Civil disagreement

In a recent Time editorial, Yale Law Dean Heather Gerken lionized the law school as a bastion of civil disagreement. She cited the uninterrupted speech of Charles Murray at Yale as an example of civility: Law school conditions you to know the difference between righteousness and self-righteousness. That's why lawyers know how to go to … Continue reading Civil disagreement

Mindfulness without meditation

They had me at “hello.” Actually they had me with the title of the handout: “Mindfulness without Meditation.” Last week I attended the 2017 meeting of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools, a.k.a. SEALS, in beautiful Boca Raton. The SEALS meeting lasted all week but included a two-day Conference on Mindfulness in Law co-sponsored by … Continue reading Mindfulness without meditation

Listening begets listening

Thanks to Professors Alexa Chew and O.J. Salinas for their guest post below on fostering an open dialogue on diversity and inclusion in law schools. They will be presenting on these issues this week at the Association of Legal Writing Directors' 2017 conference. Law schools throughout the country continue to face issues related to diversity … Continue reading Listening begets listening

Emotions in writing

Listening and speaking can be empathetic. Even reading (reading literary fiction, that is) is connected with empathy. But what about writing? And specifically, what about legal writing? The textbooks concur that writers are supposed to harness not only logos and ethos but also pathos in their appellate briefs and other persuasive writing. But what about the … Continue reading Emotions in writing

Preparing to listen

Preparing to write means adopting some kind of routine or even a ritual: get coffee, gather some pads and paper, sit down at the computer, procrastinate a little bit online, and then get to it. Preparing to speak means making notes, practicing to a friendly audience, maybe putting on a lucky piece of jewelry or a … Continue reading Preparing to listen

Stereotype threat

Before a math test, women test-takers reminded of their gender did worse on the test than a control group who took the same test without the reminder. This experiment forms a classic example of stereotype threat, which Professor Susie Salmon from Arizona Law spoke about at the recent Moot Court Advisors’ Conference held by the … Continue reading Stereotype threat

Summer-associate advice

When I speak to summer associates, I always tell them they have two jobs: do great work and gain as many opportunities as possible within the employer’s organization, should they end up working there; and study the employer, lawyers and staff, and the overall culture to discern if it’s a good fit for them. Listening … Continue reading Summer-associate advice

Listening to punctuation

Thanks to Julie Schrager, counsel and legal writing coach at Schiff Hardin, for this guest post.  I have been desperately trying to find a way to write about exclamation points. I grew up in a time when they were reserved for exclamations: “Congratulations on winning that game!” or “That’s the reason he got that promotion!” Lynne … Continue reading Listening to punctuation

Silence and group work in legal education

I wasn’t able to attend the AALS (Association of American Law Schools) meeting this year—an annual gathering of thousands of law professors. As a sort of substitute, I’ve been saving an article to read from the Journal of Legal Education, the AALS’s journal on legal education, the legal profession, legal theory, and legal scholarship. The … Continue reading Silence and group work in legal education