Legal Communication & Rhetoric: Visiting Scholars Grant Program


Legal Communication & Rhetoric: Visiting Scholars Grant Program

Due: February 15, 2013. The application is available here.

Grant Application & Selection Process 

The Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) will award grants to law schools to fund visits by legal writing scholars under a newly established program that will recognize the Legal Communication & Rhetoric Visiting Scholars. ALWD will provide grants of up to $2,500 to each of three law schools annually. 

Law schools must use the grant to bring in a visiting scholar for a one- to two-day visit that includes one or more presentations to students, faculty, alumni, or local practitioners. The presentation should draw on the visiting scholar’s research, and its focus should be helping law students or practicing lawyers become more rhetorically effective and persuasive. The new grant program extends ALWD’s commitment to support, strengthen, and encourage scholarship that focuses on the study and practice of professional legal writing. ALWD already supports such scholarship through its financial and other support for Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD. 

I. Applications and Eligibility

1. Law School Eligibility. Applications for the Legal Communication & Rhetoric Visiting Scholars Grant Program are submitted by Law Schools. They must name the proposed Visiting Scholar and specifically detail the program of events that will be supported by the grant. Grants will be available only to those Law Schools who have at least one current ALWD member or delegate. There are no other limits on eligibility for Law Schools that wish to submit an application. If a Law School has received a Grant in the last two years, the Law School will automatically be ranked behind any Law School that has not received a Grant in the last two years. 

2. Visiting Scholar Eligibility. Any individual whose scholarship focuses on the study and practice of professional legal writing may be proposed as a Visiting Scholar except for those mentioned in the following paragraph (paragraph 3). There is no requirement that the proposed Visiting Scholar be an ALWD member or delegate. A Law School may propose a member of the ALWD Board or the Editorial Board of Legal Communication & Rhetoric : JALWD (the Editorial Board) as a Visiting Scholar. However, a member of the ALWD Board or a member of the Editorial Board may not receive an honorarium. Nevertheless, a member of the ALWD Board or a member of the Editorial Board may receive a non-financial token of appreciation from the Law School. If an individual has been named a Visiting Scholar in the last two years, the application proposing that individual as a Visiting Scholar will automatically be ranked behind any proposal suggesting a Visiting Scholar who has not been named a Visiting Scholar in the last two years.

3. Visiting Scholar Ineligibility. Only the following individuals are ineligible to be proposed as Visiting Scholars during their service and for one year after their service in the following positions: (1) Coordinator of the Legal Communication & Rhetoric: Visiting Scholars  Grant Program (the “Coordinator”), (2) members of the Initial Review Panel, and (3) members of the Final Review Panel. 

4. Application Deadline. The completed grant application with supporting documentation should be submitted by the sponsoring Law School to the Coordinator no later than February 15, 2013.

5. Program Scheduling. The committee will not consider grant applications for programs that have already taken place or that are scheduled to take place before the award of the grant. 

II. Grant Guidelines

1. The funded programs are intended to further support, strengthen, and encourage scholarship focusing on the study and practice of professional legal writing in each of the following ways:

A. recognizing the authors as experts who are sought out as visitors to speak to law students and lawyers;

B. building recognition of Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD as a publisher of substantive legal writing scholarship and of ALWD as an organization that provides financial and other support for such scholarship;

C. encouraging law schools and legal educators to recognize and value substantive legal writing scholarship and the journals that publish it;

D. providing exposure and recognition for the Visiting Scholars as a way to encourage more authors to write in the field.

2. Law Schools may apply for grants to help sponsor one- to two-day visits by legal writing scholars. For example, the Law School might propose a visit by someone who has written about using metaphor or narrative to persuade, the science of creating arguments, or the effects of oral argument presentation techniques. In addition to the typical presentation to law school faculty that takes place in faculty exchange programs, the Visiting Scholar would make one or more presentations to other audiences during the visit. These presentations might include a combination of the following:

A. a workshop for a large group of students (for example, the moot court teams or all the appellate advocacy classes); 

B. a seminar with a specific law school class (for example, an advanced legal writing class in persuasion or rhetoric);  

C. a presentation at a continuing legal education event for practitioners; and

D. a podcast available on the Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD website for continuing use.

3. The Law School may apply for a grant of up to $2,500.

4. A detailed list of the final distribution of funds, with appropriate supporting documentation, will be remitted to the Coordinator no later than 30 days after the Scholar’s visit. The grant funds will be distributed directly to the Law School. 

5. The Law School is responsible for developing and coordinating the schedule with the Scholar and making all travel arrangements. The Law School is also responsible for the completion of relevant tax forms for the awarding of the honorarium, if any. 

6. In all promotion material, including, but not limited to, announcements on the Law School’s website, advertisements in the local newspaper and local bar journal, flyers, and posters, the Law School should refer to the visitor as the Legal Communication & Rhetoric: Visiting Scholar , and the Law School should mention that the program is “made possible by support from ALWD through a grant to support the Legal Communication & Rhetoric:  Visiting Scholars Grant Program.” ALWD and the Legal Communication & Rhetoric: Visiting Scholars  Grant Program should be acknowledged at the beginning of the program of events.

7. The Scholar, Dean of the Law School, and Contact Person will receive an evaluation form no later than 15 days after the Scholar’s visit. Receipt of the funds is an assertion that all three individuals will return their respective evaluation forms to the Coordinator no later than 45 days after the program of events. In addition, an electronic copy of the program materials and copy of promotion materials should be submitted to the Coordinator no later than 45 days after the program of events.

8. The Legal Communication & Rhetoric:  Visiting Scholars  Grant Program does not require that the Law School seek co-sponsoring institutions or organizations. However, the Law School is not precluded from seeking contributions from other institutions or organizations, such as local bar associations. On the proposed budget, the Law School should identify what resources and funds (including “in kind”) will be contributed to the program of events. 

III. Selection Process and Criteria

1. Selection Process.

A. Each submitted grant application with supporting documentation (the “grant application”) will be reviewed for completeness by the Coordinator. When appropriate, the Coordinator will request clarifications and supplemental material. The Coordinator will remove identifying information pertaining to the submitting Law School, Contact Person, ALWD members, and geographic region from the grant application. The name of the proposed Visiting Scholar will not be removed.

B. The Coordinator will forward all grant applications (with identifying information appropriately redacted) to the Initial Review Panel no later than 15 days after the close of applications.

C. The Initial Review Panel will be composed of at least three members but no more than five members. The Coordinator, members of the Editorial Board, members of the ALWD Board, Professors, and Practitioners may serve as members of the Initial Review Panel. 

D. The  Editorial Board will select the members of the proposed Initial Review Panel. After the proposed members of the Initial Review Panel have indicated a willingness to serve, the names of the proposed Initial Review Panel will be forwarded to the ALWD Board for final approval by the ALWD Board. If the appropriate number of proposed members is not approved, the  Editorial Board will select additional proposed members. After the additional proposed members of the Initial Review Panel have indicated a willingness to serve, the names of the additional proposed members will be forward to the ALWD Board for final approval by the ALWD Board. This process will continue until the Initial Review Panel is composed of at least three members but no more than five members. The Initial Review Panel members must agree to the eligibility guidelines, that is, that they will not be eligible to be named as a Visiting Scholar during their service and for one year after their service. An Initial Review Panel member may serve in that position for no more than three consecutive years.

E. The Initial Review Panel will evaluate the grant applications based on the criteria outlined below and make an initial determination that a particular grant application will achieve the goals of the program.

F. The Initial Review Panel will forward to the Final Review Panel all the grant applications (with identifying information appropriately redacted) that the Initial Review Panel determines will achieve the goals of the program. If the Initial Review Panel identified more than eight grant applications that meet the program’s goals, the Initial Review Panel may, but is not required to, forward advisory rankings to the Final Review Panel.

G. The Final Review Panel will be composed of at least three members but no more than five members. Neither the Coordinator nor members of the Editorial Board or the ALWD Board may serve on the Final Review Panel. The Final Review Panel may be composed of Professors, Deans, Associate Deans, Practitioners, and Judges. 

H. The Editorial Board will select the members of the proposed Final Review Panel. After the proposed members of the Final Review Panel have indicated a willingness to serve, the names of the proposed Final Review Panel will be forwarded to the ALWD Board for final approval by the ALWD Board. If the appropriate number of proposed members is not approved, the  Editorial Board will select additional proposed members. After the additional proposed members of the Final Review Panel have indicated a willingness to serve, the names of the additional proposed members will be forward to the ALWD Board for final approval by the ALWD Board. This process will continue until the Final Review Panel is composed of at least three members but no more than five members. The names of the members of the Final Review Panel will be publicly announced when each year’s grants are awarded. The Final Review Panel members must agree to the eligibility guidelines, that is, that they will not be eligible to be named as a Visiting Scholar during their service and for one year after their service. A Final Review Panel member may serve in that position for no more than three consecutive years.

I. The Final Review Panel will review all forwarded grant applications. Using the selection criteria, the Final Review Panel will recommend, during each application period, the awarding of no more than four grants to Law Schools, with each grant totaling no more than $2,500. The Final Review Panel may, when it determines appropriate, recommend that less than the requested dollar amount be awarded.

J. The Final Review Panel will forward its recommendations to the Coordinator. At no point during the Final Review Panel’s consideration will the Final Review Panel know the name of the submitting Law School, the Contact Person, the ALWD Members and Delegates, or other identifying information. The Final Review Panel will receive the name and credentials (including submitted work product) of the Proposed Visiting Scholar to facilitate its review.

K. Within 48 hours of receipt of the Final Review Panel’s recommendations, the Coordinator will forward the recommendations to the ALWD Board and Editorial Board. At that time, the Coordinator will also forward a report detailing the review process and adherence to the grant guidelines. 

L. Upon receipt of the recommendations and review of the Coordinator’s report, the ALWD Board will determine whether it will ratify and approve the recommendations of the Final Review Panel. The ALWD Board may use an informal or formal meeting held no later than 60 days after the close of applications. If the ALWD Board determines it to be appropriate, it may not ratify and approve one or more of the Final Review Panel’s recommendations. However, in no event will the ALWD Board approve the awarding of a grant not recommended by the Final Review Panel.   

M. The ALWD Board will notify the Coordinator of the ALWD Board’s determination. The Coordinator will then notify the Contact Person of each submitting Law School of the final grant decisions. The Coordinator will send the ALWD Treasurer the application forms from the Law Schools that are awarded grants.

N. The Coordinator, members of the Initial Review Panel, and members of the Final Review Panel may not receive any compensation or other financial reward for serving in their respective capacities.

2. Selection Criteria. Both the Initial Review Panel and the Final Review Panel will consider the grant applications based on the following criteria.

A. The Scholar’s demonstrated excellence in substantive legal writing scholarship as indicated by published books, articles, and essays focusing on the study and practice of professional legal writing. Substantive legal writing scholarship includes at least the following: (1) scholarship exploring the nature and dimensions of a legal writing skill, technique, strategy, or process; (2) scholarship exploring the nature of legal writing audiences and the effectiveness of legal writing in practice; (3) scholarship critically analyzing the use of legal writing techniques or strategies in existing legal texts; (4) scholarship on ethics and professionalism in legal writing; (5) scholarship on legal method and the nature of legal authorities; and (6) scholarship on appellate practice and procedure.

B. The Scholar’s past or current offers of publication from Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD may be considered by the Review Panels as an additional factor weighing in favor of an application.

C. The Scholar’s planned scholarly agenda for future work concentrating on the study and practice of professional legal writing.

D. The description of the program of events and how the program will strengthen the development and dissemination of scholarship focusing on the study and practice of professional legal writing. This includes consideration of the format(s) and structure(s) of the program of events, purpose(s), audience(s), and theme(s).

E. The Law School’s proposed contribution and proposed allocation of funds may be considered by the Review Panels.


For questions and more information, contact:

Ursula Weigold

Director of Legal Research & Writing

Coordinator of the Legal Communication & Rhetoric:  

Visiting Scholars Grant Program

University of Wisconsin Law School

975 Bascom Mall

Madison, WI 53706

(608) 262-8563

weigold@wisc.edu