Sunday, September 11, 2022

Just Published! The Scribes Manual for Law Review Editors

9781531022716Hundreds of law reviews are published in the United States, with every accredited law school hosting at least one law review or journal. These publications are not widely read but instead serve a targeted audience of academics, policymakers, lawyers, judges, and students interested in the subject matter of a particular article. Even if the number of readers of a specific article is not large, that article may prove to be the catalyst for a change in the law. Not every article will have such an impact, of course, but publication of an article in a law review allows new ideas to grow.

The potential power of law reviews to effect change is curious, however, because most of those law reviews are edited by law students rather than experienced editors. 

So if you’re a law review editor or you aspire to be one, or if you’re a faculty advisor to a law review, this is the book you’ve been waiting for.

Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers—has just released The Scribes Manual for Law Review Editors.

The book, published this month by Carolina Academic Press, was edited by two self-confessed “law review nerds,” Dean Darby Dickerson and Professor Brooke J. Bowman. Dean Dickerson is the President and Dean of Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles; she’s also a Past President of Scribes and a Past President of the Association of American Law Schools. Professor Bowman teaches legal research and writing at Stetson University College of Law; she’s also served on several editorial boards and chairs the Scribes Law Review Award Committee.

How did this book come about? An organization known as the National Conference of Law Reviews (NCLR) previously held annual conferences to train incoming law review editors, but those haven’t been held since 2017. The NCLR essentially evaporated as an organization, leaving a tremendous void in preparing incoming law review editors.

Scribes stepped in to fill that void with this wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, comprehensive manual for law review editors. At 323 pages, this volume is “the definitive source for student-editors who seek to excel in their positions and improve their journals.” It contains the wisdom and advice of law professors and law librarians who have worked with law review editors for many years. Together they cover almost every aspect of producing a law review.

The full list of 19 chapters and chapter authors reveals how comprehensive the book is:

  1. Why Law Reviews Exist, by Maureen B. Collins (University of Illinois Chicago School of Law)
  2. Law Review as an Academic Activity, by Pamela Wilkins (Mercer University School of Law)
  3. The Business of Law Reviews, by Darby Dickerson (Southwestern Law School)
  4. Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Practices for the Law Review and Legal Scholarship, by Teri A. McMurtry-Chubb (University of Illinois Chicago School of Law)
  5. Understanding Philosophical Movements Law Review Editors May Encounter, Kristen David Adams (Stetson University College of Law)
  6. Working with Law Librarians, by Andrew W. Lang (University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School Biddle Law Library) and Annalee Hickman Pierson (Brigham Young University Howard W. Hunter Law Library)
  7. Common Editorial Positions and the Selection of Editors, by Lindsey Gustafson (University of Arkansas at Little Rock William S. Bowen School of Law)
  8. Effective Editorial Board Transitions, by Austin Martin Williams (Mercer University School of Law)
  9. Leadership Styles for Law Review Editors, by Ashley R. Hilliard (North Carolina Central University School of Law)
  10. Selecting Journal Candidates, by Wes E. Henricksen (Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law)
  11. Orientation and Training for Editors, New Staff Members, and Returning Staff Members, by Carolyn V. Williams (University of North Dakota School of Law)
  12. Working with Student Authors, Kristen E. Murray (Temple University Beasley School of Law) and Jessica Lynn Wherry (Georgetown Law)
  13. Author Relations, by Mark Cooney (Western Michigan University Cooley Law School)
  14. The Editing Process, by Michael J. Higdon (University of Tennessee College of Law)
  15. Journal Production and Dissemination, by Brent Domann (Michigan State University College of Law)
  16. Post-Production Consequences, by Christina Anna George (Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Chutick Law Library)
  17. Managing Copyright Issues for Law Reviews, by Benjamin J. Keele (Indiana University McKinney School of Law Ruth Lilly Law Library)
  18. Policies for Law Reviews on Archiving Internet Sources, by Clanitra Stewart Nejdl (Vanderbilt Law School Alyne Queener Masey Law Library)
  19. The Editorial Adventure, Brooke J. Bowman (Stetson University College of Law)

Susan Hanley Duncan, Dean of the University of Mississippi School of Law and the 2020-2022 President of Scribes, also contributed a preface to the volume.

Each of the 19 chapters starts with “Learning Objectives” to tell readers what they’ll learn in that chapter. And each chapter ends with “Key Takeaways” of the main points covered in that chapter.

This book should not just be in the office of every law review but in the hands of every law review editor. It will inspire them to improve their journals and remind them of the importance of their work. Parts of the book will also encourage editorial boards and faculty advisors to expand access to journal editorial boards and to publish authors whose voices may not otherwise be heard.

There hasn’t been a book like this before, a book to help students understand and appreciate solicitation and editing of articles, leadership and operations of a law journal, academic and personal mentorship of editors and staff, and relationships with authors. 

Click here for information on how to order a copy of the book.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

Disclosure: Mark Wojcik is a Past President of Scribes. He was not involved in the preparation of this book. 

September 11, 2022 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 1, 2021

The Legal Scholar's Guidebook

BerenguerElizabethCongratulations to Elizabeth Berenguer on the publication of her new book, The Legal Scholar’s Guidebook, published by Wolters Kluwer.  You can read more about her book by clicking here, and if you're a professor you can use that link to request an electronic review copy.

Professor Berenguer joined the faculty at Stetson Law School in August 2020 as an associate professor of law. She began teaching law in 2008 and has taught a variety of courses including legal research and writing, advanced legal writing, pretrial litigation, transactional drafting, appellate advocacy, criminal law, and foundations of legal scholarship. She has designed the curriculum for legal writing programs at two different law schools and has collaborated on developing prerequisite courses for an LL.M. in international legal studies program at Nottingham Law School in the United Kingdom.

Her work on the LL.M program led her to publish The Legal Scholar’s Guidebook. This text promises to be a valuable resource for students and nascent legal scholars who are working on scholarly projects for seminars, law review articles, or other publications.

Hat tip to Kirsten K. Davis.


May 1, 2021 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 20, 2020

New Edition of the ABA Legal Writing Sourcebook

20200420_234904The long-awaited third edition of the Legal Writing Sourcebook has just been published by the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. Updating the second edition published in 2006, the Legal Writing Sourcebook will be essential reading this summer for legal writing professors and program directors across the United States.

The books are in the process of being entered into the ABA inventory, and is expected go live in the ABA webstore the week of May 1.

Here's a list of the chapters covered:

  1. Overview of Legal Writing in Law Schools
  2. Developing a Comprehensive Legal Writing Curriculum
  3. Pedagogical Methods in First-Year Courses
  4. Assessment and Grading
  5. Faculty Status and Governance
  6. Ensuring Quality Instruction
  7. Law Students Who Speak English as a Second Language
  8. Serving Students with Special Needs
  9. Legal Writing Specialists and Writing Centers
  10. Innovations Inside and Outside the LRW Classroom

The executive editor of the book is Professor J. Lyn Entrikin (University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law) and Professor Mary Trevor (Mitchell Hamline School of Law) served as copy editor. The following professors are the collective authors of the book:

  • Heather Baxter (University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law)
  • Deborah L. Borman (University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law) 
  • Mary Bowman (Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law)
  • David R. Cleveland (Valparaiso University Law School)
  • Lurene Contento (Chicago-Kent College of Law)
  • Olympia Duhart (Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law)
  • J. Lyn Entrikin (University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law)
  • Emily Grant (Washburn University School of Law)
  • Tonya Kowalski (Washburn University School of Law)
  • Jan M. Levine (Duquesne University School of Law)
  • Anthony S. Niedwiecki (Golden Gate University School of Law)
  • Sara Rankin (Seattle University School of Law)
  • Kim D. Ricardo (UIC John Marshall Law School)
  • Suzanne E. Rowe (University of Oregon School of Law)
  • Michael R. Smith (University of Wyoming School of Law)
  • Kristen Konrad Tiscione (Georgetown University Law Center)
  • Catherine J. Wasson (Elong University School of Law)
  • Melissa H. Weresh (Drake University Law School)
  • Mark E. Wojcik (UIC John Marshall Law School)

The book is so new that the ABA website does not yet even list it. It will be available soon, and just in time to answer the burning question of "what should I read this summer?" So in case you need the ISBN to find and order the book, it is 978-1-64105-080-7. Congratulations to my fellow authors and thank you to the editors and members of the Publications Committee of the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

The members of the 2019-2020 Publications Committee are:

  • Rachel Arnow-Richman (University of Denver Sturm College of Law)
  • Olympia Duhart (Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law)
  • J. Lyn Entrikin (University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law)
  • Peter A. Joy (Washington University School of Law)
  • Anthony S. Niedwiecki (Golden Gate University School of Law)
  • Janet Sinder (Brooklyn Law School)


April 20, 2020 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 1, 2019

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)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Advising Students on Careers in International Law

Career Book PhotoMany legal writing professors also have an interest in teaching international law, coaching international law moot court teams (such as Jessup, Niagara, Space Law, and the Stetson International Environmental Law Moot Court Competition), and in advising law students about possible carrers in international law.  So many professors will be happy to be reminded that the American Bar Association Section of International Law has published a popular book on "Careers in International Law," and that you can recommend it to students.

Mark Wojcik (one of the editors on this blog) is one of the contributing authors on the book.  He's pictured here with another co-author, Jeff Golden, who is an American lawyer living and working in London, England.  They each authored chapters in the book.

December 1, 2014 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy National Punctuation Day!

Today is National Punctuation Day--read more about it here. I wish the site's discussion of the colon explained that Colonan introductory passage ending with one must be grammatically complete. (See Anne Enquist and Laurel Currie Oates, Just Writing 234 (Wolters Kluwer 2009)). But I quibble. It's still an interesting site.

hat tip: Chris Wren


September 24, 2012 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Celebrating a New Legal Dictionary

Sheppard"The world of law is a world of words."  So says Stephen Michael Shepard, a professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville, who served as the general editor of a new edition of the Bouvier Law Dictionary, recently published by Wolters Kluwer.

The new work brings back to life the American law dictionary first published in 1839 by John Bouvier.  I'm not a Bouvier scholar by any means, but I can at least let you read part of the wikipedia entry about John Bouvier so that you can appreciate the importance of this law dictionary: 

John Bouvier (1787–1851) was born in Codogno, France, but came to the United States at an early age. He became a U.S. citizen in 1812, was admitted to the bar in 1818, and began practicing law in Philadelphia. During his years of practice and study, he noticed the lack of a solid American law dictionary. He decided to fill this need, and worked on a new law dictionary incessantly for 10 years. One of his main goals was to distinguish American law from its Englishantecedent. He finally presented it for publication in 1839. Like many of his generation, Bouvier used his preface to justify his work, stating the irrelevance of English legal dictionaries to the American legal system of the United States. He wanted to create a totally new law dictionary that would address the American legal system, so he derived his definitions almost wholly from customs, court decisions, and statutes of the United States.

So that's the book that Professor Sheppard has now updated.  The Bouvier Law Dictionary was the one used by Daniel Webster, Abraham Lincoln, John Marshall, Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes, and all of the other great early American jurists and lawyers.

This new edition of the Bouvier Law Dictionary was well received at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, where Professor Sheppard kindly signed a copy for me.  Actually the new dictionary is being published in three versions, a desk edition, the compact paperback version, and an electronic version.

John Bouvier drew on material for his first dictionary from all of the sources that influenced American law.  This new edition of the Bouvier Law Dictionary "is an entirely new book, with new definitions for every term, based on quotations and entries from tens of thousands of new cases, books, and statutes, as well as on Bouvier's final text and other classic materials."  (Preface, at page ix).  I had to laugh at Professor Sheppard's acknowledgment page, where he thanked his student research assistants by saying that his "sincere thanks go to each of you, and I remind all of you who haven't returned some of my books that is never too late to do so."

The dictionary entries are easy to read and often provide a little more information about particular legal terms than you might find in other dictionaries.  We will still use our other law dictionaries, but we now have a second source that we'll also consult.

The ISBN Number for the Compact Paperback Edition of the Bouvier Law Dictionary is 978-0-7355-6852-5.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

February 9, 2012 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Point Made -- How to Write Like the Nation's Top Advocates

Ross Guberman picked a list of the 50 most influential lawyers in the United States.  He took samples of their writing and placed them into 50 different categories.  And he published it all in a new book that analyzes their writing and gives tips about what makes that writing work.  He called the book Point Made, and it's now available from Oxford University Press, which sent me a review copy.

Ross Guberman is the president of Legal Writing Pro, a company that conducts legal writing workshops for large law firms, corporations, government agencies, and bar associations.  I haven't been to any of his seminars so I cannot tell you how they are, but if you've attended one of them please use our comment box to tell us how it was.  But it's obvious that he takes his work seriously.

So who made his list of the 50 most influential lawyers?  I won't put the whole list here (because then you would have no reason to look up his book), but they include these lawyers, judges, and professors:

  • David Boies
  • Alan Dershowitz
  • Frank Easterbrook
  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Justice Elena Kagan
  • Barack Obama
  • Ted Olson
  • Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
  • Paul Smith
  • Kathleen Sullivan
  • Larry Tribe

Mr. Guberman takes excerpts from their writings (and of the others in the book), introduces them in 50 different categories, and then shows us examples of their writing and why he likes what they did.  It's fascinating to see the examples he has chosen and to see how patent lawyers, ACLU lawyers, Kenneth Starr and others use the same writing techniques to produce powerful advocacy.  It's a nicely done book that took quite a bit of work to assemble.

The paperback edition of this book costs only about twenty dollars.  You can click here to order a copy from Oxford University Press if your law library doesn't already have a copy waiting for you.  The ISBN number for the paperback edition is 978-0-19-539487-0.


August 30, 2011 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

legal writing profs garner awards

Now that the end of the spring semester is in sight at U.S. law schools, we're heading into award season.  And legal writing professors are receiving their fair share:

HigdonMichael At the University of Tennessee School of Law's honors banquet, Michael J. Higdon was presented with the W. Allen Separk Award.  This award recognizes "outstanding legal scholarship by a member of the law faculty published the previous year".  The award went to Michael for his article on school bullying, which will be published by the Indiana Law Journal and is already available here.


The students at the Southern University Law Center, in Baton Rouge, voted to give Linda Fowler their award for Evening Division Professor of the Year.  Linda previously taught legal writing at LSU (Louisiana State U.), but was lured away to Baton Rouge seven years ago to help Southern establish its evening division.

Rabe At the Rocky Mountain Region Legal Writing Conference last month, Suzanne Rabe, who teaches at the University of Arizona, received the Rocky Mountain Award.  She was honored for her many contributions to the field of legal writing, including establishing the Rocky Mountain conference as a way to get legal writing professionals together without frills or pretentions.

Congratulations to our accomplished colleagues!

hat tips:  Ruth Anne Robbins, Gail Stephenson, Terry Pollman


April 5, 2011 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Book on "Classical English Rhetoric"

We note the publication of a new book that may be of interest to readers of this blog.  It is Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric, authored by Ward Farnsworth, Professor at Boston University School of Law.   Now, I haven't yet seen the book (only a promotional piece about it), but I wanted to share this discovery -- the website promoting the book includes GAMES related to the book.  As if we needed another distraction from grading!  Have fun!  Get more infomation by clicking here.


March 30, 2011 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Typography for Lawyers

Tfl-book-cover Matthew Butterick has written a new book, Typography for Lawyers.  If you are a lawyer who writes anything that ends up as typed text, you need to read this book.  If you are a legal writing professor who teaches law students or paralegal students, you need to read this book.  You will learn a lot--unless, like Butterick, you happen to have previously studied typography and worked as a professional typographer before going to law school. 

The book is also beautiful, an aesthetically pleasing experience as you read.  How many law practice related books can you say that about?  Butterick practices what he preaches, so beyond the numerous helpful examples, studying the presentation of the book itself provides further instruction.

And even if you don't care a whit about typography (although the book explains why you should), the discussion on pages 22 to 24 about readers' attention is worth sharing with every legal writing student and junior attorney.  


UPDATE:  For writing this book, Matthew Butterick received the Golden Pen Award in 2012 from the Legal Writing Institute.


November 19, 2010 in Books | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Congratulations to Nancy Schultz and Lou Sirico

Sirico, Lou Schultz, Nancy Nancy L. Schultz (Chapman University School of Law) and Louis J. Sirico Jr. (Villanova Law School) have published the fifth edition of their book, Legal Writing and Other Lawyering SkillsPerhaps Aspen sent you a review copy?  If not, contact them and ask for one.  Or just go out and buy a copy -- I'm sure that Nancy and Lou (and Aspen) wouldn't mind that one bit.

Congratulations to you both on the new edition of your classic work.


June 6, 2010 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Introduction to Legal English -- A New Edition of the Book for Lawyers and Law Students Who Speak English as a Second Language

Intro to Legal English 3rd The International Law Institute of Washington D.C. has just published the third edition of Introduction to Legal English.  This book was the first in the United States to focus specifically on the needs of lawyers and law students who speak English as a second language.  The book was originally designed to be used during a two week intensive English language course that prepared students for law school lectures, legal writing assignments, and participation in professional conferences such as bar association meetings.  It has also been used in other types of course settings and for individual study.  Click here for more information.  Copies of the book can be ordered directly from the International Law Institute.  It also makes for a good book to have on reserve in your law school library as a resource for your international students.


June 19, 2009 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)