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The First Colonial Frontier Legal Writing Conference

(December 5, 2009)

Engendering Hope in the Legal Writing Classroom:
Pedagogy, Curriculum, and Attitude

Hosted by:
The Duquesne University School of Law

Co-Sponsored by:
Aspen Publishers Legal Education / Wolters Kluwer Law & Business
The University of Pittsburgh School of Law
The West Virginia University College of Law
Additional support from: Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis

This conference is built around an article by Indiana University professors Allison D. Martin & Kevin L. Rand, entitled The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades: Law School Through the Lens of Hope. Martin & Rand examine the personality traits of law students as predictors of success and then suggest that legal educators can engender hope in their students by helping law students formulate appropriate goals, increasing law students' autonomy, modeling the learning process, helping law students understand grading as feedback rather than as pure evaluation, and modeling and encouraging agentic thinking.

The 45-50 minute presentations at this conference will be about pedagogical techniques, innovations in curriculum design, and methods of fostering good interpersonal relations between students and faculty that work to improve law student performance and learning in the legal writing course by engendering hope in our students. The Duquesne Law Review will be publishing a proceedings issue about the conference.

CLE Credit

This program has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for four-and-one-half  (4.5) hours of substantive law, practice and procedure CLE credit and zero (0) hours of ethics, professionalism or substance abuse CLE credit.  For Continuing Legal Education credit outside of Pennsylvania, we will provide a Uniform Certificate of Attendance.


Duquesne will provide free on-site parking to conference attendees. Pittsburgh is an easy drive or short flight from many cities.

Accommodations, Travel and Local Activities

To accommodate persons wishing to stay in Pittsburgh on Friday or Saturday evenings, we have arranged for discounted rates at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center, which is adjacent to the Duquesne campus and only a few minutes' walk and elevator ride from the law school. Single or double rooms are $109 per night, for Friday, Dec. 4, and Saturday, Dec. 5. Please contact Marriott reservations at 1.877.645.3553 or 1. 412.471.4000, and identify yourself as part of the "Duquesne University School of Law - Legal Research & Writing Program" group. Reservations by attendees must be received on or before November 15, 2009. Parking at the Marriott City Center is not included in your room rate.