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Transferability: Helping Students And Attorneys Apply What They Already Know To New Situations (Part 2), Edward R. Becker Mar 2019

Transferability: Helping Students And Attorneys Apply What They Already Know To New Situations (Part 2), Edward R. Becker

Articles

Part 1 of this column (January 2019) described several ways that professors and supervisors can help young attorneys transfer their knowledge of legal skills and legal practice to new situations. The pedagogical techniques discussed in Part 1 look forward, helping novice lawyers make connections between what they learn today and how to put those lessons into play tomorrow. This month’s column changes direction. Successful knowledge transfer also looks to the past. When young lawyers and law students are introduced to what might first appear to be brand-new legal skills, their ability to quickly make sense of that new information ...


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

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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 ...


Experiential Skills In Legal Education: Introducing Tomorrow’S Practitioners To Practicing Law, Edward R. Becker Jun 2017

Experiential Skills In Legal Education: Introducing Tomorrow’S Practitioners To Practicing Law, Edward R. Becker

Articles

Welcome to the “Future of Law,” a new column that will appear regularly in the Michigan Bar Journal. This month, we kick off a recurring series devoted to legal education. These articles will highlight new developments and ongoing efforts at the five Michigan law schools to introduce students to experiential skills and more effectively prepare them to practice law. In future columns, authors will shed light on what law schools are doing to prepare students for practice and, we hope, inspire more Michigan attorneys to get involved—or, for some of you, become further involved—in those efforts. Why is ...


The Downside Of Requiring Additional Experiential Courses In Law School, Douglas A. Kahn Mar 2017

The Downside Of Requiring Additional Experiential Courses In Law School, Douglas A. Kahn

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In recent years, the bar has expressed dissatisfaction with what is considered by some to be inadequate preparation of law students to begin practicing law immediately after graduation. There are several reasons why this has become a matter of concern for the legal profession. The profession itself has undergone significant changes. Although there are a few exceptions, most law firms no longer wish to spend time training their young associates or allowing them much time to develop the skills they need. First, clients are unwilling to pay for the time a young lawyer spends in acquiring needed skills. Second, the ...


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 ...


Reimagining Legal Education: Incorporating Live-Client Work Into The First-Year Curriculum, Nancy Vettorello, Beth Hirschfelder Wilensky Jan 2017

Reimagining Legal Education: Incorporating Live-Client Work Into The First-Year Curriculum, Nancy Vettorello, Beth Hirschfelder Wilensky

Articles

Since 2015, Legal Practice faculty have partnered with local legal services organizations and the law school’s own clinics to provide our 1L students with client interaction, under the close supervision of experienced attorneys. So far, our students have worked with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, Legal Services of South Central Michigan, and the school’s Unemployment Law Clinic.


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 ...


Think Like A Businessperson: Using Business School Cases To Create Strategic Corporate Lawyers​., Alicia J. Davis Apr 2015

Think Like A Businessperson: Using Business School Cases To Create Strategic Corporate Lawyers​., Alicia J. Davis

Articles

For the past twenty-five years, my academic and professional pursuits have straddled the line between business and law. I majored in business administration in college and then worked as an analyst in the Corporate Finance department at a bulge bracket Wall Street firm. After completing a JD/MBA, I returned to investment banking with a focus on middle-market mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and subsequently practiced law with a focus on private equity and M&A. Finally, in 2004, I found my current home as a corporate law professor. In my courses, which include Mergers & Acquisitions, Enterprise Organization, and Investor ...


Clinical Collaborations: Going Global To Advance Social Entrepreneurship, Deborah Burand, Susan R. Jones, Jonathan Ng, Alicia E. Plerhoples Jan 2014

Clinical Collaborations: Going Global To Advance Social Entrepreneurship, Deborah Burand, Susan R. Jones, Jonathan Ng, Alicia E. Plerhoples

Articles

In the summer of 2012, transactional law clinics from three U.S. law schools: George Washington University; Georgetown University; and the University of Michigan launched a collaboration to serve a common client — Ashoka, a global nonprofit organization that supports close to 3,000 social entrepreneurs across 76 countries. While clinic collaborations within universities happen occasionally, clinic collaborations across universities are unusual. This essay focuses on the motivations, operations, lessons, and next steps of this cross-university, clinical collaboration aimed at advancing social entrepreneurship globally. Specifically, this essay examines why the collaboration was launched, how the collaboration is structured, what the collaboration ...


Accelerating The Growth Of The Next Generation Of Innovators, Dana Thompson Jan 2013

Accelerating The Growth Of The Next Generation Of Innovators, Dana Thompson

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In a recent study on the best practices of business incubators that contribute to the success of startups, one of the best practices asserted is to include a business lawyer on the advisory board of business incubators, who may suggest necessary legal issues for startups to address and connect the incubator startups with legal assistance. Although many college and university incubators may have access to experienced attorneys who are able to provide advice, and who are able to represent student-led ventures, most do not have access to a university law clinic established to provide pro bono, direct legal representation 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.


Learning From The Unique And Common Challenges: Clinical Legal Education In Jordan, Kimberly A. Thomas, Nisreen Mahasneh Jan 2012

Learning From The Unique And Common Challenges: Clinical Legal Education In Jordan, Kimberly A. Thomas, Nisreen Mahasneh

Articles

Legal education worldwide is undergoing scrutiny for its failure to graduate students who have the problem-solving abilities, skills, and professional values necessary for the legal profession.1 Additionally, law schools at universities in the Middle East have found themselves in an unsettled environment, where greater demands for practical education are exacerbated by several factors such as high levels of youth unemployment. More specifically, in Jordan there is a pressing need for universities to respond to this criticism and to accommodate new or different methods of legal education. Clinical legal education is one such method.3 We use the term "clinical ...


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

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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 ...


Launch Of An International Transactions Clinic: Doing Good While Doing Deals, Deborah Burand Jan 2010

Launch Of An International Transactions Clinic: Doing Good While Doing Deals, Deborah Burand

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September 2008 marked the launch of the International Transactions Clinic (ITC) at the University of Michigan Law School, the first legal clinic of its kind to combine an international and transactional focus. As Law School Dean Evan Caminker said upon the launch of the ITC, “[t]his is an exciting opportunity to involve a new generation of bright legal minds in cross-border transactions that will train our students for a lifetime of international business dealings, and that can also make an enormous difference in the lives of people in the developing world.”


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 ...


Doing Good While Doing Deals: Early Lesson In Launching An International Transactions Clinic, Deborah Burand Jan 2010

Doing Good While Doing Deals: Early Lesson In Launching An International Transactions Clinic, Deborah Burand

Articles

That is not to say that the launch of this clinic was easy. Four of the most challenging issues the ITC faced in its first year of operation were: 1) developing a client pool, 2) defining client projects so as to be appropriate to student clinicians’ skill levels and capacity, 3) making use of efficient and inexpensive technology to foster international communication with clients and transaction management, and 4) tapping supervisory attorney talent capable of supporting student clinicians in their international transactional work. The first two issues were the biggest challenges that we faced in launching the ITC and so ...


Who We Were And Who We Are: How Michigan Law Students Have Changed Since The 1950s: Findings From 40 Years Of Alumni Surveys, David L. Chambers, Terry K. Adams Jan 2009

Who We Were And Who We Are: How Michigan Law Students Have Changed Since The 1950s: Findings From 40 Years Of Alumni Surveys, David L. Chambers, Terry K. Adams

Articles

For 40 consecutive years, from 1967 to 2006, the Law School surveyed its alumni regarding their lives and careers. The project began in 1967 with the mailing of a questionnaire to the class of 1952 shortly before their 15th reunion. The results proved interesting enough that surveys were sent each year thereafter to the class 15 years out. In 1973, the classes 5 years out were added to the survey.


Starting Out: Changing Patterns Of First Jobs For Michigan Law School Graduates, David L. Chambers, Terry K. Adams Jan 2009

Starting Out: Changing Patterns Of First Jobs For Michigan Law School Graduates, David L. Chambers, Terry K. Adams

Articles

In the early 1950s, the typical graduate of Michigan Law began his career working as an associate in a law firm with four other lawyers and earned about $5,000 in his first year. Surprising to us today, in his new job he would have earned slightly less than other classmates whose first jobs were in government. Fifty years later, in the early 2000s, the typical graduate still started out as an associate in a law firm, but the firm she worked for had more than 400 lawyers. She earned about $114,000 in her first year, about three times ...


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

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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.


Branch Rickey, '11: Much More Than Pioneering Baseball Leader, Richard D. Friedman Jan 2007

Branch Rickey, '11: Much More Than Pioneering Baseball Leader, Richard D. Friedman

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Branch Rickey is best known as the president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers who brought Jackie Robinson into big league baseball in 1947, thus integrating a major American institution seven years before Brown v. Board of Education. Even apart from this heroic step, Rickey would probably be known as the most significant baseball executive ever, primarily for his work with the Dodgers and, earlier, the St. Louis Cardinals; the modern farm system and extensive spring training facilities are chief among his many innovations. Less well known is the fact that Rickey was a 1911 graduate of the University ...


Interdisciplinary Clinical Teaching Of Child Welfare Practice To Law And Social Work Students When World Views Collide, Kathleen Coulborn Faller, Frank E. Vandervort Jan 2007

Interdisciplinary Clinical Teaching Of Child Welfare Practice To Law And Social Work Students When World Views Collide, Kathleen Coulborn Faller, Frank E. Vandervort

Articles

Because child welfare cases in the world of professional practice require interdisciplinary collaboration, it would seem to follow that graduate students, who will become child welfare professionals, should be trained together, both in the classroom and in clinical settings. However, the implementation of interdisciplinary training is far from straightforward. In this Article, we focus on law and social work students. First, we describe the roles of lawyers and social worker in child welfare work. Next we argue that interdisciplinary classroom teaching is easier than clinical teaching, proposing a series of topics to be covered in an interdisciplinary course. Finally, we ...


Maiming The Cubs, James J. White Jan 2006

Maiming The Cubs, James J. White

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It is easy to believe that students are made anxious and even depressed by law school and that the anxiety and depression stay with many students throughout school. It is harder to believe that these stresses cause permanent and irreversible change and that the ills of lawyers are traced in any meaningful way to the stresses of the three years of law school.


Maiming The Cubs, James J. White Jan 2006

Maiming The Cubs, James J. White

Articles

In the last twenty years much has been written about the deleterious effect that law school has on the mental well-being of law students.' Many have called for "humanizing" law school. In support of their case, the advocates of humanizing cite numerous anecdotes, much scholarly writing in the psychology literature, and even a few rigorous studies of law students. A principal voice is that of Professor Krieger who has done the most careful and elaborate study, a study of students at two law schools.1 You should understand that Professor Krieger and his cohorts do not merely claim that we ...


People, Times, Law School Leadership Join To Launch South Africa Program, David L. Chambers Jan 2006

People, Times, Law School Leadership Join To Launch South Africa Program, David L. Chambers

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Professor Emeritus David Chambers launched Michigan Law’s South Africa externship program 10 years ago just as that country was emerging from apartheid and beginning to function under its new constitution, adopted in 1996. Here Chambers recalls how the externship program began. Now the Wade H. McCree Jr. Collegiate Professor Emeritus of Law, Chambers directed the program until his retirement from active teaching in 2003.