A 'passport' to legal writing best practices

Elon Law, in coordination with the Legal Writing Institute, hosted a One-Day Workshop in December for regional law professors and practitioners who visited downtown Greensboro for a program that was part of a nationwide series.

Legal writing educators from several North Carolina law schools visited Elon Law in December for a professional development program organized in coordination with the Legal Writing Institute's nationwide One-Day Workshop series.

With a theme of “Legal Writing: Passport to the Profession,” the program on Dec. 8, 2017, featured presentations from faculty members at the UNC School of Law, Wake Forest University School of Law, the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University, Elon University School of Law, and York University in Toronto.

Elon Law Professor Sue Liemer, director of the Legal Method & Communication Program, and Associate Professor Catherine Wasson, director of Legal Research & Writing, led efforts to bring the workshop to Greensboro.

“Because I just moved to Elon Law this summer, after many years at another law school, I thought it would be a fun way to let the other legal writing professors in the region know what we are doing here and to learn what they are working on, too,” Liemer said. “It’s a great way to build a regional network of professional colleagues. Knowing that Catherine was already well established here and we would be working together to organize the event made it easy to decide to do it.

“The theme emphasizes Elon Law’s focus on preparing practice ready graduates, which the instruction and practice in all facets of legal writing contributes greatly to.”   

Several Elon Law faculty members made presentations throughout the day, including LMC Fellows Tiffany Atkins, Elliot Engstrom, Heather Gram and Drew Simshaw. Katherine Reynolds, a Clinical Practitioner in Residence Fellow with Elon Law's Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic, also led a session.

LWI annually sponsors One-Day Workshops on selected topics at up to a dozen law schools on a range of topics. Seven law schools across the nation have been selected to host the 2017 workshops.

"Because it takes place over just one day, workshops offer busy professors a highly efficient way to exchange the latest information and ideas about legal writing and the teaching of legal writing," Liemer said. "They also provide an opportunity for newer professors to give academic presentations in a setting that’s smaller than a national conference, so they can enter the conversation within the community of legal writing professors."

Wolters Kluwer sponsored a morning breakfast at Elon Law's program, and Carolina Academic Press and LexisNexis sponsored the LWI’s One-Day Workshop lunch.