Teaching Legal Writing: Theory

Volume Three

Legal Writing Institute Monograph Series


Our goal for Volume Three is to bring together key articles related to the theory of teaching legal writing. These articles illuminate why we moved from a product orientation to a process one.We have included representative foundational articles, which remain critically important for understanding the development of legal writing as a field. The articles are presented chronologically to facilitate the reader’s understanding of the growth and development of the field. We limited ourselves to work with a focus on the theory of teaching novices, leaving many wonderful articles on other aspects, like writing across the curriculum and upper level writing, to future volumes. We hope that this volume will be helpful to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of why we do what we do.

The articles are reprinted from the journals in which they first appeared as listed in their citations.

I'd like to thank the members of the Monograph Committee who worked hard to produce this volume, particularly Cassandra Hill, who served as Managing Editor. The other committee members are Linda Berger, Michelle Brown Cue, Betsy Fajans, Steve Johansen, Alison Julien, Mehmet Konar-Steenberg, and Kathy Vinson.

Susan DeJarnatt

Editor in Chief, Volume Three

Table of Contents

Marjorie Dick Rombauer, First-Year Legal Research and Writing:  Then and Now, 25 J. Leg. Educ. 538 (1973)

Theresa Godwin Phelps, The New Legal Rhetoric, 40 Sw. L. J. 1089 (1986) Phillip Kissam, Thinking (by Writing) About Legal Writing, 40 Vand. L. Rev. 135 (1987)

Mary Kate Kearney and Mary Beth Beazley, Teaching Students How to “Think Like Lawyers”: Integrating Socratic Method with the Writing Process, 64 Temp. L. Rev. 885 (1991)

Joseph M. Williams, On the Maturing of Legal Writers: Two Models of Growth and Development, 1 Legal Writing 1 (1991)

Elizabeth Fajans and Mary R. Falk, Against the Tyranny of the Paraphrase: Talking Back to Texts, 78 Cornell L. Rev. 163 (1993)

Christopher Rideout and Jill Ramsfield, Legal Writing: A Revised View, 69 Wash. L. Rev. 35 (1994)

Leigh Hunt Greenhaw, “To Say What the Law Is”: Learning the Practice of Legal Rhetoric, 29 Val. U. L. Rev. 861 (1995)

Linda Edwards, The Convergence of Analogical and Dialectical Imagination in Legal Discourse, 20 Leg. Stud. Forum 7 (1996)

Kate O’Neill, Formalism and Syllogisms: A Pragmatic Critique of Writing in Law School, 20 Leg. Stud. Forum 51 (1996)

Nancy Soonpaa, Using Composition Theory and Scholarship to Teach Legal Writing More Effectively, 3 Legal Writing 81 (1997)

Jessie Grearson, Teaching the Transitions, 4 Legal Writing 57 (1998) Kathryn M. Stanchi, Resistance is Futile: How Legal Writing Pedagogy Contributes to the Law’s Marginalization of Outsider Voices, 103 Dick. L. Rev. 7 (1998)

Linda Berger, Applying New Rhetoric to Legal Discourse: the Ebb and Flow of Reader and Writer, Text, and Context, 49 J. Legal Educ. 155 (1999)

Linda Berger, A Reflective Rhetorical Model: The Legal Writing Teacher as Reader and Writer, 6 Legal Writing 57 (2000)

Laurel Oates, Beyond Communication: Writing as a Means of Learning, 6 Legal Writing 1 (2000)

Suzanne Ehrenberg, Embracing the Writing-Centered Legal Process, 89 Iowa L. Rev. 1159 (2004)

Pamela Lysaught and Cristina D. Lockwood, Writing-Across-the-Law-School-Curriculum: Theoretical Justifications, Curricular Implications, 2 J. ALWD 73 (2004)

Ellie Margolis and Susan L. DeJarnatt, Moving Beyond Product to Process: Building a Better LRW Program, 46 Santa Clara L. Rev. 93 (2005)

Andrea McArdle, Negotiating Voice, 12 Clin. L. Rev. 501 (2006)

Christine M. Ventner, Analyze ThisL Using Taxonomies to "Scaffold" Students' Legal Thinking and Writing Skills, 57 Mercer L. Rev. 621 (2006)

Christopher Rideout, Voice, Self, and Persona in Legal Writing, 15 Legal Writing 67 (2009)

Kristen Robbins-Tiscione, A Call to Combine Rhetorical Theory and Practice in the Legal Writing Classroom, 50 Washburn L. J. 319 (2011)