Duquesne University School of Law

2016 Legal Writing Conference

5th "Colonial Frontier" Legal Writing Conference
Drafting Statutes and Rules: Pedagogy, Practice, and Politics

The least common, but perhaps one of the most important, advanced writing subjects addressed in law schools is the drafting of statutes, ordinances, regulations, and rules (for public laws or governance of non-governmental entities). Instruction focuses almost exclusively on the repercussions of poorly written statutes or rules, on the courts’ efforts at application and interpretation of statutory language, and on scholarly criticism of statutes.  Instead, law schools should teach students and practitioners how to better draft statutes and similar documents to avoid confusion, ambiguities, disagreements, and litigation. 

Duquesne University School of Law's 2016 legal writing conference offered attendees an opportunity to hear from academicians who teach how to write statutory materials, practitioners who craft statutes and similar rules, and other scholars who study all forms of legislation.


Conference Sponsors



Session Presentations

OPENING SESSION: Jan M. Levine and Interim Dean Maureen Lally-Green, Duquesne University School of Law

Jamie Abrams, Louisville -Teaching Legislation in the Era of Trump

Heidi Brown, Brooklyn
Misprision of a Felony? Using State and Federal “Failure to Report a Felony” Statutes to Illustrate Language Choices in Legislation  

Governor Tom Corbett (Pennsylvania) & Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (Pennsylvania), with Prof. John Rago, Duquesne (Moderator)
From Chaos to Creation: A Look Behind the Curtain on the Flow of Policy-Making Powers Between Pennsylvania's Executive and Legislative Leaders

Rex Frazier, McGeorge
The Capital Lawyering Concentration & Courses

Olivia Farrar, Howard
– From Self-Determination To Self-Regulation: Teaching Legal Drafting Through Negotiating And Writing Class Rules    

Richard Neumann, Hofstra, & Prof. J. Lyn Entrikin, Arkansas Little-Rock
Teaching the Art and Craft of Drafting Public Law: Statutes, Rules, and More

Jeffery Parrish, Belmont
The Government Relations Clinic  

Lisa Rich, Texas A&M
One-Pagers, Testimony, and Rulemaking Comments, Oh My!  Teaching Public Policy Drafting Techniques in a Law School Setting

Dakota S. Rudesill, Ohio State
Legislative Drafting Exercises: Design Decisions and Experiential Experiments    

Ann Schiavone, Duquesne
Writing the Law:Promoting Community Engagment and Social Justice Through  Statutory And Rule Drafting