The “Why are you here?” of Legal Writing and Rhetoric

This post includes the video and handouts for for the session titled The “Why are you here?” of Legal Writing and Rhetoric, an on-demand session at the 2022 Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), March 2022. This post includes the video of each of our three presenters and then also a video of a discussion among them with our chair/discussant. The videos will remain here indefinitely (CCCC is taking down its videos as of June 2022). This post includes our proposal with a summary of the sessions, followed by the individual videos and the group video. If you have Read More …

Centering students’ rhetorical knowledge: The community of inquiry as formative assessment

(Slightly updated December 4, 2021 with additional references.) In her book, Strategies and Techniques for Integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into the Core Law Curriculum, Professor Teri McMurtry-Chubb (2022, p. 62) suggests a wide variety of interventions for law teachers seeking to “acknowledge the experiences of minoritized students and faculty and [to] seriously grappl[e] with their legal and societal implications.” She also expressly embraces the “community of inquiry” framework, which has received attention in the scholarly literature relating to the pedagogy of writing (see, e.g., Stewart, 2018). This essay describes an approach to peer review and classroom workshopping intended to develop Read More …

Tabbing your ALWD Guide: Not citation Nirvana, but close

For the ALWD Guide to achieve its full utility, you should adopt a system of tabbing it to make content more accessible. Over the last several years, I’ve developed such a system to use for my teaching and the occasional consulting work I do as of-counsel for my old log firm. Students say that they have found it useful for locating answers in the guide quickly. This video provides detailed instructions for how to do that. Read More …

What my 88-year-old aunt can help teach my law students

My aunt Kate Miller died on September 17 at age 88. Though I can’t say I was close to her, her experiences serve as part of an important lesson for my law students every year. Circumstances kept my nuclear family far away from the rest of my parents’ large families while I was growing up. “Katie,” as I knew her, was in my father’s high-school class and married my father’s brother Merlyn Larson in 1958. In my early days, I was likely to see her only at family holiday gatherings. I rarely saw her children, except the eldest, my cousin Read More …

Anti-racist writing assessment in the law

Stetson University School of Law’s Institute for the Advancement of Legal Communication sponsored a provocative presentation by Dr. Asao Inoue regarding anti-racist writing assessment on August 20. Though Inoue’s scholarly focus has been on the undergraduate curriculum, he directed his talk at some specific issues of legal-writing pedagogy. I posted on the Legal Writing listserv, noting: The talk was provocative and closely examined some challenges of adapting Inoue’s approach to the law-school and legal-writing classrooms…. I have tried some of these techniques with success (and some with less success), but there is much, much more I could be doing. Thanks Read More …

Legal Argumentation (2022 ed., fall 2021 version)

This is the second, and still profoundly drafty, version of the legal-writing textbook that I premiered last year. You can read all about it in last year’s blog post. I welcome your feedback. I’m really hoping to have all the chapters finished before next year’s edition. Here it is: https://rhetoricked.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Legal-Argumentation-fall-2021-ver.-FINAL.pdf

RA posting: Privacy, big data, ethics, and legal data protections

The Texas A&M School of Public Health and the Population Informatics Lab is looking to hire a law student as a research assistant for research relating to privacy, big data, ethics, and legal data protections. The research assistant will be involved in all aspects of the research process, including: Research design, implementation, and analysis. Research ethics compliance Drafting manuscripts for publication in academic journals The position requires strong writing ability. Familiarity with information technology, privacy law, and ethics are preferred. Interested applicants should email a cover letter, law school transcripts, and writing sample (optional) to schmit@tamu.edu. 1L, 2L, and 3L Read More …

Layers and small-talk: A playlist exercise

This semester, I’ve tried a new assignment: I asked each student in my two sections to post two musical selections on a Google Forms survey. They received completion points for doing so. The resulting list (along with four selections I added myself) appears on Spotify. My instructions to them indicated only that I wanted the songs for my playlist for commuting between Dallas (where I live) and Fort Worth (where I teach) and that I had a pedagogical purpose that I would reveal later. Only one student reached out to me to ask whether they would be publicly identified with Read More …