Note-taking advice for law students

It's that time of late summer when law-school boot camps and pre-orientation prep sessions start happening. I'll be speaking about legal writing next week and note-taking skills the week after that. For the note-taking session, I put out a call for help and got some really good responses. Here's the call for help: Hey I'm … Continue reading Note-taking advice for law students

Law-school learning outcomes for communication

It’s that time of year when elementary and secondary students’ standardized test scores arrive in the mail. The scores should, ideally, correlate to the school’s stated learning outcomes. Elementary and secondary schools are veterans of the push for learning outcomes, and law schools are now required to determine their learning outcomes as well. Specifically, the … Continue reading Law-school learning outcomes for communication

Unicorn lawyers

What is a “unicorn skill”? It’s a skill that reasonably performing professionals in the field do not have, which is why they are just…reasonable. They can still do their job but are not “A” players. A unicorn skill is thus rarely found, and those who have it stand out as…unicorns. I learned about the term … Continue reading Unicorn lawyers

A digression: re-learning to swim

While attempting—as an adult—to learn how to swim properly, the experience gave me a whole new appreciation for what 1L legal writing students go through. The idea of adults trying new things in middle age is a whole genre, found in a variety of essays and books, e.g. What I learned as the worst student … Continue reading A digression: re-learning to swim

“May it please the Court…”

It’s that time of year when 1Ls start preparing for their first oral argument. In a class on how to prepare, I’ll be sure to share this tweet from experienced SCOTUS advocate Bob Loeb of Orrick: The card given to you by the Supreme Court Clerk before argument has last minute advice. pic.twitter.com/j6l63f9ZLa — Bob … Continue reading “May it please the Court…”

Review: Katrina Lee’s The Legal Career

Katrina Lee’s new book on the business of law, The Legal Career: Knowing the Business, Thriving in Practice (West 2017), starts by exploring the design of a law-firm office. Lee points out that the law office can be seen as a microcosm of the legal industry: evolution, yes, but also persistent adherence to the old ways. … Continue reading Review: Katrina Lee’s The Legal Career

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

Listening Skills in the Law School Classroom

This post is for law professors, educators, and anyone interested in listening-related skills training... Listening contributes to law students’ success in many ways. From participating in class discussion to doing good work in clinics to writing an exam that reflects what was discussed in class, students who listen effectively are in a better position to … Continue reading Listening Skills in the Law School Classroom

Non-Verbal Persuasion

This guest post summarizes the authors’ presentation, “Beyond Words: What Business Schools Can Teach Us About Non-Verbal Persuasion” at last week’s Association of Legal Writing Directors Biennial Conference held at the University of Minnesota Law School. By Erin Carroll, Georgetown Law, and Shana Carroll, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management The practice of law places … Continue reading Non-Verbal Persuasion