LRW Program Design: A Manifesto for the Future

Eric Easton

University of Baltimore - School of Law

June 2010

Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, June 2010, Vol. 16, pp. 591-604

All of us have, at one time or another, had occasion to consider, or reconsider, our program model. The trigger may have been a new dean; the prospect of a sabbatical inspection; a budget crisis or financial windfall; a faculty champion or saboteur; some-thing we learned at a Legal Writing Institute (LWI) or Association of Legal Writing Directors conference; or merely the cycle of bureaucratic reorganization. Those reconsiderations have led to a great diversity of Legal Research and Writing (LRW) program models: two-, three-, four-, and all-semester programs; adjunct-, contract-, and tenure-track staffing; and directors, co-directors, and no directors. Reconsiderations have also lead to discussions about how to use writing specialists, teaching assistants, teaching librarians, and post-graduate fellows in LRW programs.

My purpose today is to step back from the detail and take a long look at where we are headed. My central thesis is simply this — the time for reconceptualizing and reinventing LRW pro-grams is ending; the time to destroy them is coming. And we must take the lead in that enterprise. I know that sounds subversive. I hope, when I have finished, you find it realistic enough to be merely provocative.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 14

Keywords: LRW, legal research and writing, law schools, legal education, Legal Writing Institute, Association of Legal Writing Directors, law students

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K30, K39

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Date posted: March 7, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Easton, Eric, LRW Program Design: A Manifesto for the Future (June 2010). Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, June 2010, Vol. 16, pp. 591-604. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2405190

Contact Information

Eric Easton (Contact Author)
University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )
1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States
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