The Second Draft

The Second Draft is the newsletter of the Legal Writing Institute and is published twice each year. Its primary purposes are to share information about LWI members, legal writing and research programs, and Institute business, and to provide an environment for sharing ideas and discoveries about teaching legal writing and research.

Each issue of The Second Draft collects essays written around a central theme that relates to some question or challenge facing those who teach legal writing and research.  Past themes have included methodologies for teaching analysis in the classroom, different approaches to commenting on students' writing, and incorporating technology into the legal writing and research classroom.

Updating information on our membership list will help us deliver the newsletter to the right address. If you need to add or update membership information, please contact Yonna Shaw at Be sure to include your name, title, organization, address (including city, state, and zip code), e-mail address, and telephone number in your e-mail. 

Call for Submissions

The Summer/Fall issue of The Second Draft will examine the role of legal research and writing curriculum and faculty in the context of the current discussion on the need for change in the direction of legal education. 

Articles should address any of the following topics: how legal research and writing is uniquely situated to lead legal education in its move towards best practices; what legal research and writing programs should do to remain in the forefront of the evolving best practices being adopted in legal education; what legal research and writing professors are currently doing to ensure legal research and writing courses remain relevant; how legal research and writing programs currently meet the demands of the proposed changes; and how legal research and writing programs should be developed or enhanced to respond to the proposed changes such as two-year law school programs, increasing the requirements for skills courses and experiential learning, changes in tenure, etc. 

The Second Draft Editorial Board

Mary Ann Becker

Harris Freeman

Heather Baum

Mary-Beth Moylan

Teri McMurtry-Chubb

Harold Lloyd

Iselin Gambert



Past Issues of The Second Draft issues in PDF* format

(* If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you may download it here.) 

Volume 27, No. 2 Fall 2013/Winter 2014: Legal Research & Writing Faculty At The Forefront of Best Practices and Legal Education Reform

Volume 27, No. 1 Summer 2013: Scholarship 

Volume 26, No. 1 Fall 2012: Teaching Ethics

Volume 25, No. 2 Fall 2011: Diversity

Volume 25, No. 1 Spring 2011: Tactical Teaching

Volume 24, No. 3 Fall 2010: Assessment

Volume 24, No. 2 Spring 2010: Happy Anniversary LWI

Volume 24, No. 1 Fall 2009: Teaching Implicit Reasoning

Volume 23, No. 2 Spring 2009:  Teaching Through Technology

Volume 23, No. 1 Fall 2008:  Teaching Statutory Analysis

Volume 22, No. 2 Spring 2008: Teaching to Different Learning Styles

Volume 22, No. 1 August 2007: Providing Effective Feedback

Volume 21, No. 2 December 2006: From Law Student to Lawyer

Volume 21, No. 1 August 2006:2006 LWI Conference

Volume 20, No. 2 December 2005: Teaching Difficult Concepts

Volume 20, No. 1 August 2005: My Best Class. (Please note that this edition of The Second Draft is in publishing layout format.)

Volume 19, No. 2: No issue published.

Volume 19, No. 1 December 2004: The 2004 LWI Conference.

Volume 18, No. 2 June 2004: What keeps us going: professional development and keeping up morale.

Volume 18, No. 1 December 2003: Who are our students?

Volume 17, No. 2 July 2003: What are we teaching?

Volume 17, No. 1 December 2002: The LWI conference/ informational issue.

Volume 16, No. 2 May 2002: A third semester of legal writing.

Volume 16, No. 1 December 2001: Teaching students to persuade.

Volume 15, No. 2 June 2001: Collaboration and cooperation in the legal writing classroom.

Volume 15, No. 1 January 2001: The LWI conference; President’s address on ABA accreditation standards and their effects on the teaching of legal writing and research.

Volume 14, No. 2 May 2000: “How do I teach my students the legal analysis that is the foundation of any piece of legal writing?”

Volume 14, No. 1 November 1999: Perspectives on and approaches to responding to student writing.

Volume 13, No. 2 May 1999: Essays by members of the Institute on the uses of technology in connection with legal writing courses.

Volume 13, No. 1 November 1998: Report on the work of the Institute at and after its 1998 conference in Ann Arbor.

Volume 12, No. 2 May 1998: No issue published.

Volume 12, No. 1 November 1997: Essays on techniques for teaching legal writing.

Volume 11, No. 2 May 1997: Forum on goals for first-year legal research and writing programs.

Volume 11, No. 1 November 1996: Reports from the Chair of the Board of Directors and committees of the institute.

Volume 10, No. 2 May 1996: Informational Issue: Call for submissions of summaries of upcoming conferences.

Volume 10, No. 1 November 1995: Responses to Vol. 9, No. 2: Is IRAC a helpful tool?

Volume 9, No. 2 May 1995: Is IRAC a helpful tool for teaching analysis?

Volume 9, No. 1 November 1994: The 1994 Conference of the Legal Writing Institute at Chicago-Kent College of Law: A summary of expositions and presentations.