Friday, January 25, 2019

Don't Neglect Your Writerly Voice

We fully endorse a tip found in this week's issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education in a short piece called "How Not to Neglect Your Writerly Voice." Jan. 25, 2019 at A3.

The article laments that academia "spends little time training most people who will spend much of their time teaching."

The article notes that "[t]eaching and publishing are the two most important parts of many professors' jobs" and that in an ideal world, "they should feed each other."

Teachers need to develop their own voice in a way that serves themselves and their students. "One of your jobs, as a writer, is to write like the best, smartest version of yourself."

We agree.




January 25, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Best Job Posting of the Week

The Wine and Viticulture Department, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo is seeking a full-time, academic year, tenure track Assistant/Associate/Full professor in Wine Marketing Strategy to start September 12, 2019. Click here for details.


January 25, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 21, 2019

ALWD Conference in Boston May 29-31, 2019

The 2019 Association of Legal Writing Directors' Biennial Conference: A Time for Transformative Leadership: Teaching and Learning will take place May 29-31, 2019 at Suffolk University Law School in Boston.


Confirmed speakers include:

  • Paulette Brown, Senior Partner and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Locke Lord; past President of the American Bar Association
  • Marcilynn A. Burke, Dean and Dave Frohnmayer Chair in Leadership and Law, University Of Oregon School of Law
  •  Audrey J. Lee, Executive Director, Boston Law Collaborative Institute; Senior Mediator, Boston Law Collaborative
  • Carla D. Pratt, Dean and Professor of Law, Washburn Law School

The conference will begin at noon on May 29, and presentations will begin at 2 p.m. that day. The conference will end at 5 p.m. on May 31. Hotel and registration information will be available in February, along with details of the full program.


Hat tips to ALWD and its Conference Committees Members: 


Invited Speakers Subcommittee

  • Olympia Duhart (Nova), Chair
  • Cynthia Adams (Indiana University McKinney)
  • Tenielle Fordyce-Ruff (Concordia)
  • Tiffany Jeffers (Penn State)
  • Lucy Jewel (Tennessee)


25/50 Min. Presentations Subcommittee

  • Liz Frost (Oregon), Chair
  • Chelsi Hayden (Nebraska)
  • Samantha Moppett (Suffolk)
  • Sarah Morath (Houston)


Media Presentations Subcommittee

  • Lindsey Gustafson (Arkansas Little Rock), Chair
  • Deirdre Bowen (Seattle)
  • Robin Boyle Laisure (St. John's)




January 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Kirsten Davis Named Interim Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at Stetson

Dr. Kirsten K. Davis, Director of the Stetson Law School's Institute for the Advancement of Legal Communication, has been appointed the Interim Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at Stetson University College of Law.

She received her law degree from The Ohio State University College of Law, where she was a member of the Ohio State Law Journal and chief justice of the Moot Court Governing Board. She clerked for a federal judge in the Northern District of West Virginia. She later practiced in the areas of litigation, employment and taxation. Dr. Davis began her legal teaching career at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

She holds a Ph.D. in Human Communication from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. She has served on the board of directors of the Association of Legal Writing Directors and is a past chair for the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Women in Legal Education. She is currently Vice Chair of the Florida Bar’s Standing Commission on Professionalism and is on the Board of Directors of the Legal Writing Institute.

Hat tip to Jason Palmer.


January 19, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nominations Open Until February 15 for the 2019 Scribes Book Award

Since 1961, Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers--has presented an annual award for the best work of legal scholarship published during the previous year. The Scribes Book-Award Committee receives between 30 and 40 nominees each year. The Scribes Book Award is presented at a CLE program held in conjunction with the Scribes' annual meeting, which this year will be held in Washington, D.C. on Friday, April 12, 2019.

The 2018 winner was The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World by Oona A. Hathaway and Scott J. Shapiro. Honorable mentions went to The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein, and to Miles Lord: The Maverick Judge Who Brought Corporate America to Justice by Roberta Walburn.

Nominations for the 2019 Scribes Book Award will be accepted until February 15, 2019. To nominate a book for this year's book award, all a publisher needs to do is send a copy to each of our book award committee members.  For more information, please contact Executive Director Philip Johnson at


January 19, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Lahav Wins 2019 Civil Justice Scholarship Award

The Pound Civil Justice Institute have given the Institute’s 2019 Civil Justice Scholarship Award to Professor Alexandra Lahav of the University of Connecticut School of Law in recognition of her book, In Praise of Litigation (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Lahav is the Ellen Ash Peters Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law. She teaches civil procedure, torts, complex litigation, professional responsibility, and related subjects. In her winning work, In Praise of Litigation, Lahav argues that lawsuits are good for society and are needed in a healthy democracy. She finds that most critiques of “litigiousness” in America today are based not on facts, but on anecdotes, and that most “tort reform” proposals will make it harder for citizens to fight for their rights. In other recent work on the civil justice system, Professor Lahav has studied the changing win-rate patterns in federal courts, the effects of incentives on judicial decision-making, and the optimal design of procedural systems. She has also studied the role of litigation tactics in changing the law in the antebellum period of American history.  Read more about Lahav's book here.


January 16, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Legal Writing Seminar in DC

Rick Horowitz will be giving a legal writing seminar in Washington D.C. on January 25, 2019. The course is limited to 30 registrants. Contact the DC Bar CLE Office at 202-626-3488 for more information about the program.


January 15, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 14, 2019

Nominations for the LWI Phelps Award Due By March 31, 2018


Teresa Godwin Phelps Scholarship Award for Works Published in 2018


This award honors and draws attention to individual works of outstanding scholarship specific to the legal writing discipline that are published in a given calendar year. The award is meant to set aspirational standards for others who produce scholarship in the field.The award is not meant to honor instructional materials, such as textbooks.

In making an award, the selection committee and the LWI Board will focus solely on whether an individual work is specific to the discipline of legal writing and on whether it makes an outstanding contribution to scholarship in the discipline. Neither the selection committee nor the Board will consider the author’s long-term contributions to the field or contributions in service, program design, teaching, or improving status for the legal writing field. 

The selection committee may recommend, and the Board may give, more than one award for any given year.


Eligible works

To be eligible for this year’s award, an article or book must have been published in its final form in 2018 and must be nominated through the process described below. Textbooks and similar instructional materials are not eligible.

The publication year assigned by the publisher determines eligibility, regardless of whether the work is actually available in that year. However, if the final form of the work is not actually available to the public in the year of its official publication date, and if, as a result, the selection committee lacks time to consider the work before making the award(s) for that year, the selection committee may evaluate the work for an award in the following year, despite the official publication year.


1. A draft of an article is posted on SSRN in October 2017 and the final form of the article is published in print by a law review. The law review’s issue is dated February 2018. The article is eligible for consideration for an award for works published in 2018.  

2.  A law review has a “Fall 2018” issue, but the law review is running behind and does not actually publish that issue, either in print or online, until March 2019. In this instance, the article is eligible for either an award for works published in 2018 or an award for works published in 2019, but not both. If time permits, the selection committee will consider the article for an award for 2018 publications. If time does not so permit, the committee will roll it over and consider it next year for an award for 2019 publications, despite its official publication date.


Eligible authors

Any person, except a member of the current selection committee, is eligible to win the award. The author’s faculty status, level of experience, or area(s) of teaching will not be considered. Members of the current selection committee are Mary Beth Beazley, Sha-Shana Crichton, Linda Edwards, Lisa Eichhorn, Elizabeth Fajans, and Lucy Jewel.



Nomination Deadline and Process 


For works published in 2018, the nomination deadline is March 31, 2019.  Please email nominations to


Nominations must be in writing, must briefly summarize the reasons for the nomination, must provide a copy of or link to the nominated work, and must be received by the deadline above. The selection committee will not accept nominations by the author of the nominated workor by any member of the selection committee.


The LWI Board plans to announce the Phelps Award winner(s) by July 2018.


Questions?  Please contact Lisa Eichhorn, chair of the selection committee, at


January 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Photos and Materials from a One-Day Workshop at Oregon

The Legal Writing Institute (LWI) holds One-Day Workshops in various locations across the country. Most of these are held in late November or early December, and usually the only beneficiaries are those who are able to attend.

No longer.

The University of Oregon School of Law has uploaded photographs and materials from its One-Day Workshop held on November 30, 2018. The materials include PowerPoint Presentations, Handouts, and Notes from various sessions. Click here to have a look, and thank you Oregon!


January 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bar Pass Rates and Other Issues Coming Before the ABA House of Delegates

The American Bar Association House of Delegates will meet later this month in Las Vegas with a full slate of resolutions, including proposals to change the bar passage rate standard for law graduates and another to oppose arming non-security personnel in the nation’s schools.  

The HOD, as the ABA policy-making body is known, meets Jan. 28 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas at the end of the 2019 ABA Midyear Meeting. Its preliminary agenda has about 30 different resolutions. The HOD consists of 601 delegates from state, local and specialty bar associations and meets twice a year.  

In a significant change, the council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is asking the delegates to concur with Resolution 105, which would simplify the bar passage standard for the nation’s 203 ABA-approved law schools. The HOD rejected a similar change in 2017 that would require schools to have a bar-passage rate of at least 75 percent within two years for those who sat for the test. Now, schools can meet the passage standard through a variety of ways.  

A study released by the council found that nearly 9 of 10 law graduates who first sat for the bar in 2015 passed it within two years. Under ABA procedures, the HOD can review a change in ABA legal education standards twice but the council can still enact it without HOD concurrence.  

Resolution 106A would put the ABA on record as opposing laws that authorize teachers, principals or other non-security school personnel to possess a firearm in or nearby a pre-K through grade-12 school. The proposal also urges banning public funds for firearms training for teachers, principals or other non-security personnel or for firearm purchases for those individuals.  

Other resolutions range from ensuring the accuracy of criminal records to rescinding the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policies. They include: 

  • Resolution 107B seeks commitments from legal employers not to require pre-dispute mandatory arbitration of claims of unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or status as a victim of domestic or sexual violence.
  • Resolution 109A urges the U.S. attorney general to rescind the “Zero Tolerance” and “Operation Streamline” policies that mandate the prosecution of all persons alleged to have improperly entered the United States for the first time, a misdemeanor under 8 U.S.C. 1325; end the practice of expedited mass prosecution of immigrants; and allow for an individualized determination in deciding whether to file criminal charges.
  • Resolution 109B urges federal, state, local, territorial and tribal legislatures to define criminal arrests, charges and dispositions that are eligible for expungement or removal from public view by sealing these records; the proposal also sets out a process for individuals to have their criminal records expunged.
  • Resolution 101B recommends enactment of a rule by the highest courts or legislative bodies of all states, territories and tribes charged with the regulation of the legal profession, as well as by all federal courts, providing for a continuance based on parental leave of either the lead attorney or another integrally involved attorney with certain limitations.
  • Resolution 106B asks federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments to reduce potential harm that individuals may inflict on themselves or others by enacting statutes, rules or regulations allowing individuals to temporarily prevent themselves from purchasing firearms.
  • Resolution 107A urges the federal judiciary, Congress and the Department of Homeland Security to enact legislation and adopt policies to protect the privacy interests of those crossing the border by imposing standards for searches and seizures of electronic devices, protection of attorney-client privilege, the work product doctrine and lawyer-client confidentiality.

The full slate of resolutions can be found here. Resolutions do not become ABA policy until approved by the House of Delegates and are subject to change before then. All ABA policies and procedures can be found in the ABA Policies and Procedures Handbook. 

(Adapted from an ABA Press Release)

January 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 11, 2019

Videos of Award Presentations at the AALS Annual Meeting

Legal Writing Institute President Kris Tiscione (Georgetown) presented the 2019 LWI Golden Pen Award to Professor Tina Stark (Emory) in New Orleans on January 4, 2019 during the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law School. Videos of the award presentation and Professor Stark's acceptance remarks are available on the Legal Writing Institute Facebook Page.

Videos are also available there on the LWI Facebook Page for the presentation of the AALS Section Award to Professor Charles Calleros (Arizona State University) and the joint presentation by the Legal Writing Institute and the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) Thomas Blackwell Award to Professor Terry Pollman (UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law).




January 11, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Reminder to Save the Date: 2019 Applied Legal Storytelling Conference

Save the Date! The seventh Applied Legal Storytelling Conference will be held July 9-11, 2019 at the University of Colorado.


January 5, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, January 4, 2019

Charles Calleros Receives 2019 AALS Section Award

Charles Calleros of Arizona State University received the 2019 AALS Section Award today from the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. We'll have photos and video posted in a day or so.


January 4, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Your AALS Legal Writing Dance Card

AALS LogoThe Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting opens tomorrow in New Orleans. Here are some of the events of particular interest to legal writing faculty:

AALS 2019 in New Orleans LWRR “Dance Card”

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

5:30 pm - 6:30 pm AALS Arc of Career Program: A Session for First Time Meeting Attendees What is AALS and Why Does It Matter for My Career? And How Do I Get the Most Out of the Annual Meeting?

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm AALS Reception for New Law Teachers

Thursday, January 3, 2019

10:30 am - 12:15 pm AALS Arc of Career Program What to Make of Student Evaluations

10:30 am - 12:15 pm AALS Hot Topic Program Narratives About Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence: #MeToo, the Kavanaugh Allegations and Pending Changes to Title IX Enforcement

1:30 pm - 4:30 pm Balance in Legal Education Building (Self)-Compassion and Other Sources of Well-Being

4:30-5:45 pm LWRR Outreach – Beignets & Banter Please drop by the conference hotel lobby, second floor, near River Blends Café (main lobby adjacent) for a treat and a chance to say hello to LWRR colleagues. Beignets hosted by McGeorge School of Law Global Lawyering Skills Program.

Friday, January 4, 2019

9:00 am - 12:00 pm Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research and Technology, Law and Legal Education Joint Program Learning Here, There, and Everywhere: Distance Learning Technology & New Tech Tools

10:30 am - 12:15 pm Law and the Social Sciences, Co-Sponsored by New Law Professors Publishing Social Science Research

12:15 pm - 1:30 pm Clinical Legal Education Luncheon

12:15 pm - 1:30 pm Law Libraries and Legal Information Luncheon

12:15 pm - 1:30 pm Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Luncheon

1:30 pm - 3:15 pm New Law Professors Building Bridges: Teaching to Students of Different Backgrounds, Interests, and Strengths

8:00 pm - 10:00 pm Association of Legal Writing Directors and Legal Writing Institute (ALWD/LWI) Blackwell Award Reception

Saturday, January 5, 2019

10:30 am - 12:15 pm AALS Discussion Group Building Bridges Between Theory and Practice: Incorporating Lawyering Skills into Doctrinal Courses 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm LWRR Outreach – New Orleans Literary (Walking) Tour Trace the footsteps and visit the inspirational haunts of the regional writers who have defined literature. $25. Click here for more information about the walking tour. To make a reservation, please email Adrienne Brungess:

3:30 pm - 5:15 pm AALS Discussion Group Cross-Generational Teaching: How to Remain Relevant in a Rapidly Changing World

3:30 pm - 5:15 pm Balance in Legal Education Building Bridges from Undergraduate Experience to Law School (Pedagogy Program)

3:30 pm - 5:15 pm Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research New Scholars Showcase

5:15 pm – 6:00 pm Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Business Meeting

Sunday, January 6, 2019

8:30 am - 10:15 am Law Libraries and Legal Information Supporting Scholarship to Build Bridges to Our Colleagues, Peers and Students

10:30 am - 12:15 pm Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Stronger Together: Building Bridges to Doctrinal Faculty, Practicing Attorneys, and Beyond

Hat tip to Adrienne Brungess, AALS-LWRR Outreach Committee Co-Chair

January 1, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)