Sunday, December 24, 2017

Congratulations to Sabrina DeFabritis (Suffolk) and Suzanna K. Moran (Denver), Outgoing and Incoming Chairs of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research

Sabrina DeFabritisProfessor Sabrina DeFabritiis of Suffolk University Law School (picutred at left) is about to finish her 2017-18 term as Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. As Section Chair Professor DeFabritiis has overseen the Section's committees, programs, and awards.

Suzanna Moran Denver AALS LWRR ChairProfessor Suzanna K. Moran of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (pictured at right) is the incoming Chair for 2018-19. She will assume that role at the upcoming AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego, which his being held from January 3-6, 2018. Professor Moran is the Hartje & Reese Chair in Lawyering Process and Professor of the Practice at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

While still in law school she began her career as a legal editor for The Yearbook of International Environmental Law. She edited that publication for seven years, working with leading environmental lawyers from around the world. She later became a staff attorney at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C., where she wrote and edited for ELR—The Environmental Law Reporter for four years.

Professor Moran then left the field of professional writing and editing for private practice. She represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of litigation matters related to natural resources, environmental law, and real estate.

In 2005, she returned to editing when she became Director of Publications at the Denver Art Museum. She was responsible for the editorial content and quality of the museum’s written materials and managed a staff of eight editors and graphic designers.

In her secret life, Professor Moran performs with the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra. We'll have to ask her which instrument she plays. Her other interests include all manner of outdoor activities, reading, movies, beating back the encroaching wilderness of her backyard, and playing MMORPGs (that's the acronym for massively multiplayer online role-playing games).

Chartered on January 1, 1974, the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research promotes the communication of ideas, interests, and activities among the members of the Section; reports on the status of legal research and writing; and makes recommendations on matters concerning law school administration and matters of interest in the teaching and improvement of law school curriculum.

Wendy-Adele Humphrey Texas TechProfessor Wendy Adele Humphrey of Texas Tech University School of Law (pictured at right) is the current Secretary of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. She is expected to become the Section Chair-Elect at the 2018 AALS Annual Meeting. She would then become Section Chair in 2019-20 during the 2019 AALS Annual Meeting, which will be held in New Orleans.

The members of the Section's 2017-18 Executive Committee (in addition to the Section Officers) are:

  • Robert Brain, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
  • Rebekah N. Hanley, University of Oregon School of Law
  • Allison D. Martin, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
  • Joseph Mastrosimone, Washburn University School of Law
  • Anne Mullins, University of North Dakota School of Law
  • Nancy J. Soonpaa, Texas Tech University School of Law

Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

December 24, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Nominations for the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education

Here's a final reminder that the schedule has changed this year for nominations for the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education. Nominations are due by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wedneday, December 20, 2017.

The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement highlight the importance of writing in the legal profession, providing a forum to honor legal professionals and law students whose work exemplifies the goals of our field. The Awards were founded in 1999 by William Burton, author of Burton’s Legal Thesaurus and recipient of the Legal Writing Institute’s 2010 Golden Pen Award.

Since 2004, the Burton Awards have included a category for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education. The award is given annually during a black-tie gala at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the education of lawyers in the field of legal analysis, research, and writing. The Award may result from any activity related to educating students or lawyers about legal writing—teaching, writing books or articles, serving or advancing the interests of the legal-writing community, designing superb or innovative legal-writing courses or programs, and any related achievements. 
Here is the list of previous recipients of the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education
  • 2004 - Kent D. Syverund, Dean and Garner Anthony Professor at Vanderbilt University Law School
  • 2005 - Darby Dickerson, Vice President and Dean at Stetson University College of Law (now Dean of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago)
  • 2006 - Ralph Brill, Professor of Law and Associate Dean, Acting Dean and Associate Dean of Student Affairs at the Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • 2007 - Laurel Oates, Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law
  • 2008 - Mary Beth Beazley, Associate Professor of Law and Director of Legal Writing at Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law (now a Professor at UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law)
  • 2009 - Richard K. Neumann Jr., Professor at Hofstra University School of Law
  • 2010 - Helene S. Shapo, Professor of Law Emeritus at Northwestern University Law School
  • 2011 - Marjorie Dick Rombauer, Professor Emerita of Law at University of Washington
  • 2012 - Tina L. Stark, Professor of the Practice of Law and Director of the Transactional Program at Boston University School of Law.
  • 2013 - Mary Lawrence, Professor Emerita at University of Oregon School of Law
  • 2014 - Anne M. Enquist, Professor of Lawyering Skills and Director of the Legal Writing Program at Seattle University School of Law
  • 2015 - Marilyn Walter, Professor and Director of the Legal Writing Program at Brooklyn Law School
  • 2016 - Louis J. Sirico, Jr., Law Professor, Villanova University
  • 2017 - Linda Edwards, E.L. Cord Foundation Professor of Law, UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
The Burton Awards provide an excellent opportunity to publicize the achievements of the legal writing education community. The Nominations Committee therefore seeks nominations of deserving individuals (or groups!) for the Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education Award. Nominations should describe the contributions of the nominee(s) and should be emailed to one or more of the following members of the selection committee: Professors Noah Messing, Grace Tonner, or Nancy Schultz.
Nominations for other categories for the Burton Awards are due by January 23, 2018. Click here for more information about those nominations. This includes nominations of law student articles.
In February 2018, there will be a maybe-just-like-the-Academy-Awards Facebook Live Announcement Ceremony to announce the winners of the 2018 Burton Awards. The 19th Annual Burton Awards Ceremony and Celebration will be held at the Library of Congress on Monday, May 21, 2018. That glamorous special event is co-sponsored by the American Bar Association through its Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress.
Hat tip to Noah Messing.

December 13, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 8, 2017

LWI One-Day Workshops

If you're hosting or attending one of the Legal Writing Institute's One-Day Workshops, please send us a write-up of your workshop (or your part of a workshop) and a photo if you have one. We're happy to post your work as a guest author on the Legal Writing Prof Blog. Thanks!

The Editors

December 8, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Congratulations to Emily Grant at Washburn

Emily Grant - Washburn
The faculty at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas has voted to recommend Emily Grant for tenure and promotion to Professor of Law.

Professor Grant joined the Washburn faculty in 2011, where she teaches courses in legal writing and estates and trusts. She previously taught legal writing courses at her alma mater, the University of Illinois College of Law, where as a student she served as articles editor for the University of Illinois Law Review. She then joined the University of Kansas School of Law faculty as a part-time lecturer in the Lawyering Program and was later named as a full-time lawyering professor while also working with students as part of the Academic Resources Program.

Before starting her teaching career, Professor Grant was Court Counsel for the  Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau, a small country in the Western Pacific Ocean. She also clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for federal district courts in Illinois and Kansas.

Professor Grant is a co-director of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning.

Hat tip to Joseph Mastrosimone, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Washburn University School of Law.


December 7, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The University of Illinois at Chicago and The John Marshall Law School in Merger Discussions

The American Bar Association Journal and other media outlets have reported that the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and The John Marshall Law School (JMLS) of Chicago have been discussing a possible merger that would make JMLS the first public law school in the city of Chicago. If an agreement is reached, the law school would remain at its downtown location next to the Chicago Bar Association and across the street from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The John Marshall Law School is particularly well-known for its legal writing program.

A page of frequently asked questions about the possible merger provides this additional information:

UIC is one of the few public research universities designated with the highest Research 1 classification by the Carnegie Foundation that does not have a law school. Sixty-five percent of all Research 1 universities, public and private, have a law school.

The John Marshall Law School is an independent law school and the possibility of becoming Chicago’s only public law school would allow it to expand its current mission and grow its quality, unique programs within a strong public university.

A natural alignment exists between UIC’s public mission and JMLS’s commitment to provide access and opportunity to students from underserved communities and to help fill the justice gap for citizens in the Chicago area. The new arrangement would fill a significant void in the country’s third largest city. Chicago is one of very few major cities in the United States without a public law school.

Any merger arrangement would require:

  • approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees;
  • approval by The John Marshall Law School Board of Trustees;
  • degree approval from the Illinois Board of Higher Education;
  • approval of a major change in operation from the American Bar Association’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar; 
  • approval from the Higher Learning Commission, which is a regional accreditor for both institutions.

The timeline for a merger would also depend on the steps needed to ensure a smooth transition for students, faculty, staff, and alumni of each institution.

Click here to read more.


December 7, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)