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Full-Text Articles in Law

Transferability: Helping Students And Attorneys Apply What They Already Know To New Situations (Part 1), Edward R. Becker Jan 2019

Transferability: Helping Students And Attorneys Apply What They Already Know To New Situations (Part 1), Edward R. Becker

Articles

Every fall, I work with my first year law students to begin developing their legal writing skills. They work hard learning how to analyze cases objectively, predict how a court might resolve a dispute, and convey their assessments to an experienced attorney. Their improvement from September to December is noticeable. They have only one semester of law school behind them and still have much to learn, but they’re on their way…In the second semester, we begin focusing on advocacy. The first assignment asks students to draft a pretrial brief. When I review the drafts, I’m struck by ...


Collaboration With Doctrinal Faculty To Introduce Creac, Beth Hirschfelder Wilensky Oct 2018

Collaboration With Doctrinal Faculty To Introduce Creac, Beth Hirschfelder Wilensky

Articles

When legal writing professors introduce CREAC (or IRAC, TREAT, etc.), our examples necessarily use some area of substantive law to demonstrate how the pieces of legal analysis fit together. And when we ask students to try drafting a CREAC analysis, they also have to learn the relevant substantive law first. Students might be asked to analyze whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor or whether the elements of a tort claim are satisfied. But that means that students need to learn the relevant substantive doctrine while they are also grappling with the basics of CREAC. In the language ...


Using Appellate Clinics To Focus On Legal Writing Skills, Timothy Pinto May 2018

Using Appellate Clinics To Focus On Legal Writing Skills, Timothy Pinto

Articles

Five years ago, I went to lunch with a colleague. I was teaching a legal writing course to 1L students, and he taught in a clinic in which 2L and 3L students were required to write short motions and briefs. Several of his students had taken my writing class as 1Ls, and he had a question for me. "What the heck are you teaching these students?" he asked as we sat down. He explained that several of his students were struggling with preparing simple motions. They were not laying out facts clearly. They were not identifying key legal rules. In ...


What We Still Don't Know About What Persuades Judges – And Some Ways We Might Find Out, Edward R. Becker May 2018

What We Still Don't Know About What Persuades Judges – And Some Ways We Might Find Out, Edward R. Becker

Articles

Over 25 years ago, in his foreword to the first volume of Legal Writing, Chris Rideout nailed it: legal writing as actually practiced by lawyers and judges needs to improve, “[b]ut more fundamental inquiry into legal writing...is needed as well.” The intervening decades have seen many laudable efforts on the latter front, as our collective scholarly discipline, then in its infancy, has matured. But one particular question that Rideout identified remains largely unaddressed by our discipline, although recent developments suggest a welcome increase in attention to the topic. Specifically, Rideout explained that our field did not know as ...


Resurrecting (And Modernizing) The Research Treasure Hunt, Nancy E. Vettorello Jan 2017

Resurrecting (And Modernizing) The Research Treasure Hunt, Nancy E. Vettorello

Articles

First-year associates will spend forty-five percent of their time on legal research; second- and third-year associates will spend thirty percent. And unfortunately, employers find their associates’ research skills lacking. This is not a new complaint. Employers have been complaining for more than a hundred years that recent law graduates cannot research well. None of this is lost on those who teach legal research, who have long debated the best way to do so. Techniques for teaching research have changed over time, and methods once thought appropriate were sometimes later disfavored. Changes were driven both by pedagogy and by the ever-changing ...


Using Advanced Conflict Waivers To Teach Drafting, Ethics, And Professionalism, Edward R. Becker Nov 2016

Using Advanced Conflict Waivers To Teach Drafting, Ethics, And Professionalism, Edward R. Becker

Articles

On a substantive and ethical level, I tell my students to take on faith that if you were to do all of this and take all this into account, if you were to apply the conflict of interest and the disqualifications rules, it could make it extremely difficult or many of the firms involved in these matters to avoid being conflicted out; especially, if the parties and the kind of firms involved were not dealing with these conflicts and issues until a problem arose. The question I ask my students again at this point is what could be done. What ...


Introducing Marijuana Law Into The Legal Writing Curriculum, Howard Bromberg, Mark K. Osbeck Jan 2016

Introducing Marijuana Law Into The Legal Writing Curriculum, Howard Bromberg, Mark K. Osbeck

Articles

Interest in marijuana law continues to grow, due in large part to the complicated and rapidly evolving landscape of marijuana laws in the United States. Nearly every day, newspapers report on new or proposed legislation and the legal controversies that have arisen with regard to this evolving landscape. There are now several marijuana-law blogs on the Internet, Congress is considering sweeping legislation that would essentially grant significant deference to the individual states, and public opinion continues to move in favor of increased legalization. For the last two years, Newsweek magazine has published special editions devoted exclusively to marijuana law and ...


Transactional Drafting: Using Law Firm Marketing Materials As A Research Resource For Teaching Drafting, Edward R. Becker Jan 2013

Transactional Drafting: Using Law Firm Marketing Materials As A Research Resource For Teaching Drafting, Edward R. Becker

Articles

Since I started teaching drafting, I would like to think that I have continued to learn some lessons about teaching both the substance and the skills of transactional drafting. One of those lessons that I am going to be talking about today is one that I stumbled across by happy accident rather than one that I consciously sought. Specifically, I want to talk about and highlight the ways that law students can use law firm marketing materials to increase their understanding of both drafting and lawyering skills in law school and, hopefully, in practice.


Teaching Legal History Through Legal Skills, Howard Bromberg Jan 2013

Teaching Legal History Through Legal Skills, Howard Bromberg

Articles

I revolve my legal history courses around one methodology: teaching legal history by means of legal skills. I draw on my experience teaching legal practice and clinical s.kills courses to assign briefs and oral arguments as a means for law students to immerse themselves in historical topics. Without detracting from other approaches, I frame this innovation as teaching legal history not to budding historians but to budding lawyers.


What Is "Good Legal Writing" And Why Does It Matter?, Mark Osbeck Jan 2012

What Is "Good Legal Writing" And Why Does It Matter?, Mark Osbeck

Articles

Law schools face increasing pressure to improve instruction in practice-oriented skills. One of the most important of these skills is legal writing. The existing literature on legal writing contains various rules and suggestions as to how legal writers can improve their writing skills. Yet it lacks an adequate theoretical account of the fundamental nature of good legal writing. As a result, legal writers are left without a solid conceptual framework to ground the individual rules and suggestions. This Article attempts to fill the theoretical void in the literature by offering a systematic analysis of what it is for a legal ...


Religious Shunning And The Beam In The Lawyer's Eye, Edward R. Becker Jan 2012

Religious Shunning And The Beam In The Lawyer's Eye, Edward R. Becker

Articles

Some LRW professors design assignments so that students begin learning fundamental legal skills in the context of issues of particular interest to the professor-–what Sue Liemer calls “teaching the law you love.” Recent articles have explained how this might work when applied to such varying matters as multiculturalism or transactional practice. But exposing LRW students to diversity of religious belief does not appear to have found as much traction, at least in the literature. This essay describes one attempt to design a problem that grounds students in just such a larger firmament, while not distracting students (or the professor ...


If I Had A Hammer: Can Shepardizing, Synthesis, And Other Tools Of Legal Writing Help Build Hope For Law Students?, Edward R. Becker Jan 2010

If I Had A Hammer: Can Shepardizing, Synthesis, And Other Tools Of Legal Writing Help Build Hope For Law Students?, Edward R. Becker

Articles

Are lawyers mechanics? In 1920, photographer Lewis Hines took a striking photo of a powerhouse mechanic sure-handedly wielding a large wrench to tighten bolts on a steam pump. This picture may bring to mind many things, but I suspect that many legal writing professors in our (past or present) incarnations as practicing attorneys would not look at this image and think, "My job is a lot like that." Similarly, I assume that many of our students do not think of a lawyer's role in this way. Indeed, many of our students might have chosen to pursue a career in ...


Using Ethics Codes To Reinforce Lessons Of Statutory Interpretation, Edward R. Becker Jan 2008

Using Ethics Codes To Reinforce Lessons Of Statutory Interpretation, Edward R. Becker

Articles

To increase my students' exposure to statutory interpretation, I assign them early in the second semester to argue a motion to disqualify counsel based on imputed disqualification under Michigan's ethics ruls. Interpreting ethics rules involves many of the same "pure" statutory interpretation techniques I introduced the previous semester, and the students appear to easily make any needed translations. This exercise also helps prepare students to interpret other quasi-legislative authorities like court or evidentiary rules, administrative codes, and municipal ordinances.


A Reply--The Missing Portion, Pierre Schlag Jan 2003

A Reply--The Missing Portion, Pierre Schlag

Articles

No abstract provided.


Bye-Bye Bluebook?, Grace C. Tonner, Pamela Lysaght Jan 2000

Bye-Bye Bluebook?, Grace C. Tonner, Pamela Lysaght

Articles

In March 2000, Aspen Law & Business published a new citation manual, the ALWD Citation Manual-A Professional System of Citation.' Developed mostly as a "restatement of citation," the ALWD Citation Manual not only provides the legal academy with a text that simplifies teaching legal citation, but also provides judges and lawyers with a helpful desktop reference book. This article explains why a new citation manual was created and highlights some of its significant features?


Avoiding Common Problems In Using Teaching Assistants: Hard Lessons Learned From Peer Teaching Theory And Experience, Edward R. Becker, Rachel Croskery-Roberts Jan 2000

Avoiding Common Problems In Using Teaching Assistants: Hard Lessons Learned From Peer Teaching Theory And Experience, Edward R. Becker, Rachel Croskery-Roberts

Articles

A majority of American law schools rely on teaching assistants to help administer first-year legal writing, research, and analysis (LWRA) courses. Specifically, surveys jointly conducted by the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) and the Legal Writing Institute (LWI) consistently detail the extensive use many LWRA professors make of teaching assistants. Likewise, Julie Cheslik recognized in her article about her 1994 survey on the use of TAs in the typical LWRA course that "[o]ne of the most prevalent uses of peer teachers in the law school setting is the employment of upper-level law students as teaching assistants in the ...


On Becoming A Law Professor, Terrance Sandalow Jan 1996

On Becoming A Law Professor, Terrance Sandalow

Articles

Thirty-five years ago, when I first joined a law faculty, only one job description existed for law professors, that for the conventional classroom teacher. In the years since, the opportunities available to lawyers interested in teaching have become a bit more varied. In addition to conventional classroom teachers, a growing number of law teachers are employed by law schools to provide what I shall somewhat misleadingly call clinical instruction.1 Although these comments are addressed mainly to men and women interested in classroom teaching, a few lines about clinical teaching may be in order because the initial question for anyone ...