Teaching Philosophy

As academics we have to write this thing called a “teaching philosophy statement” to send off with job applications. The initials of such a document are quite funny (TPS), and many authors of TPSs view them as a waste of time. Surely no one reads them,...

On Not Writing

Recently, I was having a heart-to-heart-over-coffee in order to avoid grading papers with a colleague of mine. She said that she wanted to spend the summer writing a fun book, not academic research, because ever since she was a kid she only ever wanted to be a writer....

Taylor Mali on Proofreading (funny)

In honor of the end of the semester, which brings along with it the end-of-semester grading of papers, I’m posting this classic poetry performance by teacher-poet Taylor Mali, titled “The The Impotence of Proofreading.”...

Stetson Law and Rhetoric Colloquium 2013

This past week, I was lucky enough to participate in the Law and Rhetoric Colloquium at Stetson University College of Law, put together by the inimitable Professor Kirsten K. Davis. Below is the announcement of the Colloquium, which includes a picture of the...

On Page Limits and Concision

At the beginning of every school year, my legal writing students face a double, daunting challenge: to learn to write about a topic they are unfamiliar with (the law) in a dialect that they are unfamiliar with (legal discourse). They go bananas when I tell them they...

Terrible Lawyer Email Signatures

Lawyers sometimes allow legalese to infect their writing—even their email signatures. Setting aside the implications* of this sort of email signature, I wanted to make a suggestion to all lawyers out there: please remove the obfuscating legalese from your “do...