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I gave a presentation in Indianapolis in July at the 2008 biennial conference of the Legal Writing Institute about teaching legal writing online. My presentation, with the slides in several formats and supporting resources, can be found here.
I gave a presentation in New York about laptops in the classroom at the 2008 American Association of Law Schools meeting; it was part of a debate about whether they should be banned.  An overview of my contribution to this program, together with the slides, can be found here.
I have created a new page that contains links to all my student evaluations since I started teaching full time at DU.  You will find it here.

This page is a companion to the presentation I gave at the biennial meeting of the Legal Writing Institute  on July 16, 2008 in Indianapolis.  The topic was "Effective Methods for Teaching Legal Writing Online."

At first blush, teaching legal writing online would seem to be difficult, if not impossible.  This is because LRW is usually taught - needs to be taught - with close associated work between the teacher and student.  This is most particularly evident in the Professor/Student conferences that are a regular feature of the course. 

My message in this presentation was that, despite these concerns, LRW can be taught effectively online.  I spoke from my experience of successfully doing so over the last four years.  In my presentation at the LWI conference, I described how to adjust generally accepted LRW pedagogy to deliver it in an online environment.  I also demonstrated some of the technologies that are available for online instruction.  Finally, I presented some student feedback that was collected by the University of Denver's Office of Institutional Research.


While it is still fairly standard practice, I prefer not to hand out paper copies at presentations I give.  Not only does doing so kill trees, but it ends up being something you have to carry home, and they are ultimately less useful and interactive than a digital file.  So here on this page you will find a downloadable copy of my presentation in several formats.

Here it is in the form of a PDF file, and here it is in the form of an Shockwave Flash file you can view through the browser if you have Flash installed.  Here, also, is a PowerPoint file format of the presentaton.


Also included on this page are some of the resources that I referenced during the presentation.  An article I have written, from which this presentation was derived, can be found in draft form here.  The full text of the ABA Accreditation standard 306 can be found here.  A recent article in The New York Times noted that student enrollment in online courses has been increasing.  Here is a copy of the syllabus that I use when I teach LRW online.  And here is a copy of the "Course Policies" document that contains language for students to consider before taking such a course.  With the idea that a rubric for evaluation of an online course can be a good place to start in constructing such a course, I have also included an Excel file of a rubric that was derived from the Blackboard courseware system, and another one that CSU Chico is well known for.  You might also want to visit the website of the Access to Learning Project.

If you attended my presentation at the LWI conference on Teaching LRW Online - or even if you have visited this page because you are curious about the subject - thank you, and feel free to contact me with your thoughts via E-mail.

Effective Methods for Teaching Legal Writing Online

Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute, July 14-17, 2008

Indianapolis, Indiana


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