Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education

Mark WojcikThe winner of the 2018 Burton Foundation Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education was just announced on the Legal Writing Listserve. It is Professor Mark E. Wojcik of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. The Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing and Education Committee presents this award "to the finest law school teacher who has promoted and advanced legal writing."

Mark is the founder of the Global Legal Skills Conference Series, the author of the first Legal English Textbook published in the United States, the author of another book on Illinois Legal Research, the incoming president of Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers, a three-time Board Member of the Legal Writing Institute, a past Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research and a winner of the AALS Section Award for lifetime contributions to legal writing education, an editor of the Legal Writing Prof Blog, and a member of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress. The award will be presented on May 21, 2018 at the Library of Congress. He joins a distinguished list of prior recipients of this award:

  • Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School-Chicago (to be presented in May 2018)
  • Linda Edwards, UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law (2017)
  • Louis J. Sirico, Jr., Villanova University (2016)
  • Marilyn Walter, Brooklyn Law School (2015)
  • Anne M. Enquist, Seattle University School of Law (2014)
  • Mary Lawrence, University of Oregon School of Law (2013)
  • Tina L. Stark, Boston University School of Law (2012)
  • Marjorie Dick Rombauer, University of Washington (2011)
  • Helene S. Shapo, Northwestern University Law School (2010)
  • Richard K. Neumann Jr., Hofstra University School of Law (2009)
  • Mary Beth Beazley, Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, now at UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law (2008)
  • Laurel Oates, Seattle University School of Law (2007)
  • Ralph Brill, Chicago-Kent College of Law (2006)
  • Darby Dickerson, Stetson University College of Law, now at The John Marshall Law School-Chicago (2005)
  • Kent D. Syverund, Vanderbilt University Law School (2004)



January 30, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Congratulations to Cara Cunningham

Cara Cunninham WarrenCongratulations to Cara Cunningham Warren at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, where the faculty yesterday unanimously approved her promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor.


And at the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting in San Diego a few weeks ago, Professor Cunningham Warren became Chair-Elect of the AALS Section on North American Cooperation. She will become Chair of the Section at the AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans in January 2018, following the term of another legal writing professor, Lisa Black of the California Western School of Law.



January 23, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 15, 2018

NYSBA Offers an Advanced Legal Writing Seminar

Judge LebovitsThe New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) will offer an Advanced Legal Writing seminar with Justice Gerald Lebovits, a New York City judge since 2001 and president of the 300-judge New York State Association of Acting Supreme Court Justices.

Justice Lebovits has been an adjunct professor of law for 32 years, currently at Columbia, Fordham, and NYU. Students at Fordham, New York Law School, and St. John’s have each elected him Adjunct Law Professor of the Year. He has authored six books and more than 300 articles and given hundreds of CLEs on legal writing, ethics, criminal practice, and landlord-tenant law for bar associations, government organizations, and the New York State Court System. He will also be known to many New York lawyers because he has authored the Legal Writer Column for the New York State Bar Journal since 2001.

Justice Lebovits will share easy-to remember and simple-to-understand methods of persuasive writing and the essential elements of a winning brief — from cover to conclusion, including storytelling, theme, organization, style, rhetoric, ethics, and legal method. 
  • Monday, April 23, 2018 | Long Island
  • Tuesday, April 24, 2018 | Westchester
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018 | NYC (Manhattan)
  • Monday, April 30, 2018 | Syracuse
  • Wednesday, May 2, 2018 | Rochester
  • Thursday, May 3, 2018 | Buffalo
  • Friday, May 4, 2018 | Albany
NYSBA Members: $125 | Non-Members: $225
4.0 MCLE Credits in Skills

January 15, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

First Call for Presentation Proposals - Global Legal Skills Conference - Melbourne, Australia (Dec. 9-12, 2018)

Global Legal Skills Conference 13

Melbourne, Australia

December 9-12, 2018

Co-Sponsored by Melbourne Law School and The John Marshall Law School-Chicago, in cooperation with the Legal Writing Institute, the American Bar Association Section on International Law, the Teaching International Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association, the International Law Students Association, the American Society of International Law, Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers, and other organizations.

In holding the GLS-13 Conference at Melbourne Law School, we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where the law school is located: the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present, and emerging.

First Call for Presentations

Presentation proposals for the GLS-13 Conference are now being accepted on topics relating to legal writing and legal skills education (particularly for lawyers and law students who speak English as a second language), international litigation, comparative and international law, and related subjects.

Please send an email to Prof. Mark E. Wojcik at mwojcik@jmls.edu with the subject line “GLS-13 Proposal.” Include a proposed title, brief description, and proposed speakers. Individual presentations will normally be 15-20 minutes. Panels and roundtables will normally be an hour and include three to five speakers. You may be nominated to be on more than one panel but speakers will normally be given only one speaking opportunity to allow others to participate.

The first call for presentations will be open until February 28, 2018 and decisions made by March 28, 2018. Additional presentation proposals will be accepted until April 30, 2018 if space is still available. Poster presentations will be accepted until November 1, 2018

More Information?

The GLS Website for the Melbourne Conference will launch on February 1, 2018 at http://glsc.jmls.edu with information about registration, travel, hotels, and a preliminary conference schedule. The website for the 2017 GLS conference in Mexico can be viewed at http://glsc.jmls.edu/2017.

Additional information about the GLS-13 conference, including sponsorship opportunities, can be had from the Conference Co-Chairs, Prof. Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School, Chicago [(312) 987-2391 or mwojcik@jmls.edu] or Dr Chantal Morton, Director of the Legal Academic Skills Centre, Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia.

January 14, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Washington and Lee is Hiring

Washington and Lee Law SchoolWashington & Lee School of Law in Lexington, Virginia, invites applications for the position of Professor of Practice and Legal Writing Instructor. 

Responsibilities of the Instructor include teaching two sections of first-year legal writing each term, working with the Director of the Legal Writing Program and other Instructors to develop a modern curriculum in this subject, and teaching one additional course.   In addition to holding a Juris Doctor degree from an ABA-accredited school, candidates for the position must have at least two to three years of post-J.D. experience in a position or positions requiring substantial legal writing.  The school seeks in particular candidates who are enthused about working closely with students in the development of this critical skill.

The Legal Writing Instructor position is a nine-month contractual position with teaching responsibilities beginning annually in mid-August and ending in mid-May. However, in the opening year of the Legal Writing Program, the position will commence on June 1, 2018 to provide time to work on program design. The Instructor will hold a two-year contract and will be eligible for a longer-term appointment thereafter.  The anticipated salary for the nine-month position is $70,000.     

Washington and Lee University School of Law is an Equal Opportunity employer that adheres to a robust nondiscrimination policy. The school welcomes candidates who are members of communities traditionally under-represented in the legal profession and academia. Interested individuals should submit a statement of interest, cv, and references to Mary Ervin at ervinm@wlu.edu.  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. 

The position advertised may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.The professor hired will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings on routine matters excluding appointments, tenure and promotion. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range of $70,000 to $79,999. And the number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor is expected to be between 36 and 45.

Hat tips to Dean Brant J. Hellwig and Professor Christopher B. Seaman at the Washington and Lee University School of Law.


January 9, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 4, 2018

AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research - New Scholars Showcase

The Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research presents a "New Scholars Showcase" this year at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego. The New Scholars Showcase will feature three newer scholars who teach legal writing and who have been selected by the Section's Program Committee through a competitive process.

The presenters will be Professors Erin Carroll (Georgetown University Law Center), Jane Grise, (University of Kentucky College of Law), and Anne Ralph (The Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law). The panel moderators will be Professors Scott Fraley (Baylor University School of Law) and Carol L. Wallinger (Rutgers Law School).


January 4, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego

Thorton AALS PanelThe Association of American Law Schools is holding its annual meeting this week in San Diego. Many of the substantive panels are heavy with legal writing content. One such panel is a program sponsored by the AALS Section on Graduate Programs for Non-U.S. Lawyers, Co-Sponsored by the AALS Section on International Legal Exchange and the AALS Section on North American Cooperation. The panel is called "Focus on the Facts: Teaching Civil-Law Trained Lawyers to Work with Facts in U.S. Legal Writing."  Here's the panel description:

Those who teach first-year J.D. students know that it can be challenging to teach them to support their legal arguments by working with the facts in the detailed way that U.S. legal audiences expect. Indeed, it can be even more challenging to teach this skill to our international law students. These students usually come from civil-law legal systems in which cases do not have binding precedential value, so judicial opinions do not need to be made factually consistent with precedent to the extent required in the U.S. Accordingly, many international lawyers are not accustomed to working with the facts at a detailed, concrete level, and find our need to analogize our facts to, and distinguish them from, those of precedent surprising and even perplexing. The panel will discuss what they do to help their international law students develop the skill of writing fact-based U.S. legal analysis, including pre-writing to identify how U.S. lawyers use facts in legal writing; planning to identify, select, and organize arguments and counterarguments, and to choose the most relevant facts; writing fact-based analysis effectively; and editing to strengthen the analysis, add or revise factual descriptions, and look for errors.

The moderators are Professor William H. Byrnes (Texas A&M University School of Law) and John B. Thornton (Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law). The speakers are Dr. Mary Campbell Gallagher (Barwrite and Barwrite Press), and Professors Robin M. Nilon (Temple University, James E. Beasley School of Law), Michael D. Murray (University of Massachusetts School of Law - Dartmouth), and Hether C. Macfarlane, (University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law).

At the same time in a different room, there's a panel sponsored by the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research, Co-Sponsored by the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education, on the topic of "Tips from the Trenches: Teaching Students to Help Social Justice Practitioners From First Year to Graduation." Here's the description of that panel:

This panel brings together legal writing faculty and clinicians who collaborate to make social justice issues central to legal education. One panelist uses "canned" legal writing problems that raise social justice issues and introduce students to the work of lawyers who have accomplished social change. A legal writing professor and a clinical professor from a second school collaborate on simulation exercises that bring social justice issues into the legal writing classroom, assisting students in professional identity development and exposing them to family and juvenile law issues. The legal writing director and clinical director from a third school describe how their collaborations that bring issues from the law clinic or legal nonprofits into the 1L legal writing classes led to collaborative efforts to improve students' ability to transfer their learning from the first-year through clinical and externship experiences and beyond. A legal writing professor from a fourth school will describe upper-level writing projects that engage 2L and 3L students in providing assistance to social justice partners. This panel describes the widely differing ways we bring social justice into our classrooms, offers key "lessons learned" over years of doing this work, and engages the audience about how they might apply these lessons.

The moderator is Professor Shailini J. George (Suffolk University Law School). The speakers are Professors Mary Bowman and Lisa E. Brodoff, (Seattle University School of Law), Kimberly P. Jordan and Katrina June Lee, (The Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law), Sarah E. Ricks (Rutgers Law School), and Amy Vorenberg (University of New Hampshire School of Law).

Other legal writing events being held this week include the luncheon award ceremony for the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research at which Dean Darby Dickerson (the original author of the ALWD Citation Manual) will receive a lifetime achievement award. There will also be a reception on Friday evening co-sponsored by the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute Reception. 

If you're attending the AALS conference this week, we invite guest blog posts on panels and events that you attend.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

January 4, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)