UH Law Center LSS professors share expertise at Legal Writing Institute Biennial Conference

Aug. 6, 2018 — Five University of Houston Law Center Lawyering Skills and Strategies professors recently participated in the Legal Writing Institute (LWI) Biennial Conference held at Marquette University School of Law in Milwaukee.

Law Center LSS professors gather during a break in a three-day legal writing conference. Katherine Brem, left, Kenneth Swift, Irene Ten Cate, Whitney Heard and Hilary Reed participated in panel discussions and presented their research.

LSS Professor Whitney Heard, center, used a pet custody agreement as an example of how to introduce legal drafting to first-year law students.

Kenneth Swift appeared on a panel titled, "Catch the Wave: Teaching Skills Online," with law professors from the University of Denver, Indiana University-McKinney and Hofstra University.  Panelists talked about their experiences with teaching legal skills, such as writing and drafting, in an online format and discussed the future of online courses in legal education.

Kate Brem joined professors from Northwestern's Pritzker School of Law and The John Marshall Law School in a panel discussion on behalf of the Legal Writing Institute's Global Legal Skills Committee. Panelists discussed best practices in teaching international LL.M. students as well as strategies for developing syllabi and research and writing exercises uniquely suited to international students.

Whitney Heard presented as part of an Idea Bank Live session on how to introduce first-year students to legal drafting through the use of a pet custody agreement.

In addition, Hilary Reed met with the committee on the LWI One Day Workshops, which helps organize annual workshops that take place in December.

Immediately before the Biennial Conference, Irene Ten Cate participated in the 2018 LWI Writer's Workshop in Lake Geneva, Wis. During the workshop, she presented and received feedback on her paper-in-progress that examines ethical aspects of performance enhancement in two contexts: the use of prescription stimulants by university students who have not been diagnosed with an attention disorder, and the off-label use of beta blockers by musicians to reduce physical effects of stress that negatively impact their ability to perform.

The Law Center was a co-sponsor of the conference held July 11 – 14. The Legal Writing Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving legal communication by supporting the development of teaching and scholarly resources through conferences and forums to discuss the study, teaching and practice of professional legal writing. With nearly 3,000 members, including law professors, lawyers, judges, researchers, consultants, and undergraduate professors, LWI is the second largest organization of law professors in the United States.  The flagship Biennial Conference draws 500 participants and has been conducted in cities across the country since 1984. 

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