The Second Draft
About The Second Draft:
The Second Draft is the newsletter of the Legal Writing Institute and is published twice each year. Its primary purposes are to share information about LWI members, legal writing and research programs, and Institute business, and to provide an environment for sharing ideas and discoveries about teaching legal writing and research.
Each issue of The Second Draft collects essays written around a central theme that relates to some question or challenge facing those who teach legal writing and research. Past themes have included methodologies for teaching analysis in the classroom, different approaches to commenting on students' writing, and incorporating technology into the legal writing and research classroom.
Keeping us current with your contact information for our membership list will help us deliver the newsletter to the right address. If you need to update your contact information, click here. If you are not a member of LWI and would like to join, please visit our membership information page.
Spring 2015 Issue of The Second Draft
The Spring 2015 Issue of The Second Draft is now available for download:
Click HERE for the Spring 2015 Issue. This version should work well both for printing and for viewing on mobile devices.
Call for Submissions: Fall 2015 Issue
Once upon a Time: The Influence of Narrative in Legal Writing
From fairy tales and biblical parables to morality plays and illness narratives, stories are powerful tools that have been used throughout history to inform and persuade. The central role that narrative plays in legal discourse is unsurprising given that stories are “a primary form of human communication.” As Ruth Anne Robbins, a staunch advocate of applied storytelling, observes, stories “help us create knowledge, reinforce knowledge, and change existing knowledge and beliefs.” Accordingly, an effective attorney must also be an effective storyteller capable of weaving a narrative so powerful that it convinces a court that his or her client’s position is the best, perhaps only, way to prevent injustice. Similarly, a great teacher must also be a great storyteller able to craft a story so compelling that it creates or reinforces students’ knowledge and understanding of the law. Thus, in this volume of The Second Draft, we ask each of you to share your “stories” regarding the influence of narrative in legal writing. Whether you employ storytelling in your pedagogy or in your practice, we welcome your thoughts and insights regarding the role of story in legal discourse.
Please submit your article in Word via email by or before March 15, 2015, to email@example.com. We envision articles ranging in length between 500 - 3,000 words, but are open to considering articles of any length. To help us keep track of submissions, please use the following convention for the subject line of your email: Name, Article Submission, Issue and Year (e.g. “John Doe Article Submission Fall 2015 Issue").
Please contact the Editorial Board via email at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions.
 Ruth Anne Robbins, An Introduction to Applied Legal Storytelling, 14 LEG. WRITING 3, 7 (2008).
The Second Draft Editorial Board:
Past Issues of The Second Draft issues in PDF* format
(* If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you may download it here.)
Volume 28, No.1 Spring 2015: Legal Writing: A Foundation for Learning in Law School
Volume 27, No. 2 Summer 2014: Legal Writing Speaks Out on ABA Accreditation Standards
Volume 27, No. 2 Fall 2013/Winter 2014: Legal Research & Writing Faculty At The Forefront of Best Practices and Legal Education Reform
Volume 27, No. 1 Summer 2013: Scholarship
Volume 26, No. 1 Fall 2012: Teaching Ethics
Volume 25, No. 2 Fall 2011: Diversity
Volume 25, No. 1 Spring 2011: Tactical Teaching
Volume 24, No. 3 Fall 2010: Assessment
Volume 24, No. 2 Spring 2010: Happy Anniversary LWI
Volume 24, No. 1 Fall 2009: Teaching Implicit Reasoning
Volume 23, No. 2 Spring 2009: Teaching Through Technology
Volume 23, No. 1 Fall 2008: Teaching Statutory Analysis
Volume 22, No. 2 Spring 2008: Teaching to Different Learning Styles
Volume 22, No. 1 August 2007: Providing Effective Feedback
Volume 21, No. 2 December 2006: From Law Student to Lawyer
Volume 21, No. 1 August 2006:2006 LWI Conference
Volume 20, No. 2 December 2005: Teaching Difficult Concepts
Volume 20, No. 1 August 2005: My Best Class. (Please note that this edition of The Second Draft is in publishing layout format.)
Volume 19, No. 2: No issue published.
Volume 19, No. 1 December 2004: The 2004 LWI Conference.
Volume 18, No. 2 June 2004: What keeps us going: professional development and keeping up morale.
Volume 18, No. 1 December 2003: Who are our students?
Volume 17, No. 2 July 2003: What are we teaching?
Volume 17, No. 1 December 2002: The LWI conference/ informational issue.
Volume 16, No. 2 May 2002: A third semester of legal writing.
Volume 16, No. 1 December 2001: Teaching students to persuade.
Volume 15, No. 2 June 2001: Collaboration and cooperation in the legal writing classroom.
Volume 15, No. 1 January 2001: The LWI conference; President’s address on ABA accreditation standards and their effects on the teaching of legal writing and research.
Volume 14, No. 2 May 2000: “How do I teach my students the legal analysis that is the foundation of any piece of legal writing?”
Volume 14, No. 1 November 1999: Perspectives on and approaches to responding to student writing.
Volume 13, No. 2 May 1999: Essays by members of the Institute on the uses of technology in connection with legal writing courses.
Volume 13, No. 1 November 1998: Report on the work of the Institute at and after its 1998 conference in Ann Arbor.
Volume 12, No. 2 May 1998: No issue published.
Volume 12, No. 1 November 1997: Essays on techniques for teaching legal writing.
Volume 11, No. 2 May 1997: Forum on goals for first-year legal research and writing programs.
Volume 11, No. 1 November 1996: Reports from the Chair of the Board of Directors and committees of the institute.
Volume 10, No. 2 May 1996: Informational Issue: Call for submissions of summaries of upcoming conferences.
Volume 10, No. 1 November 1995: Responses to Vol. 9, No. 2: Is IRAC a helpful tool?
Volume 9, No. 2 May 1995: Is IRAC a helpful tool for teaching analysis?
Volume 9, No. 1 November 1994: The 1994 Conference of the Legal Writing Institute at Chicago-Kent College of Law: A summary of expositions and presentations.