Status-Related Advocacy

  • History

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 addressing these issues and their effect on its members. 

  • Full Citizenship Campaign for All Law Faculty

In 2015, LWI adopted the following 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 the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) and the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) have also adopted this statement.  To date, these organizations have collected over 570 individual signatories as well.

  • Survey of Faculty on Status Issues

In preparation for LWI's 2016 biennial conference in Portland, the PSC conducted an informal survey of its membership relating to status issues.  Two hundred and sixty-one members responded to the survey.  The results are here.  Note that the data have not been analyzed and should be relied on only as anecdotal information.

The PSC is working now on a similar survey for the 2018 biennial.

  • Best Practices under ABA 405(c) Project

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 resulting article, authored by Mel Weresh, Dwight D. Opperman Distinguished Professor of Law, 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).

  • Collaborations

ALWD

ALWD and LWI both engage in a variety of activities that relate to status issues facing legal writing faculty within the legal academy.  ALWD and LWI work collaboratively on these issues, including jointly administering the ALWD/LWI Survey, but each organization has a different focus:

LWIALWDCHART.jpg

 

  • ALWD has an external focus, with an emphasis on accreditation issues before the ABA and Council on Legal Education.

  • LWI has a more internal, member-facing focus, with an emphasis on helping LWI members advocate to their schools for status improvements.

For a chart that provides a more specific summary of ALWD's and LWI's status efforts, click here. For more information about ALWD's ABA Task Force, click here and here.

SALT

A designee from the LWI Board of Directors also acts as an affiliate Board member of SALT.  The current affiliate member is Kristen K. Tiscione, Georgetown

  • Upcoming Projects

The PSC is currently working to articulate Best and Better Practices for compliance with ABA Standard 405(d), develop toolkits for members' quick reference and use where time is of the essence, and publish the story of its Citizenship Campaign.

  • Contact Us

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,

Mel Weresh, Drake, Co-chair,

David Austin, Cal Western

Heidi Brown,Brooklyn

Olympia Duhart, NOVA

Lyn Entrikin, Arkansas

Lucy Jewel, Tennessee

Amy Sloan, Baltimore

Craig Smith, UNC

Kristen K. Tiscione, Georgetown 

(scroll down to sign Citizenship Statement and access "Other Resources")

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.