The hothouse of law school

The great law professor Larry Ribstein used to say that legal education has grown within a hothouse. Flora and fauna grow in different ways in a hothouse than in a natural environment. -William D. Henderson, quoted in Katrina Lee, The Legal Career: Knowing the Business, Thriving in Practice (2017) For sixteen years I’ve been teaching … Continue reading The hothouse of law school

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

#InHouseTwitter

In-house counsel and anyone who works with them—such as, say, outside counsel—will be interested in the new hashtag, #InHouseTwitter, started this summer by @J_Dot_J. J.J.'s Twitter bio tells us she is an "employment/cyber-security lawyer, mom to a 2-boy wrecking crew, endorsed as 'not half bad.'" She has shared some pithy—sometimes salty—advice from her in-house perspective … Continue reading #InHouseTwitter

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

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

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

Habit-forming classrooms     

How much time do law students spend in class? I’ve been thinking about the behavioral implications of so much time in front of laptop screens. I look forward to reading but don’t actually need to read Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked to know that looking at a … Continue reading Habit-forming classrooms