Reprogramming Your Writing Intuition
By: Professor Joe Regalia
When I ask judges what frustrates them most about lawyers, the conversation often turns to writing. I hear things like: “attorneys can’t write concisely,” and “why don’t law schools teach law students how to write?” Perhaps these problems persist because when you try to change how you write, you are butting up against years of subconscious habit—what I call your “writing intuition.” And just like making changes to other deep-seated habits in your life, changing your writing intuition takes significant work.
How to Make a Great Second Impression in the Law School Classroom
First impressions matter. And it can be hard to overcome a bad one. So it should come as no surprise that the first day of any class is crucial in laying a foundation for a productive semester. The first day of class presents an opportunity to accomplish several important things:
- Get to know the students and to let them get to know you. Let the students introduce themselves. And share your background with the class. It can help to establish credibility and let the students know where you’re coming from—both inside and outside of the classroom.
- Establish a supportive and encouraging learning environment. Demonstrate your own enthusiasm for the course and for teaching and working with students. Encourage students to ask questions and to come to office hours.
- Convey high—but achievable—standards. Let the students know that (a) you have high expectations, (b) they are capable of meeting them, and (c) you are ready, willing, and able to help. Studies have shown that such messages can improve student performance, particularly for minority students.
Challenging Law Students to Become Active Learners
By: Professor Rosa Kim, Suffolk Law School
“While we teach, we learn.” – Roman philosopher Seneca
As a quiet but thoughtful student in high school, I was especially invested in my senior English class with Mr. B. He had the ability to make 19th century literature riveting and relevant. He was excellent with words and used them to captivate us and to make us care about each literary work and author. This was his gift, or so I thought.
The Amazing Mr. Stanton
By: Mike Garrigan, WFU Law ’19
No one messed around in Mr. Stanton’s class. The stout, well-manicured 11th grade English teacher always wore a three-piece suit. Patches of wisdom peppered his perfectly trimmed beard. With a loud and raspy voice, this feisty scholar commanded respect. But very few students feared Mr. Stanton. Nearly everyone loved him. He was the best teacher I’ve ever had. Law professors can be more effective by incorporating some of Mr. Stanton’s qualities into their teaching.
A Tribute to Mrs. Mary Lycans Asbury and Her Legacy of Love
By: Professor Abigail L. Perdue, Wake Forest University School of Law
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” – 1 Cor. 13:1
Mary Lycans Asbury was a force to be reckoned with. A petite woman slight of frame with dark, curly hair, she was the perfect blend of soft and hard, kind but exacting. On my first day of second grade, she entered our classroom adorned in a stunning, A-line white dress bedecked with bright pink roses. (Even more impressive, I would later learn she had sewn it herself.)