the Director of the Legal Writing Center at Touro University School of Law for eight years. During that time, she worked to develop Touro’s Legal Resources Center, including developing a website. She was also active in the Legal Writing Institute and in its smaller legal writing specialists group, writing articles for The Second Draft’s “From the Desk of the Writing Specialist” column. Deborah died on November 4, 2005, and she is greatly missed by all in the legal writing community, particularly the members of the Association of Legal Writing Specialists. To honor her memory and her contributions to the legal writing profession, the legal writing specialists received approval from the Legal Writing Institute Board of Directors to create the Deborah Hecht Memorial Writing Award. The award is given to the writing specialist who writes the best article for The Second Draft during a two-year period. The award is presented during the LWI Biennial Conference.

Stephanie Juliano received the award for her article, "Everything Old is New Again: Using IRAC to Teach Basic Writing Skills."

In her acceptance remarks, Stephanie mentioned that winning the award had special meaning because just outside her own office is a memorial plaque for Deborah Hecht.

Congratulations to Stephanie and thank you to all of the legal writing specialists who help us promote better legal writing. Also included in this photo are two previous winners of the Hecht Award: Jeremy Francis (Michigan State University College of Law) and Lurene Contento (The John Marshall Law School--Chicago).


July 11, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Save the Date: 2017 Applied Legal Storytelling Conference in Washington D.C.

The next Applied Legal Storytelling Conference will be held at American University Washington College of Law from July 11-13, 2017. 


July 10, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Flying to Portland for LWI?

You can take the MAX from Portland Airport to the conference hotel for just $2.50. Get off at the "Pioneer Courthouse Square" stop and it's just a three-minute walk from there to the Portland Hilton and Towers.


July 10, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Kim Chanbonpin to be Installed as the Next LWI President

Chanbonpin and GarmanProfessor Kim D. Chanbonpin of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago will be installed as next president of the Legal Writing Institute during the Institute's biennial conference which starts on Sunday in Portland, Oregon. Professor Chanbonpin is the first person of color to lead the Institute.  (Professor Chanbonpin is pictured here with Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman.)

“I am honored for this opportunity to serve the members of LWI,” said Professor Chanbonpin. “When I was elected, I promised to incorporate diversity and racial inclusion practices into the core of the work I do for LWI. The composition of our LWI committees, rich with the varied perspectives and experiences of our members, is one example of that effort.”

She added, “Legal education is experiencing a transformation, and legal writing professors are poised to be at the forefront of pedagogical reforms.  To provide assistance for our members during this transition, LWI is building and nurturing systems of professional, scholarly and teaching support.  I am proud to be a part of this process,” she said.

Linda BergerProfessor Chanbonpin will serve a two-year term as LWI President, succeeding Linda L. Berger, the Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Research at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law (pictured at left). Dean Berger served as LWI President from 2014-16 and will continue on the LWI Board of Directors as Immediate Past President.

Professor Chanbonpin served on the LWI’s Board of Directors along with fellow John Marshall Professor Mark E. Wojcik. 

She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, and an LL.M. with distinction from the Georgetown University Law Center. She was a law clerk to the late Judge John S.W. Lim of the Hawai'i Intermediate Court of Appeals in Honolulu. Professor Chanbonpin also earned an LLM, with distinction, and a Certificate in National Security Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. While in Washington, D.C., she was a Short-Term Consultant at the World Bank. Before coming to John Marshall, Professor Chanbonpin was a Westerfield Fellow at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, where she taught National Security Law and Civil Liberties, Legal Research and Writing, and Appellate Advocacy.

The 2,800-member Legal Writing Institute provides a forum for the exchange of ideas about legal writing and for research and scholarship about legal writing and legal analysis. It holds a biennial conference and regional One-Day Legal Writing Workshops, it publishes a scholarly journal and a newsletter, and it has many working committees that assist legal writing professors across the United States and internationally.

Anthony Niedwiecki, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for John Marshall, said Chanbonpin’s appointment “reflects the great respect that our academic community has for the work she has done. Kim is an innovative and collaborative leader.  In just the past few years, Kim has been a leader on diversity issues in the academy; helped the legal writing community collaborate with the Society of American Law Teachers; worked on a task force that lobbies the American Bar Association on issues in legal education; and served as a board member for LWI.”

Professor Chanbonpin teaches Lawyering Skills, Criminal Law, Torts, and other courses at The John Marshall Law School in addition to directing the school's Lawyering Skills Program. She is also serving a three-year term on the Board of Governors for the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT).  She is also the Secretary for the Criminal Justice Section of the Illinois State Bar Association.   Her scholarly writing considers redress and reparations law, policy and social movements in the United States. Her scholarly work has appeared in the University of California at Irvine Law Review, the Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy, the Mercer Law Review, and the Washington University Global Studies Law Review, among other publications.

Congratulations to Professor Chanbonpin on becoming President of the Legal Writing Institute and congratulations to Professor Linda Berger on the conclusion of her own successful term as LWI President.

Adapted from a JMLS Press Release; hat tip to Miller McDonald.


July 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

We Are What We Write

"Too often in campus meetings, I hear people accuse others, sometimes me, of 'wordsmithing.' I hate that word. The notion that caring about language is somehow different from -- and not as important as -- attending to content confounds me. We are what we write."

Professor Rachel Toor of Eastern Washington University in Spokane, Washington, in The Best Candidates Read the Ad: A Search for a New Provost Proved Many Applicants Fail to Keep Their Readers in Mind, The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 8, 2016, at A28.


July 6, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Should the ABA's Law School Accreditation Powers Be Suspended for a Year?

A U.S. Department of Education panel has recommended that the American Bar Association’s accreditation power for new law schools be suspended for one year because the ABA ailed to implement its student achievement standards, probationary sanctions, audit process, and analysis responsibilities on law student debt level. Read more about it by clicking here.


July 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)