2012 Legal Writing Scholarship Grants, Sponsored by LWI-ALWD-LexisNexis

Announcement and Application Procedures

The Legal Writing Institute (LWI), the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), and LexisNexis are pleased to announce the Legal Writing Scholarship Grants for teachers of legal research and writing for 2012.  These grants reflect the three organizations’ commitment to the professional development of legal research and writing professionals.

Each year, ALWD, LWI, and LexisNexis award several research grants to legal research and writing teachers. These research grants enable gifted educators to spend their summers exploring scholarly ideas of interest to them and to produce scholarship that will assist others in the field. The grants also provide evidence of the three organizations’ support for the scholarly pursuits of legal research and writing professionals.

In the past, the grants have varied from $2000 to $5000. The number of grants awarded depends on the quality of the applications and funds available. The organizations award as many grants as feasible each year. In 2011, LWI and ALWD cooperatively evaluated and chose 5 applications to fund. Royalties from the ALWD Citation Manual are the primary source of ALWD funding each year.

The joint ALWD-LWI committee that awards grants consists of two groups that function independently. Voters are committee members who blindly review and score grant applications. Mentors, the other committee members, are mentors for the application process. Applicants may approach the mentors for advice on the grant application.  Mentors will not score applications or participate in any way in deciding who receives a grant.  Application mentors for the 2012 application process are: Robin Slocum (Chapman); Christopher Trudeau (Cooley); Michelle Falkoff (Iowa); Julie Oseid (St. Thomas); and Sarah Ricks (Rutgers-Camden).

Download Application (53 KB)

Application Procedures

  1. Eligibility: The Legal Writing Scholarship Grants sponsored by ALWD, LWI and LexisNexis are open to both full-time and adjunct teachers of legal writing and research. Teachers who have previously received an LWI or ALWD Summer Research Grant are ineligible for this program for three years after they have received such a grant. LWI and ALWD Board members, officers, and members of the Joint LWI-ALWD Scholarship Committee or the LWI Scholarship Development Committee are ineligible to participate until they have been out of those positions for a full academic year.  LWI, ALWD and LexisNexis encourage proposals from both veteran professionals and those new to the field.
  2. Deadline: Applications must be received by 5 p.m. East Coast Time on March 15, 2012. Please email the Word document to:emargoli@temple.edu
  3. Application materials: The grant application form is a separate Word document which should have accompanied this Announcement.  If you are missing the Application, please check the announcements on the LWI ListServ or Dircon, or email Ellie Margolis at emargoli@temple.edu for a copy.
  4. Where to get help and where to send the application.
    If you would like mentoring on applying for a Grant, please contact:Sarah E. Ricks
    Clinical Professor & Co-Director,
    Pro Bono Research Project

    Rutgers School of Law – Camden

    Completed Grant Application should go to:

    Ellie Margolis
    Associate Professor of Law
    Temple University, Beasley School of Law

    The subject line of the email must read: Legal Writing Scholarship Grants.

  5. Review Process and Standards: The Proposal Description of the Grant Application, including the Detailed Description/Abstracts, will be blindly reviewed by the non-mentoring members of the Joint LWI-ALWD Scholarship Committee. Personal information will be removed from the application before reviewers see it. Those members will rank and rate the proposals based on the following criteria:
    • How well thought-out is the proposal?
    • Is the topic one that has previously been covered in the relevant literature?  If so, does the proposed work add something substantive to the discussion?
    • Is the proposal well written?
    • Does the author seem to be targeting appropriate research sources?
    • Is the scope of the project realistic?
    • Is the work likely to be published?
    • Is the proposed work related to Legal Writing?
    • If not, why not?
    • Is the topic interesting, and likely to appeal to targeted readers?
    • Are the research methods (empirical research, multi-disciplinary research, statistical analysis, traditional legal research) chosen likely to result in a good quality written product?

    Readers of the applications will not be privy to the identity of the applicant or to any of the identifying information available on the Application Form. Once the readers have scored and ranked the anonymous applications and have made their recommendations, the Joint Scholarship Committee will forward those recommendations to a Joint LWI-ALWD Boards of Directors Subcommittee formed to make the final grant decisions. The Joint Subcommittee will, at the time it makes its selections, have access to the information on the application forms in order to balance substantive review of the projects with due consideration for need (as reflected by eligibility for research grants at one’s own institution).

    Whether a person is eligible for funding from their own school is a significant factor for the joint board subcommittee to weigh when awarding the grants. If a successful grant winner receives funding from another source after receiving an LWI-ALWD-LexisNexis grant, the Legal Writing Scholarship Grants Sponsored by LWI-ALWD-LexisNexis will be reduced by the amount of that funding. Recipients, however, may continue to publicize their status as a grant recipient in C.V.s or other documents.

  6. Selection date and grant disbursement: The committee will announce recipients of the research grants by May 1, 2012. At the time of selection, 60% of the research-grant award will be paid to each grant recipient. The grant recipient will receive the remaining 40% of the award when the written manuscript is completed and submitted to LWI and ALWD.  Completed, for purposes of the grant, means that it has been accepted for publication.  Grant recipients should submit the completed manuscript to the Joint LWI-ALWD Scholarship Committee along with a copy of the acceptance for publication.
  7. Mentors: At the time that the awards are announced, each grant recipient will be assigned a mentor by the Joint Scholarship Committee. This mentor — chosen based upon the topic of the proposed scholarly work or any other criteria mutually agreed upon by the applicant and the Committee — will provide the recipient with guidance and assistance in developing the project through to completion and placing it for publication.
  8. Formalities: Grant winners should thank both LWI & ALWD for the grant in the footnotes of the article.
  9. Publication rights: Grant winners should negotiate permission from the publisher to post the article on the ALWD & LWI websites.  This requirement can be waived if it would prevent placing the article in a well-regarded publication or require that the author purchase rights.
  10. Reporting requirement: Every June 1 and December 1, until the grant recipient publishes the article, the grant recipient will submit a written progress report to the Co-Chairs of the Joint LWI-ALWD Scholarship Grant Committee.
  11. Time limit for completing the article: Beginning in this 2012 grant cycle, the time limit for completing the article for which the recipient is awarded a scholarship grant is 24 months. Completed, for the purposes of the grant, means that the article has been accepted for publication.