What are ‘case uses’ and how do I read box plots?

I posted a new article on SSRN this week that presents the big-picture findings of an empirical study I’ve been doing of the argumentative practices of judges and advocates in 199 textual artifacts. (Page numbers here are for the version posted on SSRN on Feb. 18, 2020.) I’ve done the analysis (with the help of a dozen research assistants) over the last two years, and the findings raise some interesting questions. But before we can really talk about the findings, you need to know what it is we were looking for, the ‘case use.’ And because I presented many of Read More …

The Citation Cup: Fall 2019

Each fall in my Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing class, I split students into teams, each comprising four or five students, and have them compete to prepare citations that are correct according to the Bluebook (or the ALWD Guide, depending on your proclivities–I check to be sure they are consistent). They compete in relay races, two teams at a time, weekly during the semester. In the last couple weeks of the semester, we have playoffs and crown each section’s winning team. Well… we do not exactly crown them. Instead, they get their names engraved on the coveted “Citation Cup,” pictured Read More …

What’s your pronoun? Contemporary gender issues in legal communication

(featured image “Love Kitty” Copyright 2013 Mark McNestry CC license) by  Brian N. Larson & Olivia J. Countryman There has been a great deal of conversation in recent months and years about the appropriate pronouns to use when referring to folks. Merriam-Webster in 2019 added the singular-pronoun function to its definition of `they.’[1] The question of pronoun use arises most frequently in the context of transgender and gender non-binary persons. Chances are, if you are of a certain age, much of this sounds a bit confusing: You are perhaps too old to remember from grammar what a `pronoun’ is, and Read More …

Why you should go to conferences like the UNLV Symposium

Many colleagues have been at the forefront of organizing and planning the Nevada Law Journal symposium “Classical Rhetoric as a Lens for Contemporary Legal Praxis,” being held at William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, September 26-28, 2019, (info and free registration link here) particularly the co-chairs of the symposium, Professors Lori D. Johnson (UNLV) and Susan E. Provenzano (Northwestern). My colleague Prof. Angela Morrison at Texas A&M has been a leader, too, and recently sent out an update to the mailing lists, inviting attendance. Here, I want to add my own argument about why professors and Read More …

Welcome to LARW I (fall 2019)

Updated August 21, 2019, to provide a link to the final course pack. (You should download and refer to the course pack from now on. You should consider discarding previous versions of the course pack to avoid confusing yourself about dates, etc.) The final course pack is now available on the TWEN site for the course. I’m providing only a link to it there to encourage you to connect to TWEN. If you have questions after reviewing these materials, please feel free to contact me via email, or post a comment on this page (as it will help others who Read More …

Classical Rhetoric as a Lens for Contemporary Legal Praxis: NLJ Symposium

Classical Rhetoric as a Lens for Contemporary Legal Praxis is a symposium of the Nevada Law Journal on September 26 & 27, 2019. Lori Johnson, associate professor of law at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada Las Vegas, and Susan Provenzano, William Trumbull Professor of Practice at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, are the chairs/organizers of the conference. They are also pleased to announce a workshop to follow the symposium on September 28. The workshop seeks proposals from scholars with works in progress (WIPs) that explore the intersections of classical rhetoric (broadly defined) and contemporary law. Read More …

LARW II timeline

Here is a quasi-infographic representation of the weekly schedule for my spring 2019 LARW II course. On the left are indications of what we’ll focus on in class sessions, and on the right are explanations of the graded assignments, showing when students are working on them and (roughly) their due dates.

#teachingTechKs: What belongs in an IT-contract drafting course?

I’m seeking feedback on a course I’m planning to teach in fall 2019 from lawyers and other law-trained folks, from business people and consumer advocates in the information-technology space, and from experienced law teachers. I’m construing “information technology” broadly to include things like B2B service agreements, social media terms of use, etc. I describe the course below, but I’ll put the questions right up front: For law-trained folks: What three things do you wish attorneys less experienced with contract drafting knew about the practical side of drafting IT-related contracts? For technology business people and consumer advocates: What three things do Read More …