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Monday, December 11, 2006

Miamifest! afterthoughts

I'm really pleased that our inaugural young scholars workshop here at UM this past Thursday and Friday went so well. I think we all enjoyed the opportunity to ventilate works at a very early stage of progress. Before we began on Thursday morning, I was a bit nervous: I certainly didn't feel competent to give substantive feedback on each piece, notwithstanding my having read each piece. But then I spoke with one of my sage and more senior co-bloggers, and he calmed my anxieties, pointing out that it's good to be a generalist and as long as some people have feedback, the process will be worthwhile all around. As it turned out, I think almost all of us weighed in on each paper during the feedback sessions. In thinking about how we might proceed in the future, I'm wondering whether any such jitters will be calmed by one of two possible options: a) restricting the subject matter or methodology: doctrine vs legal theory; crim or con law, etc., or b) having 11-12 presenters and a requirement that each participant must only read 8 or 9 papers, and therefore one can skip the presentations they feel least competent to help with. One thing I'll say is that I lean toward option b) simply because having some methodological diversity appeared to be very helpful to almost all of us who presented. If you've hosted or participated in these kinds of workshops before, I'd be curious to hear your comments on optimal structure.

Also, if you're having trouble finding distractions from exam grading, you might want to check out a few interesting pieces: over at PENNumbra, Fred Schauer's essay "On the Supposed Jury-Dependence of Evidence Law," has provoked two responses. The first is by Jennifer Mnookin (UCLA and LawCulture), and the second is by Walter Sinott-Armstrong. And the latest issue of the Yale Law Journal has recently emerged: check out Prawf alumna Nicole Stelle Garnett's latest piece, a review essay on the topics of cities and sprawl and what law can do to achieve better land usage. There's also a fascinating piece by Mary Bilder (whom I recently met when I gave a talk at BC) on the corporate origins of judicial review. Very interesting stuff. Happy grading!

: Over at YLJ's The Pocket Part, there is an interesting exchange among Nicole Stelle Garnett, Richard Briffault (Columbia), and Bob Ellickson (Yale).

Posted by Administrators on December 11, 2006 at 09:53 AM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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