I am thrilled to introduce Volume 28 of Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute. The Journal is approaching its thirtieth year of publishing peer-reviewed scholarship about the practice, theory, and pedagogy of legal writing; this volume builds on the past three decades of discipline-building scholarship. The authors featured in this volume, comprising seasoned scholars and emerging voices, and professors and practitioners alike, have crafted articles and essays that showcase the diverse and innovative perspectives that continue to shape the legal writing discipline.

The first set of articles are pedagogically focused. First, in Bracing for Impact: Revising Legal Writing Assessments Ahead of the Collision of Generative AI and the NextGen Bar Exam, Carolyn Williams navigates the changing tides in technology and legal education and lays out a path to effectively assess student work and prepare students for the NextGen bar exam. In Designing Problems to Enhance Student Learning, Elizabeth Berenguer argues that problem design should be guided by rule structure, above all, to meet course level learning outcomes; the article provides a novel problem design progression that will be instructive for both newer and veteran legal writing professors. Next, in Teaching Critical Use of Research Technology, Jennifer Chapman explains how technology, including AI, continues to change the legal research landscape and offers insights for teaching critical analysis skills to combat the “Googlization” of research. Finally, Katya Cronin’s interdisciplinary article, The Intentional Pursuit of Purpose: Nurturing Students’ Authentic Motivation for Practicing Law, explores professional identity formation and argues for incorporating meaning and purpose into the law school curriculum.

The second set of articles explores the theory and practice of legal writing. In The Modern Way to Write a Statute is to Tell a Story, Richard Neumann applies British legislative drafting methods to the key statutes in the Mar-A-Lago Indictment, demonstrating that storytelling has—or should have—a place in American legislative drafting. In Writing Like a Photographer Thinks, Bret Rappaport bucks conventional wisdom about roadmap introductions and summary conclusions in persuasive writing, arguing that legal writers ought to take a cue from photographer Ansel Adams instead. Lastly, Morgan L.W. Hazelton and Rachael K. Hinkle apply quantitative social science research methods to court briefing, revealing the factors that actually influence the courts (and those that don’t).

Volume 28 also includes essays reflecting on how legal writing professors could teach and serve more effectively. Starting with service, Ezra Ross’s essay, Legal Writing and Faculty Pro Bono, proposes adding pro bono representation to the ongoing discussion about the legal writing community’s values. In The Stories We (Don’t) Tell: Using Case Briefing to Explore Bias and Oppression in the Law, Ashley Binetti Armstrong makes the case for using case briefing to investigate the stories the courts choose not to tell; her essay describes how she uses two cases in a first-year class to interrogate the untold stories of racial bias and oppression in the law. And finally, in The Unkillable Myth of Learning Styles, Michael Blasie seeks to slay the pernicious “learning styles” dragon, arguing that students’ and educators’ continued buy-in to the myth of learning styles can be counterproductive for student learning.

The Editorial Board thanks the volume’s authors for sharing their work with the Journal. It has been an honor to work with the authors to bring their scholarship to you, the reader. Thanks are also due to the incredible editorial board and staff of associate editors who worked on this volume. Volume 28 is robust—over 400 pages with 1,800 footnotes—and represents many, many hours of work from our volunteer editors.

My years serving on the Journal have been a privilege and a gift. If you have not yet served one of the publications in the legal writing field, I encourage you to consider it. The discipline is strengthened by the volunteers who bring their expertise, time, and energy to reviewing, editing, and publishing the scholarship of our peers. I hope you will find it to be as enriching and inspiring an experience as I have.

Elizabeth Frost
Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute