Glassman Presents on Visual Lessons for Legal Writing Students and the Movement of Art in Peacetime

C|M|Law Legal Writing Professor Brian Glassman presented From Art School to Law School: Visual Lessons for Legal Writing Students, at the University of Akron School of Law on December 7, 2012, as a part of the Legal Writing Institute’s One-Day Workshop series. Glassman walked the audience through innovative techniques he has developed for reinforcing writing topics using lessons learned in art school. For example, he used a well-known Degas ballet painting to discuss perspective and Ellsworth Kelly’s Red/Blue to teach contrast and distinguishing negative authority. At the beginning of the session, Glassman piqued audience interest by placing a collection of objects covered by a draped cloth in the front of the room.  Later in the presentation, he asked audience members to either sketch or identify the items under the cloth, thereby demonstrating how he employs another lesson learned in art school to teaching legal writing: to draw the body, the artist must understand the skeleton (the underlying structure); to write legal analysis, the writer must understand the structure of the argument. While Glassman designed these techniques to appeal especially to visual learners, he noted that his techniques may appeal to students with other predominant learning styles as well. The presentation was well received and generated lively discussion among the attendees.

Earlier this fall, Professor Glassman was an invited guest of the Cleveland State University Art Department, to which he presented International Law and Museum Practices Governing the Movement of Art in Peacetime: A Case Study.  To teach the subject matter, which included the International Council of Museums’ Code of Ethics, Professor Glassman developed a simulation in which students acted as members of a museum acquisitions committee. Glassman then guided the students through deciding whether to authorize bidding at auction on a rare Cambodian statue of uncertain provenance. Glassman based the simulation on an ongoing matter involving such a statue that Sotheby’s is being prevented from auctioning due to a claim made on the work by the Cambodian government, coupled with the intervention of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The Cleveland State University Art Department regularly invites Professor Glassman to present on art law topics.

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