OU Law Professors Present at National Legal Writing Institute

July 15, 2016 | By Mackenzie Dilbeck, Director of Communications

This week, OU College of Law Legal Research and Writing professors Gail Mullins, Erin Means, Daniel Nicholson and Connie Smothermon presented at the National Legal Writing Institute’s 17th Biennial Conference in Portland, Oregon. The conference theme, “Thriving in a Time of Change,” centered on approaches to legal writing and research that answer the call for innovation and change in legal education today. 

Fitting nicely into the conference’s theme and building upon OU Law’s leadership in incorporating new forms of technology in the classroom, OU Law professors led a presentation and discussion titled “Incorporating iPads into the 1L Legal Writing Curriculum.” The presentation stressed the importance of using today’s tools to educate today’s students in interviewing, note-taking, oral reports, and professional self-reflection. 

“Using only an iPad, we have our students record a ‘live-client interview,’ and ask them to take notes while the interview is played in class,” said Mullins. “After students complete a draft of the memo assignment, they are asked to present an oral report. They use their iPads to record the interviews and later watch their own recordings and submit written reflections of their own presentations. Introducing these skills revitalizes the introduction of facts and personalizes both the client and legal issues at hand.”

The Legal Writing Institute in a nonprofit that focuses on exchanging ideas about legal writing and providing a forum for research about legal writing and analysis. The Institute is currently housed at Mercer University School of Law in Macon, Georgia. For more information on the Legal Writing Institute, visit www.lwionline.org

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