Call for Papers: Second Draft

Legal Writing Institute

The Second Draft invites submissions for its Spring 2016 issue. The theme is “What role can, do, or should writing centers and writing specialists play in legal education? Submissions should be sent to TheSecondDraftLWI[@] by 5pm EST on August 15, 2015.

Of the approximately 200 law schools in the United States, approximately 60 include writing specialists.  Similarly, according to the most recent ALWD survey, only 33 law schools support writing centers.  While non-remedial writing centers are now a standard part of almost any undergraduate education, their role is often seen differently when housed within a law school. As recently as 2010, Kristen Murray pointed out that “[t]he few legal scholars who have advocated for a law school writing center have done so with the assumption that it is a place to send students with low-level writing problems.”  Though the opportunity for students of all class years and abilities to work with either a writing center or a writing specialist while in law school is rare, it is growing.  As legal educators have discussed at length, legal education is undergoing a rapid transformation in response to changing student demographics and the development of new teaching methods and curricular imperatives.

Stephen North once asked, “what is the idea of a writing center?”  The Board of Editors of The Second Draft invite submissions examining the idea of the writing center–and of the writing specialist–in legal education.  How might these resources evolve during this time of change?  Do we, as a discipline, continue to think of writing specialists and writing centers as “place[s] to send students with low-level writing problems”?  If so, why do we, and should we continue to do so?  We welcome pieces explaining what role these resources currently play in law schools and pieces exploring what other roles they can or should take on.  Likewise, we also welcome pieces discussing what contributions writing center pedagogy might make to legal writing.  Are its ideas useful to our discipline?  And has the time come for all law schools to embrace non-remedial writing centers and writing specialists to support the entire student body?

The editors envision articles ranging in length between 500-3,000 words, but are open to considering articles of any length. To help the editors keep track of submissions, please use the following convention for the subject line of your email: Name, Article Submission, Issue and Year (e.g. “John Doe Article Submission Spring 2016 Issue”). Please contact the Editorial Board via email at theseconddraftlwi[@] should you have any questions.

About the author

Reference Librarian, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University