Professor Jennifer North

Professor at Charleston School of Law

The Damage That Harvard Has Done

Everyone deserves a proper legal defense, regardless of the crime of which they are accused. Without a vigorous defense, our justice system is in peril.

A Harvard professor had been on the defense team for Harvey Weinstein. He and his family have been harassed to the point where he was removed from his professional duties as dean of a residence hall. Students said they felt unsafe because of his legal representation of Weinstein.

Harvard administration and Harvard undergraduates don't seem to understand that our justice system (the best in the world) is built on the premise of due process. Legal representation is in place to ensure the government does not violate those rights - the rights that all of us enjoy. Unfortunately Harvard, which we presume to be filled with lots of smart people, has sent a message that mobs get to pick and choose who will get legal representation.

The kinds of cases where the defendants are most reviled are the ones where it is most important to protect due process. Criminal defense attorneys ensure the government meets its burden of proof and does not run roughshod over our constitutional rights. This protects all of us. I hope these people never need a defense attorney to understand this. The institution removed Ronald Sullivan as faculty dean after students criticized his decision to help mount Harvey Weinstein’s legal defense.

Jack Seale on Twitter

Study break! No context needed to appreciate this laugh! “Classic three-act narrative structure”

Every Pronoun Must Go

Hey everyone, hope exams are going well! I am sharing this opinion piece because it touches on something very near to my heart: Maritime Jurisprudence!

A maritime museum in Scotland is removing references to vessels as "she" or "her." This is sorely misguided, and shows that those complaining have no understanding of maritime history or law. All maritime students know about personification theory in admiralty. A vessel is thought of as its own entity that stands in place of a real live person! A person is not an "it" so that pronoun cannot be properly substituted for vessels!! "She" and "her" are not derogatory terms either, and it is a tradition as old as any. There is a mystique and magical quality to seafaring that ought remain intact. There is no reason to start erasing the way we speak of ships from history and law.

Just as aside on the pronoun issue generally, I do not favor using "they" as a substitute for someone who doesn't want to be referred to by either "he" or "she." "They" is plural and the use of it should never be for a singular person or object (you know how much of a pet peeve this is of mine!). As a legal writing teacher I favor clarity in language and so if a new word is necessary for a new concept, then create one. English does not need to be static and unchanging, but allowing "they" to refer to singular things introduces confusion and ambiguity. We do have to be careful with our language, be sensitive, but be logical too. Accuracy, concision, and clarity! To root out gender inequity, we must search every corner.

Garden & Gun Magazine

Study break!!! Science has proven that looking at pictures of puppies helps people de-stress. Click, scroll, and let your worries wash away.

Stop what you're doing.

FOX 13 News - Tampa Bay

I’m not sure who is the original aggressor here, but I want you to be the Easter Bunny next week and give those exams a beat down!!

EASTER BUNNY FIGHT: This video shows a person dressed as the Easter bunny hopping into a fight on Easter Sunday in Downtown Orlando. 👀

US Supreme Court Tells Lawyers: Write Tighter | National Law Journal

No surplusage! “While the rule change is not ideal for practitioners, I think it’s a solution that they can live with, one veteran appellate advocate says.

Chief Justice John Roberts on the topic of writing

Well, he ought to know....

Bryan Garner conducted a series of interviews with eight of the nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices. In this episode, Chief Justice John Roberts answers questio...

Great talk by Judge Batchelder! Thanks to all who came out to welcome her to CSOL!

It was such a pleasure hosting the Hon. Alice M. Batchelder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit yesterday for a lunchtime Q&A. Thank you to the Federalist Society for organizing this event. #charlestonlaw #federalistsociety #sixthcircuitcourt

Kim Kardashian reveals she plans on taking the bar exam in 2022

Well, her dad *was* on the Dream Team...

This would be quite a turnabout of type, but I wish her luck!

In an interview with Vogue magazine, the reality star, 38, said her decision to pursue a career in law was sparked by her work granting Alice Marie Johnson clemency last year.

So proud of these two teams! This weekend we competed in the John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition held in Charleston at CSOL. Great motivation and work ethic, quick wit and intelligence, and all-around phenomenal teammates and future lawyers!

Alice M. Batchelder - Wikipedia

Judge Batchelder will give an informal talk at CSOL on Thursday, April 11, noon, room 333. Please join us if you can! Alice Moore Batchelder (born August 15, 1944) is an American attorney and jurist. She is currently a Senior United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She served as chief judge from 2009 until 2014. She also was considered by President George W. Bush as....

In the mixer...

AHOY MATEYS!!! Your local Charleston Seamen survived a day at Sea!!! Tomorrow’s horizon brings a new slew of problems, but our vessel/restaurant shall stay the course! #CSOL #CharlestonLaw #Admiralty #AdmiraltyLaw #MaritimeLaw #MootCourt #JohnRBrown #ProfessorNorthy

Special Books by Special Kids

I have used this young man’s videos in my legal writing class for several years, to show students, and have them feel, the amazing effect of positive energy. It costs us so little to brighten someone’s day and it feels fantastic when it is done for you. I would encourage you to sign his petition if you have experienced his work. He deserves to have his work shared and protected. ❤️

Today we need your help. YouTube has taken the discriminatory action of disabling all of SBSK's comment sections despite their overwhelming positivity. We need your assistance in persuading them to reverse this decision that will be extremely harmful to our movement towards inclusion of disability.

Please take a brief moment to sign our petition at


Fox News

Heading into Spring Break like... have a good one y’all!

BUST A MOVE: An animal care technician at a Texas shelter and a lamb named Ursula danced down a corridor at the shelter.

Say congratulations when you see these students and prof around school. Lots of hard work represented here!

Congratulations to the team of Barbara Lacerda, Iman Hart, Truong Do, and Katie Brunson on advancing to the quarterfinals at the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition! They were coached by Professor Merkel. #charlestonlaw #BannerUp #mootcourt #internationallaw

The New York Times

Ignore all the political wrangling in this article and consider the legal rights of the participants. Would the photographer have any cause of action under copyright law or is this Fair Use?

“I did not take this risk to have someone using it to pressure us Iranians even further,” the photojournalist Yalda Moayeri said of President Trump’s use of her image without her permission.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail’

Hi Everyone - Enjoy your day off, but don't forget why we have it. Take a few minutes to read Letter from a Birmingham Jail. MLK, Jr. was a master orator so read it for that lesson. He also exemplified a sincere approach to resolving our differences - which is in very short supply today, so read it for that too.

For me, the most important lesson from Dr. King was that he was willing to embrace those who hated him. He knew that changing their hearts was the way to the Dream. It wasn't by eliminating them, but by bringing them to his way of thinking. He is the ultimate persuader. ‘The Atlantic’ published this landmark document of the civil-rights movement in the August 1963 issue

Maritime Law Society

Please join us! 🌊🚢😉

WEDNESDAY. Jan 23. 12:00-1:15pm. 334.

Professor North will be hosting an Admiralty Primer this Wednesday in room 334 (near Professor Batla’s Office). Lunch will be provided!

Purpose: to provide a basic understanding of Admiralty history and jurisdiction! This will be highly beneficial, especially to those who haven’t taken a basic Admiralty course, but are enrolled in the 1-credit Maritime courses.

Additionally, this primer is great for 1Ls and 2Ls who are interested in Admiralty! It will help you decide if you would like to further your career in the field!

Please let me know if you have any questions!

[01/16/19]   Here's a quote to contemplate as we begin learning about making persuasive arguments.

“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”

― John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

Chihuahua Puppies Filmed Doing Backflips

Here's a little something to get you laughing before all our fun begins next week. Happy New Year!

These adorable chihuahua puppies drew a crowd after they were seen performing backflips on command. The two-year-old mutts - all siblings born in the same li...

Happy New Year from Reykjavik! I hope everyone has had a wonderful break and I am looking forward to seeing you soon! 🥳

Here’s a favorite quote of mine for the new year:

"And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been."

- Rainer Maria Rilke

Warren Court

I was reading an Op-Ed about legal education and it mentioned the Warren Court. Wanting a quick refresher on the significance of the reference, my Google search produced this link. I am sharing it because this site is a great resource for legal history, terms, definitions! Maybe you already knew about it, but it would be good to bookmark for getting quick answers to random legal questions. It includes additional cross-references and footnotes, and for this entry, it gave a great summary of all the consequential actions of the Warren Court. Excellent! Definition of Warren Court in the Legal Dictionary by The Free Dictionary

Where I spent my afternoon. No regrets! Congrats all!

Congratulations to the December 2018 graduates! #charlestonlaw #youdidit🎓 #graduation


Me, and how I react to realizing I have many more memos to grade.

Yasin Ünal

If this doesn’t give your brain a rest (because heart palpitations take over!) then nothing will. Parkour!

Wow !!
follow Yasin Ünal for more

Garden & Gun Magazine

When you have time for a legit study break, explore Charleston!
Get the app!

The Holy City's history is full of hidden stories—and now, there's an easy way to learn about them.

The Graham Norton Show

Study break! I thought this was a particularly funny clip from the Graham Norton Show. Hope exams are going well!

Can't get enough of Steve Carell? Here he is again...

Dog Addict

This looks like a good choice for a study break! Cute and quick! Hope exams and studying are going well!

Wait for it! Credit @majormoxie 😂❤

Here's quick study break for you: contemplate the utter incredulity of actually landing on Mars. #outerspace

Mars Panorama - Curiosity rover: Martian solar day 2082

🔥 High resolution 360° panorama 🔎
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Andrew Bodrov

This panorama combines 83 exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the Sol 2082 of Curiosity's work on Mars (June 15, 2018)

A Martian dust storm has reduced sunlight and visibility at the rover's location in Gale Crater.

You can find all interactive panoramas of #Mars by NASA's #Curiosity Rover here:

Official Trailer from On the Basis of Sex (2018)

A new RBG movie is coming out on Christmas Day. It looks very inspirational (even better than Legally Blonde ;). I learned about it from this Mother Jones article that debates the best way to secure RBG's legacy, and whether the best opportunity to do that has already passed. Harsh observations, and directly in contrast with Justice Roberts' latest remarks on a politicized judiciary. This interests me because I am uneasy about making icons of judicial figures, at least during their lifetimes. The story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights and what she had to overcome in order to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Ruling on dental photographs takes a bite out of copyright protections

Interesting, considering our Memo 3 problem! A U.S. district judge in Florida ruled in June that a dentist’s before-and-after photos didn’t contain enough of a “creative spark” to merit protection. Some lawyers worry the decision, which is being appealed, could have detrimental effects on other images used in advertising.

Best legal blogs of 2018

Wow! I am honored to be a very humble contributing editor to the Appellate Advocacy Blog, that just made the ABA Best Legal Blogs of 2018! We have many writers contributing the content and they are all fantastic!!

Here's the lowdown on the blog: "University of Arizona legal writing professor Tessa Dysart and a band of academic contributors blog about how to tackle drafting appellate briefs; the latest and greatest reference resources; and things as fundamental as the paragraph as a unit of persuasion. The blog has “good summaries of appellate advocacy issues,” says Mark Walsh, a freelance journalist who covers the U.S. Supreme Court for the ABA Journal and other publications." Great legal blogs go deeper into practice niches than the mainstream legal press and share well-written personal insights. Here we’re highlighting 10 blogs that are new to our Web 100 list, 20 making a repeat appearance and five joining the Blawg 100 Hall of Fame.

Appellate Advocacy Blog: Jones Day Means Pay Day for Supreme Court Law Clerks

Wowie, a signing bonus of $400,000?! That's practically a life's work! It's no surprise that Supreme Court law clerks searching for a job in private practice will be faced with some tough choices, but determining which firm is offering the highest signing bonuses is not one of them. Jones Day leads...

Full house at the LRAW Fellows’ Bluebook Exam Review! Good luck 1Ls! ☘️ ⚖️

Appellate Advocacy Blog: Highlights from the 2018 Appellate Hot List

My latest blog post - just a quick round up of notable appellate cases from 2018. Many more at the embedded link. The yearly Appellate Hot List recognizes lawyers and law firms who achieved great victories at the Supreme Court or federal appeals courts. This year's list of 22 includes firms perpetually on the list like Jenner and Block, Jones Day, and...

Professor Jennifer North

Update! In addition to teaching, I will be the Resident Director for the program this year! If you are interested in study abroad please come out next week to an informational presentation given by Stetson’s Kristen Cohen. She’s been running the program for many years and will be able to answer all your questions.

Are you interested in study abroad this summer? It's never too early to investigate! I will be teaching at The Hague in July 2019, and would love to have you join us. My class will be Africa and the International Criminal Court (track 2). Let me know if I can answer any questions for you. I taught War Crimes & Courts-Martial last year and it was a fantastic experience.

Halloween, Legal Style. 😈👻☠️🎃

Hi all, here’s a great little rhetoric book you might be interested in. It’s not too dense and includes fun examples of famous writing. I found a good comparison I wanted to share with you.

On the two pages pictured it shows the difference between high, middle, and plain style writing. None of them are bad - just geared toward different purposes. You should avoid writing like Shakespeare (top left) and try writing like Orwell (see the arrow!). The difference is stark!

Now I know no one would affirmatively try to write their briefs in iambic pentameter, but sometimes wording can be a little muddled making the reader feel like they are trapped in Hamlet! Do more 1984! 😄

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