Virtual Legal Writing Conference Webinars
In fall 2009, Stetson launched a webinar series through its Project for Excellence in Legal Communication. Stetson's webinars have attracted more than 250 attendees for the live events. Topics have included outcomes and assessment in legal writing, coaching moot court teams, advanced writing course innovations, the definition of "legal writing scholarship," technology for giving feedback, and new ideas and voices in legal writing scholarship. Archived presentations are available below.
Praise for the webinars from participants:
"I enjoyed the webinar very much and learned a lot. In fact, I'll be downloading the conference to go over some of the points again, and hope to share it with some of my colleagues."
"Very informative and just the right length for an online course."
"This is a wonderful idea. Our depleted resources have made it impossible to attend many valuable conferences offered in the legal writing community ... Great information delivered in an economically friendly package!"
"It far exceeded my expectations. The insight was very practical and extremely useful."
Designing the Persuasive Writing Problem: Appellate Briefs and Trial Memoranda
Designing an effective and enjoyable trial or appellate brief problem is a difficult but rewarding task. Join Sarah Ricks and Kirsten Davis as they discuss the steps of designing trial and appellate brief problems and delve into the challenges and joys of this core component of teaching legal writing. Topics include finding problem ideas, selecting learning outcomes and tailoring the problem to them, handling open and closed problem design, timing the oral argument as part of the design process, and more. Faculty new to problem design as well as those with experience will enjoy this session.
Teaching the Basics of Tribal Law in
First-Year Legal Research and Writing:
Improving Knowledge and Skills, Promoting
Inclusiveness and Diversity
Given the geographic scope of Native American nations, the value of their business dealings, and the existence of their separate laws and legal systems, today's lawyer may encounter tribal law at some point in his or her practice. Our speakers for this webinar are LRW faculty who are known for their expertise in teaching and studying tribal law and tribal law research. They will introduce you to tribal law basics, show you some sources for researching that law, and give you strategies for incorporating tribal law and tribal law research into a first-year research and writing course.
- Tribal Law Basics for LRW Bibliography
- United States Courts System Chart
- Sources of Law
- LARW and Tribal Law
- Facts About Tribal Courts
Live Commenting and Grading
Giving oral feedback instead of written comments on student papers is a pedagogical method gaining traction within the legal writing community. Not without its detractors, the method boasts the positive attributes of efficiency, timeliness, interaction, and enhanced learning. The speakers for this webinar are experienced users of the live commenting and live grading method. They will describe how they prepare for and execute the method, the method's pros and cons, limitations to the method, and responses to fears about using the method.
Diversity in the Legal Writing Classroom
Many legal writing professors recognize the importance of incorporating diversity issues and multicultural topics into their classes, but doing so effectively requires additional consideration to appropriately address sensitive topics and student resistance, and to promote among other faculty members the practice of teaching in a more explicitly inclusive manner. This webinar will introduce suggestions for addressing these concerns and successfully incorporating diversity issues and discussion into your course.
Empirical and Statistical Studies in Legal Writing
Empirical studies of legal writing, including rigorous statistical studies, are a relatively fertile yet largely unexplored area of scholarship for legal writing faculty. For this webinar, faculty who have successfully published empirical scholarship in legal writing and related areas will explain the fundamentals of writing an empirical piece, and statisticians will describe the advantages of consulting with or even co-authoring with a statistician. Join us for a discussion on how to approach an empirical project, even if you have little or no experience with statistics or other empirical methodologies.
Outcomes and Assessment in Legal Writing
Professors Susan Duncan, Victoria VanZandt, and Melissa Weresh are leading the way in studying and implementing outcomes and assessment in legal writing specifically and in the law school curriculum more generally. Join us to hear them discuss outcomes and assessment in legal writing, including course mapping and curriculum mapping.
Citation in the Next Edition: Revisions to the ALWD Citation Manual
Join us to hear author Darby Dickerson talk about the recent revisions to the ALWD Citation Manual, give her views on the future of legal citation, and answer your questions about teaching citation.
Scholarship Highlights: New Voices and New Ideas in Legal Communication
Every year, excellent scholarship is written by faculty who are committed to researching and teaching effective legal communication. During this webinar, three legal writing faculty discuss their currently published and ongoing scholarly projects in the area of legal communication--one empirical, one pedagogical, and one doctrinal. We invite you to join us to learn more about the continued scholarly development of our discipline, to ask questions of the authors about their projects, and to share your ideas about the most pressing questions in legal communication today.
Using Technology to Comment on Papers
Commenting on papers is one of the most, if not the most, important aspect of personalized instruction in the legal writing curriculum. Yet, it is also a time-consuming and tedious task, which has caused legal writing faculty to explore ways to make commenting both more effective and more efficient. During this webinar, two legal writing faculty will discuss and demonstrate how they have improved their commenting--both written and oral--by using technology.
What is "Legal Writing Scholarship"?
As our discipline matures, the question of "What is Legal Writing Scholarship?" becomes more salient. What does it mean to write in the area of "legal writing"? And, what does our choice about that definition mean to the development of our disciplinary identity? During this webinar, three legal writing faculty will talk about their answer to the question, "What is Legal Writing Scholarship?"
Innovations in Upper-Level Legal Writing Courses
Attracting students to upper-level writing courses and engaging those students in the classroom and on assignments can be challenging. In this session, we hear from faculty who have successfully experimented with new ways to design and teach upper level courses that have a significant writing component. Hear about combining upper level writing skills with doctrine and advocacy competitions, designing condensed legal drafting courses that have practitioners as co-teachers, and, in an advanced writing course, using a unique "capstone" assignment that focuses on non-legal audiences.
Strategies for Coaching Moot Court Teams
Many legal writing faculty, as part of their law school service, coach moot court teams. But, success does not come easy in the world of competitive oral advocacy. This session features successful moot court coaches sharing their strategies for preparing law students for moot court success.
Designing the First-Year Legal Writing Curriculum: Outcomes and Assessment
In response to the Carnegie Report and increased focus by the ABA and regional accrediting agencies on student outcomes and their assessment, law schools across the country are exploring how to re-focus curriculum on student learning outcomes and how to assess those outcomes. This session explores how to develop outcomes, and how to incorporate them into the first year legal writing curriculum, at the program level and the course level. The session also provides ideas about developing assessment tools that are useful to students and faculty to determine whether students are meeting the expected outcomes.
"As legal writing faculty, we are part of a continuing conversation about important issues of pedagogy, service, professional development and scholarship. When we come together at our conferences, we are invigorated by our interactions, renewed in our commitment to the profession, and stimulated by the presentations to think more deeply about those topics of significance to our community. The goal of the Virtual Legal Writing Conference is to create an online opportunity for legal writing faculty to have the 'conference experience' -- education, invigoration, and professional renewal -- without needing a travel budget."