John Marshall Named New National Headquarters for Scribes


The John Marshall Law School in Chicago has been named the new national headquarters for Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers. The Scribes headquarters was previously located at Texas Tech University School of Law.

Scribes is a national organization of legal writers dedicated to advancing clear and understandable legal writing. The organization helps and encourages people who write about the law, and above all promotes a clear, succinct and forceful style in legal writing. For more than half a century, Scribes has promoted these goals by sponsoring awards, conducting programs and publishing periodicals.

”I’m honored that the Scribes Board selected John Marshall as its new national headquarters,” Dickerson said. “Scribes and John Marshall are both dedicated to improving legal writing and communication, so it’s a perfect fit.”

John Marshall faculty have a long tradition of leadership in national and international legal writing communities. John Marshall Dean Darby Dickerson served as Scribes president from 2012 to 2015, making her the longest-serving president of the organization. John Marshall Professor Mark E. Wojcik currently serves as the president-elect. John Marshall Professor Maureen Collins is editor of the Scribes newsletter, The Scrivener.

The current Scribes president is the Honorable Michael Hyman, a Justice on the Illinois Appellate Court and a past president of the Chicago Bar Association.

Philip Johnson, John Marshall’s Instructional & Student Services Librarian, is the organization’s new Executive Director. Johnson, who has worked at John Marshall for four years, attended law school at the University of Texas – Austin.

“Scribes is thrilled to call The John Marshall Law School its home, Hyman said.” “And, as Chicago is also my home and that of president-elect, Professor Mark Wojcik of John Marshall, and that Chicago is home to my predecessor, Dean Darby Dickerson, I could not have imagined a better location for our national headquarters than John Marshall, a law school known for its emphasis on legal writing.”

John Marshall has long been regarded as having one of the strongest legal writing programs in the country. In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked John Marshall’s Legal Writing Program as fifth best in the nation and the best in the Midwest. John Marshall’s program is known for its rigorous research and writing requirements. All students must take four semesters of legal drafting courses.

Students at John Marshall also have founded a student chapter of Scribes. The John Marshall chapter is the second student chapter in the country.

Scribes will be holding its annual CLE at John Marshall on Friday, April 13, 2018. Details will be available later this fall.

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