Status-Related Advocacy

LWI's Professional Status Committee was formed in 2015 to gather information about status issues and challenges facing its members at their respective institutions, act as a resource for them, and assist the LWI Board in speaking about those issues and their effect on its membership.  Unlike the Association of Legal Writing Directors' ABA Task Force, the Professional Status Committee does not itself submit comments to or testify before the ABA regarding various proposed changes to ABA Accreditation Standards that affect teachers and students of legal writing as a whole. For more information about ALWD's ABA Task Force, click here and here.

     In 2015, LWI adopted the following Full Citizenship statement:

     No justification exists for subordinating one group of law faculty to another based on the nature of  the course, the subject matter, or the teaching method.   All full-time law faculty should have the opportunity to achieve full citizenship at their institutions, including academic freedom, security of position, and governance rights. Those rights are necessary to ensure that law students and the legal profession benefit from the myriad perspectives and expertise that all faculty bring to the mission of legal education.

Both ALWD and the Society of American Law Teachers have also adopted this statement.  To date, these organizations have collected over 570 individual signatories as well.

     More recently, the Professional Status Committee supported a project to articulate Best Practices for compliance with ABA Standard 405(c), which affects a significant number of legal writing faculty.  The Best Practices document, authored by Melissa H. Weresh, Professor of Law at Drake University Law School, has been formally endorsed by LWI, ALWD, and SALT. It has also recently been published in the Journal of Legal Education, along with a number of short companion pieces.  See 66 J. Leg. Educ. 538 (2017).

    If you are concerned about any status issues with respect to your employment or that of a colleague, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Your information will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.

Sincerely,

Mary Bowman, Seattle, Co-chair,

Kristen K. Tiscione, Georgetown, Co-chair,

David Austin, Cal Western

Olympia Duhart, NOVA

Lyn Entrikin, Arkansas

Lucy Jewel, Tennessee

Mel Weresh, Drake

 

Seeking Signatures Endorsing Statement on Full Citizenship for All Law Faculty

The Legal Writing Institute, the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and The Society of American Law Teachers recently adopted the following policy statement relating to law faculty and citizenship rights at their respective law schools:

         We are committed to a policy of full citizenship for all law faculty. No justification exists for subordinating one  group of law faculty to another based on the nature of the course, the subject matter, or the teaching method.   All full-time law faculty should have the opportunity to achieve full citizenship at their institutions, including academic freedom, security of position, and governance rights. Those rights are necessary to ensure that law students and the legal profession benefit from the myriad perspectives and expertise that all faculty bring to the mission of legal education.

By adding your name and contact information to this document, you indicate your endorsement of this statement.  We plan to report back and present the results of the project to interested organizations, including the American Association of Law Schools, the American Bar Association, and the American Law Deans’ Association.  No individual names will be released without permission, nor will individual faculty or other signers be associated with specific institutions.