I am delighted to welcome you to the eighteenth Volume of Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, the nation’s premier journal about legal writing and communication and the official journal of the Legal Writing Institute.
The Volume begins with four articles that address broad issues encountered by legal writing professors and others concerned about the quality of legal writing, analysis, and reading. First, Elizabeth Fajans explores the theory and technique of helping students avoid “hitting the wall” in their legal writing as they advance from mere competence to eloquence. Next, Carrie Sperling and Susan Shapcott confront student mindset and understanding of intelligence as they explore how professors can give more meaningful feedback and assessment. They are followed by an intriguing empirical study of whether law school actually improves students’ analytical skills by David J. Herring and Collin Lynch. Finally, Mark Yates delves into the impact the Internet and electronic sources have had on student literacy and argues that text-based literacy is still essential for successful lawyers.
The articles then turn to analysis of specific pedagogical techniques applicable to legal writing and case-book classrooms. First, Sophie M. Sparrow and Margaret Sova McCabe explain the theory and practice of Team-Based Learning. Then Mary Dunnewold and Mary Trevor introduce the incorporation of an Alternative Dispute Resolution Simulation into a first-year legal writing class. Next, Amanda Smith argues for the addition of an opinion-writing exercise as a complement to the traditional office memorandum in first-semester legal writing courses. Finally, Heidi K. Brown confronts the problem of public speaking anxiety in law students and offers suggestions for addressing the heart of this problem in law school.
The Volume concludes with a practical piece by Samantha A. Moppett about academic poster presentations, providing practical advice for submitting such posters for legal writing conferences.
In sum, this Volume provides us with a diverse and engaging range of articles that challenge us to examine our teaching, our theory, and our assumptions about legal writing pedagogy and legal education.
We are committed to providing our readers with broad cover-age of interesting and important issues related to legal writing, research, analysis, and pedagogy, and we sincerely appreciate the continued support of contributors and readers alike. If you have feedback about this Volume, or would like to submit an article for publication, please contact the Journal at http://www.journalleg alwritinginstitute.org/.
As my term as Editor in Chief comes to an end, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who have made the past four volumes of the Journal a success. A peer-edited Journal in legal academia really is a labor of love. I am indebted to the talented members of the Editorial Board including Mary Garvey Algero, Ted Becker, Brooke J. Bowman, Rachel Croskery-Roberts, Kirsten K. Davis, Lisa Eichorn, Judith D. Fischer, Jane Kent Gionfriddo, Lindsey P. Gustafson, Anna P. Hemingway, Kimberly Y.W. Holst, Jeff R. Jablonski, Robin Boyle Laisure, Mary Lawrence, Pamela Lysaght, Ellie Margolis, Samantha M. Moppett, Susan Provenzano, Terrill Pollman, David T. Richie, Karen J. Sneddon, Kristen Konrad Robbins-Tiscione, Susan Thrower, Christine M. Venter, and Catherine J. Wasson.
These past four volumes would not have been possible without the dedication of my four amazing Assistant Editors in Chief: David T. Richie, Pamela Lysaght, Terrill Pollman, and Brooke J. Bowman. Finally, it is not an overstatement to say that these volumes would never have seen the light of day without the talent, tenacity, and tender care of Brooke J. Bowman and the support of the Stetson University College of Law. I am so happy that she will be overseeing the next two volumes as Editor in Chief. The Journal is truly in good hands.
Kristin B. Gerdy
Editor in Chief