2014 Biennial Conference


Hosted by the Legal Writing Institute in Philadelphia

Program Information

The program for the 2014 conference features a mix of various different types of presentations. As in the past, in addition to the 45 and 75 minute presentations, the program also includes morning coffee sessions that allow for more informal presentations and encourage group conversations and interaction, Idea Bank Live presentations comprised of several related 20 to 25 minute presentations in a 45 or 75 minute time slot focusing on innovative teaching ideas, and Poster Presentations.

The presentations in the 2014 Program address teaching theory as well as innovative and classroom-tested ideas for new and veteran teachers. Additional sessions will focus on a variety of topics, including interdisciplinary theory and empirical research that support legal writing scholarship, cognitive theories and technological changes applied to teaching legal research and writing, and a range of other topics including professional growth, academic support, applied legal storytelling, global skills, legal rhetoric, and hot topics in legal education.

“Scholarship” Designated Presentations —NEW!

As the discipline of legal writing grows and matures, more of our attention is turning to scholarly research and knowledge-creation in the field. This new presentation category is focused on helping conference participants develop and publish their own scholarship as well as learn more about current legal-writing scholarship. Look for events marked “scholarship” in your program, including the following: a scholarship incubation workshop; scholarship speed mentoring; a session on writing and publishing; sessions on empirical and qualitative research methods; moderated scholarly panels where panelists share their current research projects; and more! Thanks to the Scholarship Development and Outreach Committee who has developed, planned, and organized these presentations.

Spotlight Session– NEW!Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Draw near and be inspired . The Spotlight Session on Tuesday, July 1 will feature a panel of United States Supreme Court advocates: The Honorable Patricia Millett, Nicole A. Saharsky, and Gregory Garre. Judge Millett, newly appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, formerly headed the Supreme Court practice at Akin Gump and is a former assistant to the United States Solicitor General. Ms. Saharsky is currently an assistant to the Solicitor General and a former member of O’Melveny & Myers. Mr. Garre is the chair of Latham & Watkins’ Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Group and served as our 44th Solicitor General.

This distinguished panel, with a combined total of more than eighty cases argued before the Court and whose experience at the Solicitor General’s office overlapped, will share their expertise in converting complex, constitutional law matters into riveting stories and compelling legal arguments.

Golden Pen Award

During the Spotlight Session the Legal Writing Institute will also be presenting Ken Adams with the 2014 Golden Pen Award. The author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, published by the ABA, Mr. Adams is an internationally known expert in legal drafting. Mr. Adams was selected to receive the Golden Pen Award in recognition of his exemplary work in contract drafting at a time when transactional law is increasingly important in the overall legal writing curriculum.

Poster Presentations

The Poster Presentations will include twenty-seven posters creatively displaying a wide variety of legal writing and academic support topics; some of the displayed ideas include twenty first century legal education, using the iPad to teach legal skills, collaboration between legal writing faculty and other law school departments, multipurpose summer programs, and preparing students for practice. In addition, consistent with the focus on Scholarship, there will also be posters to highlight our various publications, including the Monograph Series, J.ALWD: Legal Communication and Rhetoric, Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, and The Second Draft. These posters will be spotlighted throughout the conference.

Critiquing Workshop

On Tuesday of the conference, new legal writing professors have the opportunity to participate in the critiquing workshop. This workshop is based on Dan Barnett's Triage in the Trenches, 28 U. Toledo L. Rev. 651 (2007). The workshop is split into four sessions and introduces new teachers to critiquing student work. Participants must register in advance. Click here to register and receive materials you'll need to read in advance.