Wednesday, December 28, 2016

AALS Annual Meeting Previews - The Blogger Panel

The 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools is being held next week in San Francisco. Among the hundreds of presentations will be a program on Building and Sustaining Academic Communities Through Blogging and Other Tools, a panel that will include . . . well, here, have a look!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

8:30 - 10:15 a.m.      AALS Arc of Career Program

Building and Sustaining Academic Communities Through Blogging and Other Tools

This panel focuses on the work that a number of scholars have done to build community in their respective fields. Such community building does not fit neatly into traditional scholarship, teaching, or service categories and therefore often is not explicitly rewarded as part of the tenure process. But for those willing to do the work, creating community can be both personally rewarding and a good fit for those seeking to be engaged scholars.

The participants all have different goals and methods when it comes to community building, but there are commonalities. Establishing a strong blog and web presence have been core parts of the community building work in a number of fields. Participants who have worked on building online communities will discuss everything from how they started and the choices they make as far as blogging coverage to what are the best and most challenging parts of blogging. In other fields, much of the community building work takes the form of conference organizing and participants will discuss their successes and failures when it comes to this form of public service. They will also discuss the amount of effort conferences require as well as ideas to lessen the planning burden.

  • Moderator: Louis J. Sirico, Jr., Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
  • Benjamin Barros, University of Toledo College of Law
  • Gerry W. Beyer, Texas Tech University School of Law
  • Megan Boyd, Georgia State University College of Law
  • Rashmi Dyal-Chand, Northeastern University School of Law
  • Marc-Tizoc Gonzalez, St. Thomas University School of Law
  • James B. Levy, Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law
  • Ezra E.S. Rosser, American University, Washington College of Law
  • Nancy J. Soonpaa, Texas Tech University School of Law
  • Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School - Chicago

Continental Ballroom 6, Ballroom Level, Hilton San Francisco Union Square. That room holds 427 people so you should be able to fit in! We hope to see you there and at other AALS sessions.


December 28, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Hiring at Duke

Duke Law School invites applications for one full-time faculty appointment to teach in its JD writing program beginning in the fall of 2017. The candidate hired will teach one section of Duke’s required, first-year course, Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing, and one upper-level writing seminar.  

LARW is a graded, two-semester, four-credit course. LARW sections have no more than 30 students (in recent years the norm has been 26-28). Upper-level writing seminars have generally been two-credit, simulation-based courses offering significant practical experience. Enrollment is capped at 14.  Candidates are encouraged to think creatively in designing an upper-level seminar of their own.

Candidates must have superior academic records and at least four years of experience in practice (which may include clerking). Teaching experience is also preferred and candidates with significant transactional practice experience are especially encouraged to apply.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and a list of at least three references to Duke Law School’s Professional Skills Appointments Committee, c/o Jeremy Mullem, Director of Legal Writing, by email at Questions about the position may be directed to the same address. Applications are due by January 13, 2017, but the school encourages candidates to apply as quickly as possible.

Duke University and Duke University Health System is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, or disability.

The position may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years. Ordinarily, new faculty hired to teach in Duke’s legal writing program receive an initial one-year appointment as either a Lecturing Fellow or a Senior Lecturing Fellow. Re-appointment and promotion to Clinical Professor of Law are governed by Law School Rule, which is accessible on the School website.

The professor hired will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary of $60,000 to $79,999. The professor will teach two courses: Legal Analysis, Research and Writing, a year-long, four-credit course, to no more than 30 students; and a two-credit, upper-level writing seminar to no more than 14 students.  In recent years the norm for LARW class sizes has been 26-28.  Upper-level writing seminars have generally been simulation-based courses offering significant practical experience.  Candidates are encouraged to think creatively in designing an upper-level course. Typically, writing professors new to Duke have taught their upper-level course in the spring of their first year.

Hat tip to Professor Jeremy Mullem at Duke University Law School.


December 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

UNLV hires Mary Beth Beazley

Terry Pollman of UNLV has announced that Mary Beth Beazley of The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law, will join the UNLV faculty next year. Professor Pollman noted that "Mary Beth is an amazing teacher, scholar, and leader.  Her teaching ideas, texts, and articles have shaped many of our own careers.  Although known for her humorous approach to teaching, . . . she has been a serious and tireless voice for equal status. She has worked toward that goal as president of both of our most prominent legal writing organizations, EIC of the  LWI Journal, and on numerous ABA committees. I know that one of the factors that helped us attract Mary Beth was our unitary tenure track for legal writing, clinic, and podium.  We are so fortunate that she will join us as a colleague in the fall."

Congratulations to Professor Beazley and to UNLV!


December 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Guest Post From Coleen Barger: What the Blackwell Award Means to Me

Thank you to Coleen Barger for allowing us to repost her LWI Listserv message about the upcoming Blackwell Award Reception here:

"In less than a month, LWI and ALWD will present the Thomas Blackwell award to this year's recipient, Mel Weresh, during the AALS conference in San Francisco. I'd like to say a few words about this award and what it means to me.
  The award is given in honor of Tom Blackwell, who was one of the funniest, sweetest, and most creative people I've ever met in the legal writing field. We could always count on Tom to offer good ideas about the intriguing new (and sometimes mystifying) things developing in the online world. Heck, we wouldn't have started the listserv to connect our community as soon as we did had it not been for Tom. He brought us together.
  The award symbolizes that bringing together of our community, our two wonderful organizations, and our shared goals of improving legal writing instruction for our students. As others have told you in the past, Tom loved lightbulb jokes. Here's one I'd like to tell him: 
Q: How many legal writing professors does it take to turn on a lightbulb?
A: Pretty much one for every student who's still in the dark about what it takes to be a good lawyer. (It's in our classes that the light comes on.)
Okay, I admit that wasn't much of a joke, but it's how I feel about what we do. 
Are you going to San Francisco? Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair, and join the celebration at the wonderful reception for Mel. If you're unable to go, please think about her, about Tom, and about the many ways you yourself shine a light for all of us and for your students. 
{ldj} Hat tip, Coleen Barger

December 12, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hiring a Visitor at Stetson

Stetson University College of Law in Florida seeks applicants for a visiting professor position to teach legal research and writing in our nationally ranked first-year legal research and writing curriculum during Fall 2017, Spring 2018, or both. We invite both entry-level applicants as well as applicants who have a distinguished academic background of legal communication teaching and scholarship, broadly defined.

About the Position

Visitors will teach one section of first-year legal research and writing, joining a team of tenured faculty who teach the first-year course. Visitors are eligible for at least one Teaching Assistant for the course. Visitors may also have the opportunity to teach an upper-level writing course and will be encouraged to be involved in Stetson’s Institute for the Advancement of Legal Communication.

Visiting professors engaged in scholarship are eligible for a Research Assistant for up to twenty hours per week as well as assistance from our Faculty Support Services department.

About the First-Year Research and Writing Courses

Stetson requires seven credit-hours of first-year research and writing courses, which include a four-hour objective/predictive course and a three-hour advocacy course. These courses are taught in both the day and evening programs, are graded on a 4.0 scale, and typically have a student-professor ratio of thirty-five (or fewer) to one. We are particularly proud of our spring semester persuasive advocacy writing course that gives students the opportunity to learn persuasive communication skills in a particular subject matter context. We offer subject-focused advocacy sections that teach effective advocacy in the context of specific substantive areas of the law; in the past, those areas have included the International Law, Elder Law, Environmental Law, Social Justice Law, Business Litigation, Media Law, Law and Technology, and Criminal Law.

The first-year research and writing curriculum is coordinated to ensure faculty autonomy and academic freedom as well as consistency and predictability in outcomes and assessment standards. Thus, the first-year courses have agreed-upon competencies and basic assignment parameters, but faculty members design their own syllabuses and schedules, choose their own books, and design their own teaching materials and assignments For more information about legal writing at Stetson, see


The minimum qualifications for the position are a J.D. from an accredited law school and strong writing and interpersonal skills. In addition, Stetson prefers applicants with outstanding academic credentials, practice experience, a judicial clerkship, prior teaching experience, law review or moot court service, and a commitment to legal communication as a serious discipline

that merges scholarship with practice. For applicants with experience within the legal academy, Stetson also prefers a demonstrated commitment to and a proven record of excellence in legal communication scholarship and teaching.

For Additional Information

For more information about these positions, please contact either Dr. Kirsten K. Davis, Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Legal Communication, at or at 727-562-7877 or Professor Jason Palmer, Coordinator of First Year Research and Writing Curriculum at or at 727-562-7326. For more detail about employment at the College of Law generally, see

To Apply

Applicants should send a current curriculum vitae, a cover letter describing the applicant’s qualifications for the position, and details of at least three references to Professor Candace M. Zierdt and Professor Marco Jimenez, Faculty Appointments Committee at Those who prefer to apply by postal mail should write to Faculty Appointments, c/o Professor Candace Zierdt , Stetson University College of Law, 1401 61st Street South, Gulfport, FL 33707. The College of Law will begin reviewing applications upon receipt and the positions will remain open until filled with a goal of having final decisions made by March 15, 2017. Stetson University, an Equal Opportunity Employer, affirms the values and goals of diversity and strongly encourages the applications of all candidates, including women, persons of color, sexual orientation minorities, and others who will contribute to the diversity of our community.

And the Stuff You Want to Know

The position advertised has an upper-limit on the number of years that a teacher may be appointed. It is a one-semester or one-year visiting position. The professor hired will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range of $30,000 to 49,999 (for one semester) or $50,000 to $89,999 (for the full year). For visitors with appointments at other academic institutions, compensation is typically salary at home institution in addition to housing and relocation assistance.

The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be up to 40 students.

Hat tips to Candace M Zierdt and Bob Brain.


December 12, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Congratulations to Professor Teri McMurty-Chubb

Teri McMurtry-ChubbThe faculty at the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law has recommended that Teri McMurty-Chubb be promoted to Professor of Law. This recommendation will now go to the University President, Provost, and Board of Trustees.

In 2015, Professor McMurty-Chubb was named president of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) for the 2015-16 academic year. She was the first person of color to serve as head of the organization.

Before joining the faculty at Mercer, Professor McMurty-Chubb was the Director of Legal Analysis and Writing at LaVerne College of Law. She also previously taught legal writing that Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and Drake University Law School. She was also Assistant Professor of Law and Hegemony Studies at Western Washington University Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies.

We extend our congratulations and best wishes to Professor McMurty-Chubb.

Hat tip to Prof. Karen Sneddon.


December 9, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Volume 21 of The Legal Writing Journal is Live!

Just in time for a productive grading break, the most recent version of Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute is live here!  

LWI Journal

The journal includes three essays (plus introduction by Terrill Pollman, Assistant Editor in Chief for Essays) sharing insights about technology in courtrooms and judicial chambers. The four main articles showcase insights about persuasion, lawyering skills, preparation for the practice of law, and visual rhetoric. Don’t forget to check out the Editor’s Note from outgoing Editor in Chief Brooke Bowman. Brooke is wrapping up ten years of service to the Editorial Board of the Journal. Congrats, Brooke! Also, congrats to the new Editor in Chief, Karen Sneddon, and the incoming Editorial Board.  Enjoy Volume 21!

{ldj} Hat tip, Karen Sneddon

December 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hiring at the University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

The University of Massachusetts School of Law – Dartmouth invites applications from persons interested in teaching Legal Skills I and II, part of the law school’s core first-year required curriculum. Full-Time Lecturers may also apply to teach a summer course for additional compensation subject to the law school’s curricular needs, and are eligible to apply for summer research stipends subject to the law school’s standard selection process. The position will begin in July 2017. Successful applicants must be available to teach in the day and evening/weekend divisions, as needed.

The law school’s mission emphasizes public service and access to legal education. The law school seeks to prepare students to practice law in a competent and ethical manner while serving the community. We offer a robust legal education program that includes nine required credits of Legal Skills, including six in the first-year at credit hours equal to other first-year courses, an Upper-Level Writing Requirement, simulated practice courses, in-house and off-campus clinical programs, and a field placement program under the guidance of experienced practitioners.

Applicants must have a law degree, strong academic credentials, and previous experience teaching legal writing. Preferred qualifications: The school prefers applicants with full-time legal writing teaching experience.

To apply please submit an application package @ including (1) a cover letter, (2) curriculum vitae, (3) the contact information for three professional references, (4) two samples of feedback on student work (anonymized), (5) a copy of prior student evaluations, and (6) a writing sample.  

The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

UMass Law is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and student body, and encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups who will add diversity to the Law School Community. The University of Massachusetts reserves the right to conduct background checks on all potential employees.

The position may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years. The professor hired will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings on all matters except tenure and promotion. The anticipated salary range is $70,000 to $99,999. The number of students to be taught each semester is expected to be between 36 and 40.

Hat tip to Professor Shaun Spencer, Director of Academic Affairs and Director of Legal Skills at the University of Massachusetts School of Law -- Dartmouth.


December 7, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Legal Writing Institute One Day Workshops

There's still time to attend a Legal Writing Insitute One-Day Workshop this year. Here's the list of the remaining programs:

  • Brooklyn Law School (Dec. 10th)
  • Drake Law School (Dec. 8th)
  • Lewis & Clark (Dec. 10th)
  • Touro Law Center (Dec. 16th, online)
  • University of Texas (Dec. 9th)
  • Wake Forrest School of Law (Dec. 9th)

You can register for the site of your choice here.

Hat tip to Renee Nicole Allen, Director of the Academic Success Program at the University of Tennessee College of Law


December 4, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)