Legal Practice, Legal Education and Legal Profession Blog

Seeking data about how to make law-school graduates more practice-ready, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System conducted its "Foundations for Practice" survey in 2014-15.  More than 24,000 lawyers in the U.S. participated. The lawyers rated the importance of 147 skills, competencies, and traits (called "foundations") in one of four ways: (1)  “Necessary immediately for ...

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A recent Illinois Supreme Court opinion added fuel to the long debate over "shall," a word historically used to convey a mandatory or prohibited action in contracts and legislation. (Thanks to Legal Writing Prof for posting about it.) In People v. Geiler, the defendant argued that a traffic citation should be ...

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During my introduction to contract drafting last week, I reviewed with my students a contracts case that hinged on the meaning of a common, four-letter word: “sale.” Many lawyers wouldn’t think to look up “sale” in a dictionary because everyone "knows" what it means. That seemingly clear word caused a $7.5 million ...

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There's an interesting case that recently came down from the Third Circuit. In Lincoln Benefit Life Co. v. AEI Life, LLC, 800 F.3d 99 (3d Cir. 2015), the plaintiff insurer commenced a declaratory judgment in federal district court against two limited liability companies (LLCs), and it asserted federal diversity jurisdiction. The court was bound by ...

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Many if not most law professors write advocacy as opposed to scholarship. The key distinction is whether ahead of time you know what your conclusions are likely to be and whether subtly or with a hammer drive these points home. In many respects there is very little to separate law professor ...

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