LRW Program Design: A Manifesto for the Future
Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, June 2010, Vol. 16, pp. 591-604
14 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2014
Date Written: June 2010
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.
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
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation