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UH Law Center clinical faculty present at Empire State Legal Writing Conference in New York  

UH Law Center clinical professors recently shared their expertise at a conference in New York City. Participants included, Christopher Heard, left, Hilary Reed, Irene Ten Cate, Whitney Heard, Alissa Gomez and Megan Davis.

UH Law Center clinical professors recently shared their expertise at a conference in New York City. Participants included, Christopher Heard, left, Hilary Reed, Irene Ten Cate, Whitney Heard, Alissa Gomez and Megan Davis.

May 22, 2019 — Five clinical professors of the University of Houston Law Center – four Lawyering Skills and Strategies professors and the director of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic – recently presented at the Biennial Empire State Legal Writing Conference in New York City.

Hosted by New York Law School, this year’s conference focused on how legal skills faculty can help students make the transition from law students to legal professionals.  Two Lawyering Skills and Strategies professors also presented works-in-progress at the Scholars Forum and Scholars Workshop, which were hosted by the Association of Legal Writing Directors in connection with the Empire State Conference.

“This has been an impressive year for the LSS department with professors presenting at several national legal writing conferences,” said Clinical Associate Professor Sarah Morath, department director. “The national legal writing community benefits greatly from hearing about the innovative teaching practices and insightful scholarship of UHLC clinical professors.  And our teaching is enhanced when we learn from other legal skills professors.”  

Law Center participants and their presentation topics were:

  • Megan Davis and Irene Ten Cate’s presentation, “Under, Here, Therefore,” explored how law students can use three cue words as an aid for effectively communicating legal advice but also as a key to demystifying legal analysis itself.  The two professors presented their work-in-progress under the same title at the Scholars Workshop.
  • Christopher Heard presented “Cultivating Professional Judgment in Law Students.”  Drawing on his experience teaching upper-year law students in the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, Heard discussed challenges with instilling professional judgment in law students and provided practical suggestions on how to overcome them.
  • Whitney Heard and Hilary Reed presented “Legal Citation: Striking the Right Balance.”  Their presentation offered practical suggestions for how to effectively teach citation to first-year law students, including by making students active participants in the learning process and by creating citation worksheets. Reed also presented her work-in-progress, “Reaching them Early: Teaching Gen Z Legal Analysis and Writing in Pipeline Programs,” at the Scholars Forum.  Her work explores how teaching legal writing and analysis to college students from disadvantaged or underrepresented backgrounds can help them understand the demands of legal education and provide tools to develop fundamental writing skills before enrolling in law school.

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