Legal Writing News
(May 6, 2014) Five May 2014 graduates are Seattle University School of Law's winners of the National Order of Scribes Award: Nicholas Carlson, Margaret Duncan, Daniel Edwards, Dru Swaim, and Hannah Zommick.
They were selected for the prestigious award based on their superior grades in their legal writing courses and other demonstrated excellence in legal writing through membership on one of the law school's journals or law review and publication of an article, note, or comment.
"It is a pleasure to see these five students selected for the National Order of Scribes," said Professor Anne Enquist, who chaired the Selection Committee and directs the Legal Writing Program. "They are all superb legal writers who deserve this special recognition."
(March 10, 2014) Professor Sara Rankin joined three co-editors across the country — Joel Rogers (Wisconsin), Emily Benfer (Chicago), and Kevin Barry (Quinnipiac) — to launch Legislation Law Prof Blog, focused on legislative drafting, advocacy, and policymaking.
The last few years have witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of clinical, legal writing, and doctrinal faculty focused on legislation and policymaking. Many schools have created new policy clinics or added policy work to existing clinics. More legal writing faculty are incorporating legislative drafting assignments into the curriculum. Almost every school has a legislation course.
Despite the large demand in the legal academy for resources and information related to legislation, there was no centralized location for information sharing and discussion before now. Professor Rankin and her co-editors created a new blog focused on legislation and administrative advocacy and policymaking to fill this void and support colleagues in the legal academy. Through the Legislation Law Prof Blog, Professor Rankin and her co-editors hope to make meaningful contributions to:
Teaching. Legislation permeates every aspect of law and is discussed to some extent in almost all law courses. The blog disseminates trends, innovative approaches, and other opportunities to teach about legislation and policymaking in the classroom.
Skills training. Legislation provides unique and exciting ways for law faculty to incorporate experiential opportunities into our classrooms. The Legislation Law Prof Blog highlights these opportunities.
Advocacy. The Preamble to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct encourages all lawyers to "cultivate knowledge of the law beyond its use for clients [and] employ that knowledge in reform of the law." The blog promotes the engagement of law faculty and students in the development of model policies responsive to the needs of underserved people and communities.
(Feb. 6, 2014) Seattle University launched its first online Legal Writing course designed for foreign attorneys and law students. It focuses on helping individuals who do not have English as their first language develop their ability to write clearly, concisely, and correctly in English.
Individuals who enroll in the course will listen to a series of lectures, complete a variety of writing exercises, and have their writing individually critiqued by Professor Laurel Currie Oates. Attorneys and law students who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion from Seattle University School of Law.
The online courses are a natural outgrowth of Seattle University's Number 1 Legal Writing Program and the work that members of the legal writing faculty have done internationally. In offering the courses, the Law School recognizes that the ability to communicate effectively in English has become increasingly important in today's global economy. The courses provide individuals from around the world a unique opportunity to learn to write effectively for U.S. legal readers.