Mentoring & Professional Development

One-to-one mentoring (usually from a more experienced faculty member) is only one way to support and nurture faculty professional development. The need for professional development support—whether scholarly draft feedback or mentoring on all kinds of questions—does not end when the first few years of teaching are complete or when the first few articles have been published. All faculty members have individual needs that ebb and flow over time, reflecting changes in life, work, family, friends, and other conditions; and these needs may most effectively be met by a broad network of individuals and organizations. Such networks provide information, community support and engagement, and accountability as well as feedback. These networks help all of us accommodate the responsibilities of scholarship: reading, writing, teaching, collegiality, and engagement.

Best Practices (coming soon)

Writers’ Workshops & Grants

May 2, 2017

The Legal Writing Institute and the Association of Legal Writing Directors are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 LWI/ALWD/LexisNexis Scholarship Grants.  We received many excellent proposals.  In a blind review process, a joint committee of LWI and ALWD evaluated the proposals and made funding recommendations, which both Boards affirmed.  This year, LWI and ALWD each contributed $7500.  LexisNexis contributed $5000.  Through their generosity, we are able to award four grants of $5000.

The grant winners and titles of the proposals are as follows:

Mark Cooney (Western Michigan, Cooley Law School), What Courts Cite

Lindsay Head (LSU), A Contract to Hire: Unilateral Grading Contracts in the Legal Writing Classroom

Nancy Millar (Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School), The Science of Successful Teaching

Amanda Smith (Widener University, Commonwealth Law School), “Say What?”: A How-To Guide on Providing Formative Assessment to Law Students Through Live Critique

We wish to thank the members of the Joint Scholarship Grants Committee who mentored the applicants and evaluated the proposals.  The committee members are: Sue Chesler, David Cleveland, Lyn Entrikin, Elizabeth Frost, Jane Grise, Anne Mullins, Rebecca Scharf, and Emily Zimmerman.

We also wish to thank all the applicants, whose wonderful scholarship ideas made the committee’s work so interesting (and challenging in terms of making the difficult funding decisions).  We encourage them to apply again next year, and we also encourage others to consider applying for a scholarship grant next year.  Keep an eye out for the announcement next December.

Thanks especially to LWI, ALWD, and LexisNexis for their generous contributions in recognizing the important role scholarship plays in our developing discipline.

Best wishes,

Louis Sirico (LWI) and Greg Johnson (ALWD)

Co-Chairs of the Joint Scholarship Grants Committee

Professors working on scholarly projects, whether these are focused on legal communication or on other legal topics, will benefit from participating in workshops where feedback can be sought and long-term relationships can be forged. In addition, grant support is available through a joint program.

  • Joint Scholarship Grants: LWI, ALWD, and LexisNexis together offer annual grants to support legal writing scholars working on specific projects. Mentors are assigned at several steps along the way. Calls for applications are posted on the LRWPROF listserv.
  • LWI Writers’ Workshop: This annual workshop accepts applications from both novice and experienced scholars. Facilitators are available to help workshop drafts, but writers may also use the uninterrupted time to start or continue a project in a conducive setting. Watch the LRWPROF listserv for annual announcements.
  • ALWD Scholarship Forums & Workshops and ALWD Visiting Scholars Grants: ALWD sponsors regular scholarship forums and workshops at regional legal writing conferences as well as an annual grant program for law schools to host Visiting Scholars in Legal Communication and Rhetoric.