Five Questions

September 17, 2008Duke Law News

1. What are you working on right now?
There are two things I have been working on in connection with the legal writing program. First is oversight of the introduction of four new upper-level writing courses offered by the legal writing faculty this year for the first time.

These courses were developed by the writing professors last spring and summer, and two are being taught this fall (Legal Writing in Civil Practice and Writing for Publication), and two are anticipated for the spring (Drafting Legislation and Writing for Federal Litigation). I am very excited about them, and hope and expect that they will be very successful with students who want to continue to hone their writing skills in particular areas, beyond the first-year course.

Second is an attempt to help students more successfully bridge the gap between the "research" in LARW and the "analysis" and "writing" aspects of that course. Perceiving that students were often having a difficult time researching effectively and efficiently, the research and writing faculty spend some time this summer trying to figure out ways to address this. We made some slight changes to the LARW syllabus, but more importantly, the research and writing faculty are consulting even more than we have in the past, and we are working on addressing this issue more directly and in more depth in the LARW classes.

2. What are your interests or passions outside your scholarly work and teaching?
I am a big fan of ballet, jazz, and sports -- as a spectator. And I love to cook and entertain -- that's more participatory.

3. If you could sit in on one professor's class, which professor would you choose, which class, and why?
I have often thought I'd just like to repeat my entire three years of law school -- I think I'd get so much more out of the classes now! And I really can't single out even a few classes I'd like to sit in on at Duke -- there are too many, and my interests are too broad.

4. What are you reading right now?
I just finished Feast of the Goat, by Mario Vargas Llosa, a novel that mixes fact and fiction about the overthrow of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic in 1961. It was great, although some of the torture scenes were tough to read. Up next is a biography of the ballerina Margot Fonteyn.

5. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise your colleagues and students.
Well, if it would surprise them, I probably shouldn't be saying, should I?
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