Legal As She Is Spoke: New Blog from New York Law School Students Covering the Intersection of Law and Journalism

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Students and faculty at New York Law School have launched a blog, Legal As She Is Spoke (LASIS), featuring dynamic coverage on the latest legal stories in the news, with a focus on accuracy in reporting on the law.

Students and faculty affiliated with the Program in Law and Journalism (PLJ) at New York Law School have launched a blog, Legal As She Is Spoke(LASIS), featuring dynamic coverage on the latest legal stories in the news, with a focus on accuracy in reporting on the law.

LASIS is updated regularly by students who have opted to study with PLJ, the Law School’s program that focuses on the relationship between lawyers, the media, and the public. Recent blog entries have included the case of a man ordered to pay child support for a daughter who was conceived via an ex-girlfriend’s act of deception, and Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s libel case against the Washington City Paper.

“We started LASIS less than one year ago, and it’s already received lots of attention from journalists and attorneys alike,” said Michelle Zierler, Director of the Program in Law and Journalism. “Our students do everything: choose the stories, choose the photos, and handle all the technical aspects of maintaining the blog. They are enthusiastic about it, and it’s wonderful to see them gain confidence as writers and reporters. We have big plans for the publication; this is only the beginning.”

The blog is a product of the Law School’s project-based learning approach, which provides students with opportunities to collaborate with professors and fellow students on initiatives that combine real-world experience with traditional academics. Projects include creating and maintaining Web sites devoted to particular areas of the law and/or social commentary.

“By writing for LASIS, I improved my research skills and became a better writer,” 3L Trevor Timm said. “It’s helped me do better on exams, and prospective employers are always impressed when I use my LASIS articles as writing samples. And having your piece cited by major media organizations gives a leg up in interviews.”

Timm’s article on WikiLeaks, “WikiLeaks Has Committed No Crime,” was picked up by numerous news outlets and blogs, including Mother Jones, Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, and received press coverage from as far away as Sri Lanka. He gained a worldwide following on Twitter, with many respected journalists from major news outlets now following Timm’s thoughts on WikiLeaks, and quoting him as a legal expert. Other blog entries, such as one on video surveillance, and another on a trademark dispute between the band The Vandals and Variety magazine, have also received a great deal of coverage throughout the Web and blogosphere.

LASIS derives its name from a classic 19th-century Portuguese guide to the English language, English as She Is Spoke, written by a man who could not speak English. Similarly, media coverage about the law often seems to be written by those who do not have a clear understanding of the law. LASIS hopes to become the site to visit for a clear and engaging explanation of some of today’s legal issues. For more information about the blog and to read more entries, visit:

About New York Law School
Founded in 1891, New York Law School is an independent law school located in lower Manhattan near the city’s centers of law, government, and finance. New York Law School’s renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the School’s strength in such areas as constitutional law, civil and human rights, labor and employment law, media and information law, urban legal studies, international and comparative law, and a number of interdisciplinary fields. The School is noted for its nine academic centers: Center on Business Law & Policy, Center on Financial Services Law, Center for International Law, Center for New York City Law, Center for Professional Values and Practice, Center for Real Estate Studies, Diane Abbey Law Center for Children and Families, Institute for Information Law & Policy, and Justice Action Center. New York Law School has more than 13,000 graduates and enrolls some 1,500 students in its full- and part-time J.D. program and its four advanced degree programs in financial services law, real estate, tax, and mental disability law studies.

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LaToya Jordan
New York Law School
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