Welcome to LARW I (fall 2019)

Howdy! This post is the placeholder for the orientation week assignments for my sections of LARW I: Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing, fall 2019, at Texas A&M University School of Law. Check back on this page on August 7, 2019, for instructions you should follow before orientation, which is the week of August 19. You can go to work immediately acquiring the following texts and materials. You must have the following texts specifically for this course: Christine Coughlin, Joan Malmud Rocklin & Sandy Patrick, A Lawyer Writes: A Practical Guide to Legal Analysis (3d ed. 2018). ISBN: 978-1531008765. Colleen Barger, 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 …

The Citation Cup: Fall 2018

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. 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 here. They also win the dubious ‘prize’ of coming to happy hour with me. In Read More …

“The Next Chapter”: DBA Education Symposium

Closing panel at Education Symposium Sponsored by the Dallas Bar Association and SMU’s Caruth Institute for Children’s Rights, October 29, 2018. Held at the Belo Mansion in Dallas. (Photo from Belo Mansion Catering & Event Center) This post includes the bios of the panel speakers and links to information they have provided in advance of the panel date. Shirley Higgs, panelist Dr. Shirley Higgs has dedicated her life’s work to helping students meet their educational and personal goals. With over 33 years of higher education experience, Dr. Higgs is well versed in student needs, motivation, and success factors. She has Read More …

At AALS FAR? Check out LWRR!

OK, that’s a lot of alphabet soup. Allow me to translate: If you are attending the recruitment fair for the Association of American Law Schools’ (AALS) Faculty Appointments Register (FAR), check out the information and networking reception for the Section of Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research (LWRR) on Friday, October 12, 2:00-3:30p.m. It’s scheduled in the Taylor Room, Mezzanine Level, Marriott Wardman Park. The section’s flier for the event (design by yours truly) appears here:

Use what you choose presentation at SIGDOC ’16

I’m presenting the paper below at SIGDOC ’16 in Silver Spring, Maryland today. The paper is the outgrowth of an RSA workshop that Bill Hart-Davidson and Ryan Omizo led in Madison, WI, in 2015. Here’s the abstract: This paper reports on the results of an intensive application development workshop held in the summer of 2015 during which a group of thirteen researchers came together to explore the use of machine-learning algorithms in technical communication. To do this we analyzed Amazon.com consumer electronic product customer reviews to reevaluate a central concept in North American Genre Theory: stable genre structures arise from Read More …

Qualitative empirical research in legal communication (LWI 2016)

This post will ultimately include the presentation slides, handout, and annotated bibliography for my presentation/workshop at the Legal Writing Institute in Portland OR on July 13, 2016. (Until the session is over, only the bibliography will appear here.) Presentation slides (with notes) This PDF includes my slides and my (sometimes extensive) notes on them. Try to ignore the little cues on them reminding me how to do the slide animations and when to move to the [NEXT] slide. Presentation handouts This PDF includes all the handouts from the session. Draft annotated bibliography I meant this bibliography to be more complete and Read More …

Reflections on the Western Front (Part 2)–by the numbers

In Europe this month, there are numerous commemorations of the 1916 Battle of the Somme. Meanwhile, I’m distressed that so little attention has been paid in the U.S. to the centennial of World War I. The importance of that war in setting the stage for the 20th Century is hard to overestimate–the rise of Hitler’s Germany, the reluctance of the other powers to check him, etc. (Of course, events like the Congress of Vienna 100 years earlier can be seen as setting the stage for WW I. Such is history.) But for Americans, reflecting on WWI seems to be of Read More …