Beazley, a long time legal composing expert, draws a contrast in between the shape-shifting, fear-exploiting monsters of Harry Potter to the customs and organizations “that permit legal writing to be taught but curse its instructors to a brief academic life– limited by caps on agreements or thwarted by positions that permit no task security or chance for scholarship.”
Unlike the fictional boggarts, these impositions have actually afflicted Beazley’s whole profession. Fortunately, however, they’re what led the acclaimed teacher, textbook author, former chair of the American Bar Association’s Communications Skills Committee, and past president of the Legal Composing Institute to the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law.
It’s a best fit, in that Beazley signed up with a law school whose legal composing program is ranked first nationally in U.S. News & & World Report’s 2018 edition of Best Graduate Schools. The law school itself went up 59th position this year, along with a top-10 revealing for its conflict resolution program. “UNLV has a wonderful track record for legal writing, and it’s an equal opportunity school,” Beazley says.
Beazley came to UNLV after having actually previously taught legal composing at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (where she invested 29 years), University of Toledo College of Law and Vermont Law School. Early in her profession, lots of law schools (including Vermont) needed legal composing faculty to leave their positions after two years. The reason? “They believed no one would wish to do it after two years,” Beazley says. “A great deal of people see the mentor of composing as the closest thing in the academy to manual work. They believe it’s not as intellectual or there’s not truly scholarship to be done relevant to legal writing.”
Beazley has challenged that presumption with her work, even studying and applying behavioral-science principles to legal writing and reading. (For example, how does text capitalization and structure impact how we analyze legal documents?) “Among the lines I prefer to utilize is, ‘Legal writing is not about grammar anymore than tax law has to do with mathematics,'” she says.
Among Beazley’s scholarly contributions is a chapter on “Knowing to Think Like a Wizard” in The Law and Harry Potter (she fell for the books in the 1990s while reading them to her two children). And, yes, that makes 2 of her publications inspired by the imaginary wizard.
Far from Hogwarts, Beazley is looking into how our ability to keep info is affected by continuing reading digital platforms. She’ll continue her scholarship during the academic year as she teaches classes in legal writing and appellate advocacy at Boyd.