Saturday, March 30, 2019

Volume 23 of LWI Journal now available

Click here to read the most recent edition of the LWI Journal.  The volume contains essay reflecting on the 2018 LWI Biennial Conference held at Marquette.

March 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 29, 2019

Two Million Page Views

Thank you, readers. The Legal Writing Prof Blog has had more than two million page views since we first launched this website.


March 29, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cincinnati is Hiring


 Assistant Professor of Practice, University of Cincinnati College of Law

The University of Cincinnati College of Law invites applications for a full-time faculty position of Assistant Professor of Practice, beginning in the 2019-2020 academic year. A successful candidate will teach courses in the first-year law students’ Legal Research and Writing curriculum. The new faculty member must be able to work collaboratively with other faculty and the librarians involved in the Legal Research and Writing curriculum.

The full job description is available at

Job Summary

The position offers an initial contract as Assistant Professor of Practice (not tenure eligible) for a term not to exceed two years. After the initial appointment term, the successful candidate will be eligible for promotion to a three-year term as an Associate Professor. Then, after the second term, the successful candidate will be eligible for a renewable, five-year appointment as a Professor of Practice. The salary will be commensurate with experience. The appointment is a nine-month, academic year appointment. Faculty members in the Legal Research and Writing program receive a Faculty Development Allowance for expenses related to professional development efforts, including travel and registration expenses associated with academic conferences. They are also eligible to receive grants for summer research. Primary responsibilities include teaching and service.

Required Qualifications

  • ·       J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school
  • ·       Distinguished academic record, strong analytical, writing, and research skills, and substantial legal-practice experience
  • ·       Active law license 

Preferred Qualifications

A minimum of two years of experience in a substantial legal-practice 

Application Procedure
Interested applicants should apply online at and search requisition # 36586. Please attach a curriculum vitae and a cover letter addressing your qualifications. Please also include the names and contact information for at least three references when prompted in the application. Candidates with teaching experience should also submit student evaluations from any teaching posts. Applications will be accepted and the position will remain open until filled, and they will begin reviewing applications in mid-Spring 2019. Nominations, referrals, and questions about the position may be sent confidentially to Professor Felix Chang, Search Committee Chair, at 

Hat tip to Rachel Smith


March 29, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Second Draft Spring Edition

The Spring 2019 edition of the Second Draft is now available for your reading pleasure.  Click here to take a look!

Second Draft

March 28, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Grammar Wins Cases: Conjugating Verbs in Modern Legal Opinions

If you're a member of Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers--you probably receive the Scribes Grammar Tips by email. Grammar Tip Number 153 urges readers to look at an article by Professor Robert C. Farrell, Why Grammar Matters: Conjugating Verbs in Modern Legal Opinions, 40 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 1 (2008), Prof. Farrell examines court cases in which the court's grammatical analysis determined the outcome. The article is available by clicking here. The article and cases cited in it offer insight into when and how best to introduce and pursue a grammatical challenge or defense.

Hat tip to Ann Schwing and to Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers.

Scribes is holding it annual CLE program on Friday, April 12, 2019, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Register for free at


March 26, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Justice Stephen Breyer to Receive the Scribes Lifetime-Achievement Award

Justice BreyerScribes--The American Society of Legal Writers--will present a Lifetime-Achievement Award to U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

The award will be presented at the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. on Friday, April 12, 2019, as part of a Scribes CLE program being held from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The program is free but you must register in advance because of space limitations. A registration link is on the Scribes home page.

The program will begin with an introduction and update on access to the collections of the Law Library of Congress, the largest law library in the world.

After some initial award presentations, the program will then feature a roundtable discussion on "What Makes a Great Brief Great." The roundtable will include views from the bench, bar, and academia.

That discussion will then be followed by the award presentation to Justice Breyer.


March 26, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Suffolk is Hiring

Suffolk University Law School in Boston will be hiring a Visiting Assistant Professor of Academic Support for the coming year. They hope to have someone in place by July 2019. The school plans to start a search in September for a permanent ASP hire, and the visitor will be eligible to apply for that position. The visitor will be working predominantly in the area of bar prep support.

Application materials should be submitted using the following link: Contact Professor Herbert Ramy at Suffolk if you have questions about the position.

Hat tip to Kathleen Vinson.


March 26, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Congratulations, Barbara Tyler!

Congratulations to Barbara Tyler (Legal Writing Professor Emerita), who will be inducted this fall into the Hall of Fame at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.TylerBarbara

After graduating from law school, Barbara went on to clerk for the Honorable Blanche Krupansky in Cuyahoga County's Eighth District Court of Appeals.  I stayed on at Cleveland-Marshall trying to help start up our fledgling full-time Legal Writing Department.  A year later, we somehow convinced our then Dean, Steve Smith, to use soft money to fund another full-time Legal Writing position.  I was elated when I read an application letter signed by Barbara Tyler.  There was never a doubt who would be getting that grand sum of $25,000.

A decade later, it was the Legal Writing professors who dominated nearly every activity that went on at the school from Moot Court, to Law Review, to Orientation Training, to Academic Support, to Bar Prep Training.  Barbara was involved in all aspects of the law school life and became the advisor for the Journal of Law and Health.  She also became the school's publication "guru," writing numerous law review articles and helping students get their articles published across the country.  The top student article submitted the Cleveland-Marshall Journal of Law and Health is appropriately given an award named after Barbara Tyler.

In 2001, Barbara became the Director of Legal Writing, and, under her leadership, the Department members were able to attain 405(c) status, and develop and implement a mandatory third semester Legal Writing requirement.  Barbara was all things to all people, and, not surprisingly, acted as our on-call nurse whenever there was a health crisis.

Barbara retired in 2008 and is still active in community service, teaching high school students about the law, and being surrounded by her many appreciative children and grandchildren.  The Hall of Fame Honor is richly deserved.

Karin Mika (km)

March 26, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Teaching Legal Writing as Resistance

Panel Presentation from the National People of Color Scholarship Conference

Congratulations to Professors Teri McMurtry-Chubb (Mercer), Jane Cross (Nova Southeastern), Brenda Gibson (NCCU), Shakira Pleasant (Miami), Saleema Snow (UDC), Latisha Nixon-Jones (SULC), and Tiffany Jeffers (Penn State Dickinson)  for their panel presentation held at the 4th National People of Color Scholarship Conference at American University Washington College of Law (March 21-24th). The panel discussed the theme: “It’s All Write - Teaching Legal Writing As Resistance.” A full video of the presentation can be viewed by clicking here.


March 26, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 22, 2019

Final Reminder: Nominations for the LWI Phelps Award Due By March 31, 2019


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 work or by any member of the selection committee.


The LWI Board plans to announce the Phelps Award winner(s) by July 2019.


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


March 22, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Teller on the Art of Teaching

Before Teller became Penn & Teller, Mr. Teller was a high school Latin teacher who aspired to turn teaching into a performance worth being interested in.  For more information, click here.


h/t Richard Neumann

March 19, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Rocky Mountain 2019

    Congratulations to UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law for hosting another wonderful Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference on March 15th and 16th.  We were treated to many extraordinary presentations, including a reprise of Charles Calleros' presentation on "Reading, Writing, and Rhythm:  Thinking about Teaching and Learning in a Collaborative Exercise."   The session included a classical guitar player and was streamed live as it occurred.  Congratulations also to Linda Edwards, recipient of  this year's Rocky Mountain Award.

Linda charles


(h/t to Debbie Borman for the photo of Charles and Mary Beth Beazley impressing the room with their dancing skills.)




March 17, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 16, 2019

CFP: The Central States Area Legal Writing Conference at The John Marshall Law School

Here's a reminder that April 5 is the deadline for presentations for the 2019 Central States Area Legal Writing Conference.

Interwoven: The Fabric of Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Central States Area Legal Writing Conference

Location: The John Marshall Law School in Chicago (which at the time of the conference will be the UIC John Marshall Law School), 300 S. State Street, Chicago, Illinois

Conference Dates: Friday, September 13 and Saturday, September 14, 2019

Deadline for Proposals: Friday, April 5, 2019

The Central States Area Legal Writing Conference Program Committee is seeking proposals for presentations at the conference. They are particularly interested in proposals that are broadly related to this year’s theme, which focuses on how legal writing can work with other disciplines within the law school to enhance the educational experience of our students. Because this conference will be held close to the start of the school year, the organizers are especially looking for presentation ideas that will provide conference participants with quick “take-aways” that they can bring home and incorporate into their classes.

Time slots are generally set up in 50-minute increments, and there are many ways to present your topic. Below is a list of some suggestions, which is by no means exhaustive. Please note that co-presenters and groups are welcome. In addition, as part of your proposal, please identify how your materials might be shared with the group.

  • 15-minute speed rounds (three to a time slot)
  • 25 minute presentations (single, co-presenter, or group) (two to a time slot)
  • 50 minute panel discussion

If you are interested in presenting, please send us a one- to two-page proposal with the following information:

  1. Your name, professional title and school
  2. Contact information, e-mail and telephone number
  3. Number of years teaching in a law school (we will consider applications with all levels of experience)
  4. Title of your presentation – what is the topic that would fit on a bumper sticker
  5. One paragraph description of your presentation, about 300 words.
  6. Technology needs beyond the basics. All rooms have computers with internet, and projection and audio capabilities.
  7. Whether the presentation is lecture style or interactive. (please describe)
  8. While most presenters will be chosen to speak on one topic, please submit as many as you would like considered.

Please send proposals to Wanda M. Temm, Clinical Professor of Law, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Her e-mail address is Her telephone number is (816) 235-5311.

If you’ve never presented at a conference before, you should give this opportunity special consideration and inform the organizers that this will be your first conference presentation. Presenting at a regional conference is one of the best ways to jump into the legal writing community at a broader level than just your school.

Presenters will know by April 30 whether their proposals have been accepted.

Hat tip to Wanda Temm and The Central States Program Committee


March 16, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kathryn Stanchi Wins the 2019 ALWD Berger Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Legal Writing Scholarship

Stanci Wins Berger AwardKathryn M. Stanchi of the Temple University Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been named as the winner of the 2019 Linda Berger Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Legal Writing Scholarship.

The Berger Award is highest award conferred by the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) to recognize scholarship in the field of legal writing. The award recognizes lifetime dedication to and advancement of legal writing scholarship.  It celebrates those who have written influential articles, books, or essays or otherwise had a major impact on
scholarship, perhaps through making presentations, mentoring, serving on editorial boards of various publications, or sponsoring scholarship workshops.

ALWD shred a few excerpts from Professor Stanchi's nominators for this award:

[Kathy’s] lifetime dedication to the advancement of legal writing scholarship is unsurpassed. She is a renowned scholar but, equally important, she has worked tirelessly to build the discipline of LRW scholarship in myriad ways and she has mentored many, many members of the LRW community. Kathy’s work is unique in that it has continuously built connections between the legal writing community and others in the academy, both nationally and internationally.

[Kathy] has published books and articles prolifically for over 20 years. Her four books—including two by Cambridge University Press—are insightful, well written (of course), and provocative in the best ways. Her 20 articles have been published in mainline journals, in specialty journals dedicated to gender and human rights issues, and in legal writing and legal education journals. She reaches wide audiences and is regarded as one of the leading scholars from the legal writing discipline.

[As] the leader of the United States Feminist Judgments project, a project that reimagines and rewrites major judicial opinions from a feminist perspective, [Kathy’s] efforts have had a world-wide impact as the series has expanded internationally.  . . . She advocated for the project to include legal writing and clinical professors, and her effort has given over 30 LRW and clinical professors the opportunity to publish with the Cambridge University Press on a project that blurs lines between doctrine, theory, and skills.

The Berger Award will be presented on Friday, May 31, 2019 during the ALWD Biennial Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. The photograph was shared by Professor Stanchi's colleagues who told her that she would be receiving the Berger Award.

Professor Stanchi is the second recipient of the Linda Berger Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Legal Writing Scholarship, which ALWD first presented to Professor Linda Berger in 2017.

Hat tip to Jodi Wilson.



March 16, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 14, 2019

U.S. Law Schools that are Institutional Members of Scribes May Nominate Up to Five Students for the National Order of Scribes

Scribes -- The American Society of Legal Writers -- offers both individual and institutional memberships. Each year, any law school that is a current institutional member of Scribes may nominate up to five students to be inducted into the National Order of Scribes. By May 17, 2018, member law schools should submit the names of their nominated students to the Executive Director of Scribes. The following U.S. law schools are institutional members of Scribes:

  • Barry University, Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law
  • Baylor Law School Legal Writing Center
  • California Western School of Law
  • Chapman University, Dale E. Fowler School of Law
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Duke University School of Law
  • Florida Coastal School of Law
  • Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco
  • Hofstra University, Maurice A. Deane School of Law
  • Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College
  • Northern Kentucky University - Chase College of Law
  • Mercer University School of Law
  • Mississippi College School of Law
  • Oklahoma City University School of Law
  • Saint Louis University School of Law
  • Seattle University School of Law
  • South Texas College of Law
  • Southwestern Law School
  • Stetson University College of Law
  • Suffolk University Law School
  • Syracuse University College of Law
  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas Tech University School of Law
  • The John Marshall Law School
  • Western Michigan University - Cooley Law School
  • University of Akron, C. Blake McDowell Law Center
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law
  • University of Houston Law Center
  • University of La Verne College of Law
  • University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law
  • University of Missouri School of Law
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law
  • University of Oklahoma Law Center
  • Washburn University School of Law
  • Western New England University School of Law

For more information about Scribes (including how to become an individual or an institutional member), visit


March 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

California Western is Hiring

California Western School of Law (CWSL) in 0h-so-beautiful-all-year-'round San Diego is seeking applications for a visiting full-time Legal Writing Professor. The appointment will be for one year.  Responsibilities include teaching two sections of Legal Skills I (objective analysis, writing, and research) in the fall and two sections of Legal Skills II (persuasive writing and oral advocacy) in the spring.  CWSL encourages applications from individuals who would contribute to the diversity of our faculty. 
Applicants must have strong academic credentials, a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school, and proficiency in legal writing and research.  Law-practice experience, which may include judicial clerkships, is required and teaching experience is preferred.
A substantial percentage of CWSL students come from diverse cultural, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.  We are particularly interested in candidates who are committed to teaching a diverse student body.  While not required, all candidates are encouraged to submit a statement addressing their commitment to diversity and how they can contribute to the educational experience of our students.
CWSL is an ABA accredited and AALS member, non-profit law school located in downtown San Diego, California.  We have the distinction of being San Diego’s oldest law school and are known for our commitment to preparing students to be practice-ready lawyers.  CWSL is the recipient of numerous community service awards, including the State Bar of California President’s Pro Bono Service Award, and the federal President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.  It is also home to numerous outstanding programs, including the California Innocence Project, the Community Law Project, and the New Media Rights Program.  Members of the faculty have national and international reputations for their scholarly contributions.  The faculty is also dedicated to teaching and community service.
Please email application materials (including cover letter, CV, law-school transcript, writing sample, and diversity statement) to the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Donald Smythe, at  The school will begin considering applications immediately.  The position will commence August 1, 2019.
The position advertised is a one-year visiting position. The visiting professor will not be allowed to vote in faculty meetings. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range of $60,000 to $79,999, and the number of students enrolled in each semester is expected to be between 36 and 45. 
Hat tip to Bobbie Thyfault, Legal Writing Professor at California Western School of Law


March 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Power of Words (and missing words)

"A Pennsylvania death-row inmate is entitled to a new trial because of a one-word error in a judge’s instruction on reasonable doubt, a judge has ruled.   [T]he trial judge had told jurors their verdict “must be guilty” if prosecutors failed to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

One missing word, but a very consequential word.

For the full story, click here.

March 13, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

U.S. News Rankings of Legal Writing Programs

Here is the 2020 U.S. News and World Report Ranking of Legal Writing Programs at U.S. law schools. The rankings were compiled in 2019.

  • #1 - University of Nevada at Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law
  • #2 - Seattle University School of Law
  • #3 - Stetson University College of Law and Suffolk Law School (tied for third)
  • #5 - Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor School of Law, the University of Oregon School of Law, and Wake Forest University School of Law (three-way tie for fifth place)
  • #8 - The John Marshall Law School -- Chicago, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and University of North Carolina School of Law -- Chapel Hill (three-way tie for eighth place)
  • #11- Temple University Beasley School of Law
  • #12 - Georgetown University Law Center

Just for fun, here's a link to the U.S. News ranking of legal writing programs ten years ago.


March 13, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has appointed Robin L. Dale to the position of Associate Librarian for Library Services effective April 1, 2019. Dale brings 25 years of experience to her new role. She has been a strong advocate for libraries and has expertise in library technologies, digital library service development, collection access management and preservation, library space and renovation, and personnel management. She also has extensive experience in strategic planning, developing and managing budgets, aligning initiatives with organization goals, and developing strategic partnerships.

“Robin’s background and extensive library experience make her an ideal candidate for this position. Her experience includes consulting with Congressional members and staff on legislation related to IMLS, including many issues important to the broader library community,” said Mark Sweeney, Principal Deputy Librarian of Congress. “Based on her experience, Ms. Dale will be an exceptional leader, ensuring Library Services is both a creative learning center for the public and an efficiently and effectively managed service unit of the Library of Congress”.

From May 2017 to March 2019, she served as Deputy Director, Office of Library Services at the Institute of Museum and Library Services. She directed grant activity for IMLS’ Grants to States program for more than $186 million. Using a population based formula, more than $150 million was distributed among the State Library Administrative Agencies every year. Dale also managed the discretionary grant programs, including the National Leadership Grants and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian programs. She was responsible for department budgets, personnel, training and travel, and represented IMLS at the federal, regional, national and international levels. She has served in various capacities for a number of national organizations including ALA, ALCTS, ARL, LITA, LLAMA, DPLA, and HathiTrust, among others. Also, between 2001 and 2008, she taught several courses in Collections Preservation and Digitization and Digital Preservation at San Jose State University, School of Library and Information Science.

Before joining IMLS, Dale was Senior Director for Digital Services for LYRASIS where she developed and implemented organizational strategy for digital programs, services, grant funding, and partnerships. Before LYRASIS, she was the Associate University Librarian for Collections and Library Information Systems at the University of California, Santa Cruz. There she managed UCSC’s participation in mass digitization projects, coordinated library technology, collections, and technical services activities, and planned the digitization and digital collection development of local, unique collections.

Prior to UCSC, she was a long-time program manager at RLG, managing collaborative programmatic activities related to digital preservation and digitization. Since 1997, her work has focused on managing technology projects, library collections initiatives, standards and best practice building activities related to creation, description, and curation of digital and analog collections.

Dale is the author of numerous articles, book chapters and papers. She holds a Master of Library & Information Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and received a Bachelor of Arts cum laude from the University of California, Riverside.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at; and register creative works of authorship at

(Adapted from a Press Release from the Library of Congress)

March 13, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Proposals Invited for the 14th Global Legal Skills Conference in Phoenix, Arizona: First CFP Deadline is March 15

Here's a final reminder that proposals are invited for the next Global Legal Skills Conference, which will take place on December 12-14, 2019 in Phoenix at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.  In addition to the conference, there will be a Scholars’ Forum on December 11 and an optional day trip on December 15, 2019.

Proposals for presentations are now being accepted at  The first call for proposals will close on March 15 and presenters will be notified by April 30.  Late submissions will be reviewed until May 31 on a space-available basis. 

Please contact Professor Kim Holst at Arizona State University or Professor Mark E. Wojcik at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago if you have questions about the conference.


March 10, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)