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Hierarchy Maintained: Status and Gender Issues in Legal Writing Programs

MJ Arrigo

Typically, these instructors have practiced law for some years after having enjoyed a law school career of some distinction (either having attended a "top" law school or having achieved top grades at a lower-tier law school). ... Moreover, a comprehensive 1996 study on Women in Legal Education by the Law School Admission Council ("LSAC") underscores the importance of legal writing instruction for both genders. ... Women [and men] who performed worse than predicted found every aspect of the writing program to be more difficult... Those [students] who performed worse than predicted did not rate themselves significantly lower on writing ability at the time they started law school, but legal writing proved to be a major source of difficulty once they got to law school. ... Helping students identify and wrestle with the discomfort inherent in representing certain clients or espousing certain legal positions is an important part of a legal education and the LRW instructor, like every law school faculty member, needs to be able to make the difficult pedagogical choices necessary for navigating through these topics without fearing repercussions. ... Vermont Law School's legal writing program director, Philip N. Meyer, has written a moving narrative describing his legal career, fourteen years of which have been spent teaching LRW at five law schools. ... Many other courses are more focused on content.
  • Print Location 70 Temp. L. Rev. 117

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