Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Scribes National CLE Program in Chicago on April 13, 2018

Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers--will hold its national CLE program in Chicago on Friday, April 13, 2018. And yes, that's the 275th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson. The title of the CLE program is "Well Written."


Here is a link to the registration page for the full-day CLE program. The program is free for members of Scribes (including professors who work at law schools that are institutional members of Scribes). It's also free for law students. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/well-written-the-2018-scribes-annual-cle-registration-43409630373


I hope to see you there! For more information on Scribes, please visit www.scribes.org.


Prof. Mark E. Wojcik


Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers


February 27, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Free Legal Research Webinar on March 19

Barbara BavisThe American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress has announced that Barbara Bavis, a librarian at the Law Library of Congress, will present a free webinar on “free legal research online” as part of the select ABA CLE Premier Speaker Series.

The webinar will take place on Monday, March 19, 2018 from 1:00 - 2:30 pm Eastern (noon to 1:30 p.m. Central)

This program will teach you how to use a multitude of free online resources to complete your legal and legislative research.The webinar would normally cost $195.00 but is being offered to ABA members at no cost.
Ms. Bavis will explain how to locate federal materials using free online resources from the Law Library of Congress, the Government Publishing Office (GPO), the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the United States House of Representatives (OLRC), and other government entities. You'll also learn how to use non-governmental databases like Google Scholar, Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII), Casetext, CourtListener, and the American Presidency Project to find case law, articles, executive orders, and much more. You'll also receive:
  • Up-to-the-minute information, highlighting both newly available resources, and updates to more established resources
  • A complete “cheat sheet” for legal or legislative research conducted outside of the main subscription databases (Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg)
  • Resources from all branches of government that are valuable in conducting legal and legislative research

Although there is no charge, registration is required.  To view the listing and to register, please visit ShopABA at https://shop.americanbar.org/eBus/Default.aspx?TabID=1538&productId=303746111&ct=34cb7ddd5ce7110b300b99cf219bdfc5da67a4ef580010b9b55545629f3d360287a61a17b99274a7a18eabde9776d75c0b6f9e73b6a6b0a116c009254a3911cf

Hat tip to Elissa Lichtenstein and the ABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress.


February 27, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 26, 2018

News from Indiana University McKinney School of Law

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law announced that Brad Desnoyer will join the IU McKinney faculty as Clinical Associate Professor of Law. Brad currently teaches at the University of Missouri School of Law. He joined Mizzou Law in 2011 after clerking at the Missouri Supreme Court and later serving as the Court’s Deputy Communication Counsel. He graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and earned his J.D. at the University of Missouri, serving as an editorial member of the Missouri Law Review. As a coach, Brad has led five teams, in four years, to the ABA National Arbitration Competition. He has won numerous awards for his teaching and service. He recently co-published an article about race, rhetoric, and judicial opinions in the Maryland Law Review, in addition to co-publishing the exam writing guide, How to Write Law Exams: IRAC Perfected.

The school also announced that Laura Riff will join IU McKinney as Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law after seven years as a litigator and a year as adjunct faculty at McKinney. After graduating magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, Laura began her career in complex commercial litigation at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, DC.  She further developed this litigation practice at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago, where she was promoted to partner in 2016. Laura has represented clients in trial and appellate proceedings in a variety of disputes, including breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, securities, corporate governance, truth in advertising, and products liability matters. Laura is an active member of the Illinois, New York, and District of Columbia bars.


Hat tip to Jim Dimitri.



February 26, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 25, 2018

LWI Writers' Workshop

The Legal Writing Institute has announced its 15th Writers Workshop to take place on Sunday, July 8 through Wednesday, July 11, 2018, just before the 2018 LWI Conference in Milwaukee. The workshop will give up to twelve legal writing faculty the opportunity to spend time working on their academic writing projects and improving their scholarly skills.

The workshop will take place at two adjacent mansions in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, complete with space for discussion, contemplation, and writing.  All LWI members are eligible. You must have a scholarly writing project well underway and beyond the initial stages of performing early research and drafting a tentative outline. You must at least have some sort of partial draft. In most cases, a scholarly writing project should result in a law review article or something similar.

Although all LWI members are encouraged to apply, the workshop is limited to 12 participants. The organizers give priority to full-time Legal Writing faculty for whom scholarly writing is a prerequisite for retention, promotion, or tenure. They also give priority to applicants who have not attended past Workshops, although a significant number of legal writing scholars have benefited so substantially from the workshop that they have returned in following years.

Participants make presentations on their projects to small groups of three and receive feedback from the other members of their group and from experienced scholarly writers who facilitate the sessions. Each session runs about ninety minutes. Participants also benefit from several guided discussion groups, each on a different topic and led by the facilitators. Participants will also have time to work on their drafts. And time to just gaze out on Lake Geneva too, we hope.

Participants will pay a $300 registration. LWI will cover meals, beginning with dinner on July 8 and ending with breakfast on July 11. For more information, contact Deborah Gordon at (215) 571-4811.

Submit your application at https://drexel.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bfnqm5LvernWNDL by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 16. The organizers will select participants on a rolling basis.

Hat tips to Cynthia Adams, Ken Chestek, Deborah Gordon, Kim Holst, Chris Rideout, and Lou Sirico.


February 25, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 16, 2018

University of North Carolina is Hiring a Visitor

The University of North Carolina School of Law seeks to hire a full-time visiting clinical professor to teach in its six-credit, first-year Research, Reasoning, Writing, and Advocacy (“RRWA”) Program. The professor will teach two sections of RRWA each semester during the nine-month 2018-19 academic year. Each section will have no more than 17 students.

The person hired will join the experienced, collaborative professors in the school's Writing and Learning Resources Center (WLRC) (http://www.law.unc.edu/academics/wlrc). They teach writing, research, and oral advocacy in ways that integrate legal analysis, research strategy, citation literacy, oral advocacy, and professionalism. They use an innovative textbook written by our colleague Alexa Chew and our former colleague Katie Rose Guest Pryal: The Complete Legal Writer (Carolina Academic Press 2016). The book pioneers a genre-discovery approach that promotes student autonomy and teaches a systematic process for learning to write unfamiliar legal documents.

The present hiring responds to recent positive developments that will permit more WLRC professors to teach outside the RRWA Program in 2018-19. That arrangement seems likely to continue beyond 2018-19, prompting long-term hiring.

The professor hired as a visitor will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings. The school anticipates paying a base salary of $70,000 to $90,000 for a nine-month appointment. The number of students to be taught is estimated at 31 to 35.

Candidates must have a J.D., bar admission, and practice or clerkship experience. Candidates should have an outstanding academic record, the ability and desire to work collaboratively on an established faculty team, and teaching experience or demonstrated teaching potential. A strong plus is additional experience or degrees in education, counseling, or academic‑excellence work. 

Applications will be accepted until either April 16, 2018, or when the position is filled. Applications must be submitted electronically at http://unc.peopleadmin.com/postings/134128 (or https://unc.peopleadmin.com/postings/134163). Applications should include a resume or curriculum vitae, a letter of application, and contact information for four references. Confidential inquiries are welcome; contact Craig T. Smith, Clinical Professor and Assistant Dean for the Writing and Learning Resources Center, at 919.962.7059. For more information about School of Law, visit www.law.unc.edu.

Hat tip to Craig Smith.



February 16, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Suffolk University Gives Tenure to Six Legal Writing Professors


The Suffolk University Board of Trustees approved tenure for six of its legal writing professors: Sabrina DeFabritiis, Shailini Jandial George, Rosa Kim, Samantha A. Moppett, Gabriel H. Teninbaum, and Kathleen Elliott Vinson.

These are all legal writing professors who have made a national reputation for themselves in the field of legal writing education through their publications, their participation in national and international conferences, and their active leadership in organizations such as the Legal Writing Institute and the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. Congratulations to each of them and to the faculty and trustees of Suffolk University on recognizing the rich legal writing talent you have at Suffolk.

Hat tip to Kathy Vinson.


February 16, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Congratulations to Professor Elizabeth Usman at Belmont University

Elizabeth Usman Belmont UniversityBelmont University College of Law in Nashville Tennessee has granted tenure to Professor Elizabeth Usman, a professor of Legal Information and Communication.

Professor Usman earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature summa cum laude from Boston University and her Juris Doctor degree from Boston College Law School, where she was articles editor on the Boston College Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif. She clerked for a federal district court judge and for a judge on the Sixth Circuit, and spent several years as an associate at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray LLP.

Congratulations Liz!

Hat to to Professor Brenda C. See.


February 16, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mercer Law School: Visiting Legal Writing Professor for 2018-19

Mercer Law School seeks an experienced visiting professor to teach legal writing the 2018-2019 academic year. This position is to temporarily replace faculty members on leave. In the Fall, the visitor will teach two sections of Legal Writing II with between 20 and 30 students. In the Spring, the visitor will teach two sections of Legal Writing I with between 20 and 30 students.

Mercer is located in Macon, Georgia, approximately one hour from the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  Macon has a low cost of living, and is experiencing a renaissance in urban renewal.  The main campus of the university and the law school are both near downtown Macon, with its many cultural and recreational amenities.

Mercer is an equal opportunity employer that encourages applications from women, minorities, LGBTQ candidates, persons with disabilities, and all others who will contribute to our stimulating and diverse cultural and intellectual environment. Applicants should have a strong academic record and demonstrated commitment to outstanding teaching. We encourage interested applicants to visit our website at http://www.law.mercer.edu to learn more about the school, community, and programs.

Application review will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Confidential inquiries are welcome.

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for professional references, and address your application to Professor Oren Griffin, Chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee. You may email your application to griffin_or@law.mercer.edu. You may also apply through standard mail; please send correspondence to Professor Oren Griffin, Mercer Law School, 1021 Georgia Avenue, Macon, Georgia 31207.

This is a one-year visitor position. The salary range is $70,000 to $90,000. Professors will teach 48 to 52 students each semester (for two sections of legal writing). Submission Deadline: February 28, 2018

  • Contact Professor Oren Griffin
  • Griffin_or@law.mercer.edu
  • 1021 Georgia Avenue
  • Macon, Georgia 31052

Hat tip to Professor David T. Ritchie, Director of International Programs at Mercer University School of Law.



February 16, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

NYSBA Offers Advanced Legal Writing Seminars in April

The 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.

Judge LebovitsJustice 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

February 11, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

ABA House of Delegates Passes Resolution Supporting the Law Library of Congress

At its Mid-Year Meeting in Vancouver, the American Bar Association House of Delegates passed Resolution 109 in support of adequate funding for the Library of Congress (and the Law Library of Congress). The policy statement was co-sponsored by seven entities:

  • ABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress
  • ABA Section of International Law
  • ABA Section of Dispute Resolution
  • ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law
  • ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
  • ABA Law Practice Division
  • ABA Law Student Division
  • ABA Senior Lawyers Division and
  • the Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section

In the resolution adopted this week, the ABA urges the Congress "to approve appropriations to the Library of Congress necessary to enable the Law Library of Congress to adequately staff, maintain, modernize, and enhance its services, collections, facilities, digital projects, and outreach efforts."

Click here to read the resolution and report as adopted.


February 6, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Latest Issue of The Scrivener is Now Available

Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers--has published the latest issue of The Scrivener, the organization's newsletter. Of particular interest in the current issue is a collection of "practical, old-fashioned advice on writing from famous fiction writers" that were reworked for legal writers. Here are some of the gems collected in that column:

  • Isaac Bashevis Singer: "The delete key is the author's best friend."
  • Ernest Hemingway: "The hard part of legal writing is finishing it."
  • Elmore Leonard: "I try to leave out the parts that judges skip."
  • Ambros Bierce: "The first and last pages of a brief are too far apart."

Click here to see the Winter 2018 edition of The Scrivener. The editor is Professor Maureen Collins of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Scribes will hold its next national CLE program at The John Marshall Law School on April 13, 2018.


February 2, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (2)

A Victory for Gender-Neutral Language

The national anthem of Canada was changed this week to become a gender-neutral anthem. The line "in all thy sons command" was changed to "in all of us command." Bill 210 "An Act to amend the National Anthem Act (gender)" passed its third reading in the Canadian Senate on January 31, 2018. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reportedly described the change as "another positive step toward gender equality."



February 2, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA House of Delegates to Vote on a Resolution Supporting the Law Library of Congress

Law Library of CongressThe American Bar Association is holding its mid-year meeting this week in Vancouver.

On Monday, the ABA House of Delegates will meet to vote on a number of resolutions, including Resolution 109. That resolution "urges the Congress to approve appropriations to the Library of Congress necessary to enable the Law Library of Congress to adequately staff, maintain, modernize, and enhance its services, collections, facilities, digital projects, and outreach efforts."

The report accompanying the proposed resolution describes the work of the Law Library of Congress and its importance to the Congress, the nation's lawyers, and the legal profession. The Law Library of Congress is the largest law library in the world, including substantial collections of international and foreign legal materials. The ABA report states that "[f]or of nation of laws, the Law Library of Congress is an American treasure in the fullest sense" and states that the "Congress must adequately fund the Library of Congress in order to effectively support the needs of our nation's law library . . . ."

Click here to read Resolution 109 and the accompanying report on the Law Library of Congress.

Click here to visit the website of the Law Library of Congress.


February 2, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)