Sunday, March 10, 2019

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 10, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The University of Richmond Promotes Five Professors

The University of Richmond School of Law has promoted five professors to the position of Professor of Law, Legal Practice:

  • Christopher Corts
  • Doron Samuel-Siegel 
  • Tamar Schwartz
  • Rachel Suddarth
  • Laura Webb


March 7, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Power of Stories

As most in the Legal Writing world know, our colleague Terri LeClercq has dedicated a substantial amount of her life to prison reform.  Her graphic novel, Prison Grievances: When to Write, How to Write, has become a godsend of hope for many who are currently incarcerated.  Terri has also spent a fair amount of time lecturing and speaking out about the condition of prisons in an effort to educate the public and give prisoners hope that some are listening and striving for change.  She is a frequent presenter on "The Prison Show," aired on KPFT and described as "discuss[ing] issues of interest to convicts and features shout-outs from family and friends to loved ones in the free world to their loved ones behind bars."

Her most recent endeavor involves something a little different, and she explains it in her own words:

"It all began with a slip of the tongue, actually.  But I was on the air, KPFT from Houston, and piped into national prison radios and loved ones with computers internationally.  A bit hard to walk back on my slip.

I had been monthly host of The Prison Show for 5 years, talking about writing, specifically writing grievances for officials to read and perhaps courts to finally decide about.  What a great gig for a retired English/legal writing teacher.

Then the slip.  I was on a roll, and said, “Yes you can write me about advice on grievances. But I am NOT a pen pal.  Do not tell me how tall you are.  I am NOT an attorney helping you with habeas.  No.  I am an English professor. Tell you what…”  and off went my tongue.  “If you read a book and write to me about it, I promise to write you back and discuss it or offer suggestions for other books to read.”

For the last 2-3 years, I answer over 100 letters a month, some about grievances;  many about books.

Now on the air, for 2019 I encourage listeners to read books about travel—physical and mental.  And I describe, like a storyteller with an audience around my feet, one book.  Occasionally a prison library will have it for them to read in full.  Occasionally a loved one can buy it and send it into the prison or jail through Amazon or Barnes and Noble. 

How about cheerful Bill Bryson’s descriptions of Australia, In a Sunburned Country?  He combines humor, wonder, and facts!  My correspondents wrote that they loved his statement that Australia has “more things that can kill you in nasty ways.”  Well… yes.

This month was Sho-Gun, and listeners loved hearing that sailors in the 1600’s “discovered” Japan but were rude and crude and thus boiled in oil.  The one who didn’t?  He listened, followed rules, learned the customs of the country.  OK, you noticed:  there is indeed always a moral to my stories, but somehow they don’t reject it, or me.

I’m having the time of my life."

Congratulations to Terri for making the world a better place through the power of stories.


For a link to Prison Grievances: When to Write, How to Write, click here



March 4, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Proposals Invited for the 14th Global Legal Skills Conference in Phoenix, Arizona

Here's a 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 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 2, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 1, 2019

St. John's is Hiring

ST. JOHN’S UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW invites applications for a full-time faculty appointment to teach Legal Writing in its J.D. program, beginning in the fall of 2019.


During the professor’s first year of appointment, the professor will teach one section (approximately 35-40 students) of Legal Writing, a 2-credit course taught in each of the fall and spring semesters. The class meets twice weekly with one class meeting being conducted in small groups with the help of teaching assistants. In the professor’s second year, the professor will teach additional courses, typically in advanced writing or drafting, building up to a teaching load of 8 credits per year by the professor’s third year.  St. John’s has a robust program in writing and skills development. The first-year legal writing course, which covers legal analysis, writing, and research, is this program’s cornerstone. 


Legal Writing faculty are fully engaged members of the Law School community. They are encouraged to undertake scholarship and are supported in doing so. All faculty, including Legal Writing professors, are able to hire research and teaching assistants, participate in faculty colloquia, receive support for academic travel, and are eligible for summer research grants and publication awards. They participate in committees, hold administrative positions, and engage in other aspects of shared governance. 


St. John’s Law School is located in New York City in the borough of Queens, recognized as one of the most diverse urban counties in the United States. The Law School is committed to diversity of all kinds in its faculty, students, and staff, and we encourage applications from candidates who will increase the diversity of the St. John’s Law community.


St. John’s Law School is part of St. John’s University, a Catholic, Vincentian, metropolitan, and global institution with campuses in New York, Rome, and Paris that is committed to academic excellence and service to those lacking economic, physical, or social advantages. St. John’s University is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex (including sexual harassment and sexual violence), sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, disability, religion, age, status in the uniformed services of the United States (including veteran status), marital status, status as a victim of domestic violence, citizenship status, genetic predisposition, carrier status, or any other classification protected under federal, state, or local law.


A candidate hired as an Assistant Professor of Legal Writing will be given a one-year renewable contract that can ultimately lead to a seven-year, presumptively-renewable contract. Candidates should have strong academic records (including a J.D. or its equivalent) and experience in law practice or a judicial clerkship. They should be able to show a commitment to teaching in the legal writing field, which involves significant interaction with students and evaluation of students’ written work. Teaching or mentoring experience is a plus, but not required. 


Applicants should submit a (1) cover letter, (2) curriculum vitae, (3) the names of three references, (4) a writing sample, and (5) teaching evaluations (if available) to the Search Committee at Please submit the documents as a single PDF file in the order indicated. Later stages of the hiring process will require the submission of additional materials. Review of applications will begin immediately.


The position may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years. The professor hired will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings (except as to promotion/tenure of tenure-track faculty).

The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range of $110,000 to $119,999. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be approximately 36 to 40.


Hat tip to Rachel H. Smith.




March 1, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Edition of Legal Writing by Neumann, Simon, and Painter-Thorne

The fourth edition of Legal Writing by Richard K. Neumann Jr. (Hofstra University), Sheila Simon (Southern Illinois University), and Suzianne D. Painter-Thorne (Mercer University) is now available from Wolters Kluwer Law and Business. In addition to the book itself, there's a dynamic website where student resources include Sheila Simon’s famed lasagna presentation, classroom and independent exercises, self-assessment checklists, and other learning tools.


March 1, 2019 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Baylor is Hiring

Baylor Law in Waco, Texas seeks to fill a full-time lecturer faculty position within its required Legal Writing Program. Responsibilities include working with other faculty members of the Baylor Law Writing Program to create, teach, and grade assignments for the Legal Analysis, Research, and Communications classes and coordinating all of the writing efforts across all three years of the curriculum to ensure consistency and best management of resources. Teaching responsibilities for this position will include instruction in contract drafting and other transactional legal writing.

Candidates must have a juris doctor. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. To apply, send a letter of interest; curriculum vitae; transcripts; and three references. For additional information, please see

Hat tip to Matt Cordon.


March 1, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

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

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 1, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)