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Full-Text Articles in Law

Lights! Camera! Law School?: Using Video Interviews To Enhance First Semester Writing Assignments, Ian Gallacher Oct 2014

Lights! Camera! Law School?: Using Video Interviews To Enhance First Semester Writing Assignments, Ian Gallacher

Ian Gallacher

This short article discusses why the Legal Communication and Research program at Syracuse University College of Law has used video interviews between hypothetical clients and attorneys as an alternative to the traditional assignment memo. The article also discusses some of the technical issues related to this approach and suggests some techniques budding producers might use to develop effective and engaging videos to enhance traditional legal writing assignments.


Enigma: A Variation On The Theme Of Legal Writing's Place In Contemporary Legal Education, Ian Gallacher Aug 2014

Enigma: A Variation On The Theme Of Legal Writing's Place In Contemporary Legal Education, Ian Gallacher

Ian Gallacher

No abstract provided.


"No Country For Old Men:" Junior Associates And The Real-World Practice Of Law, Ian Gallacher Aug 2014

"No Country For Old Men:" Junior Associates And The Real-World Practice Of Law, Ian Gallacher

Ian Gallacher

Law schools are designed to teach students about the doctrine of law and to help them prepare their skills to practice law. There are some practical aspects of law practice, though, that are rarely if ever discussed in law school. Perhaps this is because of an assumption that law firms will make these issues clear to the students they hire as associates, or perhaps it is because of a belief that such information has no place in the curriculum of an academic institution. Whatever the reason, this is information law students should have as they begin to think about where ...


Erasing Boundaries: Inter-School Collaboration And Its Pedagogical Opportunities, Ian Gallacher, Amy Stein, Robin Boyle, David Thomson Jan 2014

Erasing Boundaries: Inter-School Collaboration And Its Pedagogical Opportunities, Ian Gallacher, Amy Stein, Robin Boyle, David Thomson

Ian Gallacher

This short article is the product of a presentation the four authors gave at the 2014 AALS Conference in New York City. In it, we briefly examine some of the problems facing legal education and propose that legal writing programs across the country could enhance the quality and complexity of the assignments they set if they worked together. Even though each faculty would teach the problem in their own way, and grade their own students' work, the possibilities offered by this approach would allow each school to simulate more closely the reality of law practice. The article includes some suggestions ...


Do Robomemos Dream Of Electric Nouns?: A Search For The Soul Of Legal Writing, Ian Gallacher Jan 2013

Do Robomemos Dream Of Electric Nouns?: A Search For The Soul Of Legal Writing, Ian Gallacher

Ian Gallacher

This essay considers the possibility that computers might soon be capable of writing many of the documents lawyers typically write, and considers what qualities of writing are uniquely human and whether those qualities are sufficient to render human written work superior to computer generated work. After noting that despite the claims of rhetoricians and narrative theorists, not all legal writing is persuasive writing, and that it is in the non-persuasive area of prosaic, functional documents that computer generated documents might gain a bridgehead into the legal market, the essay tracks the development of computer-generated written work, particularly in the areas ...


"When Numbers Get Serious": A Study Of Plain English Usage In Briefs Filed Before The New York Court Of Appeals, Ian Gallacher Jan 2013

"When Numbers Get Serious": A Study Of Plain English Usage In Briefs Filed Before The New York Court Of Appeals, Ian Gallacher

Ian Gallacher

This article describes the results of a study of briefs filed in the New York Court of Appeals between 1969 and 2008. In particular, portions of these briefs were analyzed using the Flesch Reading Ease test and the Flesh-Kincaid test. The first of these tests claims to determine how "readable" a piece of text might be, and the second expresses its results in terms of the grade level a hypothetical reader should have attained before the given text becomes "readable." Both of these tests are fallible, especially when used to determine the actual "readability" of a piece of text, but ...


"No Country For Old Men:" Junior Associates And The Real-World Practice Of Law, Ian Gallacher Dec 2011

"No Country For Old Men:" Junior Associates And The Real-World Practice Of Law, Ian Gallacher

Ian Gallacher

This short essay seeks to give law students hoping to be junior associates at large, big-city law firms some information about the seemingly large salaries offered to them and discusses what life might be like for them if they take a position at one of these firms. The essay begins with a discussion of how much an associate might expect to keep, after the cost of living in a large city is accounted for, from the advertised starting salary offered by such firms. It then considers what it costs the firm to pay an associate such a large salary, how ...


Thinking Like Non-Lawyers: Why Empathy Is A Core Lawyering Skill And Why Legal Education Should Change To Reflect Its Importance, Ian Gallacher Jan 2011

Thinking Like Non-Lawyers: Why Empathy Is A Core Lawyering Skill And Why Legal Education Should Change To Reflect Its Importance, Ian Gallacher

Ian Gallacher

This article is an exploration of some of the issues raised by the recent Carnegie Report on legal education, and contains a recommendation that law schools change the way they teach especially first year law students in order to make them more empathetically aware of the circumstances by which the court opinions they study arose and the effects those opinions will have on others. This recommendation is made not just because it will make students better people, but also because it will make them better lawyers; the article analyses in depth the dangers inherent in an overemphasis on the “logical ...


Empathy And Legal Education: What Law Schools Can Learn From A "Huge" Car Dealer, Ian Gallacher Aug 2010

Empathy And Legal Education: What Law Schools Can Learn From A "Huge" Car Dealer, Ian Gallacher

Ian Gallacher

This article is an exploration of some of the issues raised by the recent Carnegie Report on legal education, and contains a recommendation that law schools change the way they teach especially first year law students in order to make them more empathetically aware of the circumstances by which the court opinions they study arose and the effects those opinions will have on others. This recommendation is made not just because it will make students better people, but also because it will make them better lawyers; the article analyses in depth the dangers inherent in an overemphasis on the “logical ...


Mapping The Social Life Of The Law: An Alternative Approach To Legal Research, Ian Gallacher Oct 2007

Mapping The Social Life Of The Law: An Alternative Approach To Legal Research, Ian Gallacher

Ian Gallacher

As the law moves inexorably to a digital publication model in which books no longer play a role, the problem of how to continue to make the law available to all becomes more acute. Open access initiatives already exist, and more are on the way, but all are limited by their inability to provide more than self-indexed search options for their users. Self-indexing, although a powerful alternative to the traditional pre-indexed searching made possible by systems like West’s “Key Number” digests, has inherent limitations which make it a poor choice as the sole means of researching the law. But ...


Learning More Than Law From Maryland Decisions, Ian Gallacher Jan 2002

Learning More Than Law From Maryland Decisions, Ian Gallacher

Ian Gallacher

This short article describes the fight for freedom waged in Maryland's courts during the 1850s by two slaves, known only as Jerry and Anthony. Although their owner intended to free them, and the other slaves on his plantation, when he died, his son had his father's will declared invalid and the slaves brought a legal action to force their freedom. Although remembered in Maryland law as one of the first cases to discuss intra-state transfer from one jurisdiction to another, and although acting as Maryland's first published civil rights class action, the case also has a great ...