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Legal Research and Writing Faculty

Legal Writing Faculty

Nicole Chong

Nicole Chong
Associate Dean and Professor of Legal Writing

"Learning legal writing is an ongoing process that may seem daunting to first year law students. Penn State Law’s legal writing faculty help students on an individual basis to help each student become more comfortable with writing for law practice."

Barbara Brunner

Barbara Brunner
Professor of Legal Writing

"Justice Scalia has noted an 'immense difference between writing and good writing' and has emphasized that converting the former to the latter 'takes time.' In Intense Legal Writing and Drafting, we take that time, so that each student in the course can become an excellent legal writer."

Jeffrey Erickson

Jeffrey Erickson
Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the International Sustainable Development
Projects Clinic, Professor of Legal Writing.

"The vast majority of legal analysis and argument is conveyed in writing: to judges, partners, clients, opposing counsel. Those readers form opinions—about your reasoning, your credibility, and, ultimately, the strength of your position—on the quality of your written product. Thus, the importance of honing your legal writing skill cannot be overstated.”

Mandee Baumer Mandee Baumer

Assistant Professor of Legal Writing

“Knowing how, in a written document, to persuade courts to take a desired course of action is an essential skill for today’s advocates. In Winning Written Advocacy, students hone this skill by studying the ‘science’ of persuasion—from classical rhetoric to modern cognitive psychology—and the ‘art’ of persuasion by examining how leading appellate advocates write.”

Legal Research Faculty

Steven Hinckley
Steven Hinckley
Associate Dean for Library and Information Services, Director of the Law Library, Professor of Law
Jenny Ham

Jenny Ham
Reference and Information Services Librarian and Professor of Legal Research

Theresa K. Tarves

Theresa K. Tarves
Associate Director of the Law Library and Professor of Legal Research

"Now more than ever, lawyers in practice are voicing concerns that new law graduates lack the basic legal research skills that they need to thrive as new associates. It’s important to teach the foundations of legal research during the first year of law school so that Penn State Law students can demonstrate to future employers that they already have these basic skills and will exceed expectations as they begin their legal careers. Being a thorough and efficient legal researcher is what will set you apart among your peers and allow you to maintain a competitive advantage in the early parts of your career."

Rebecca A. Mattson

Rebecca A. Mattson
Head of Faculty and Research Services and Professor of Legal Research

"Legal research skills form the backbone of a strong legal education.  Throughout law school and law practice, efficient legal research skills are essential.  Penn State Law’s first-year legal research course teaches students not only the many types of law they will encounter, but also the most efficient and effective ways to find the laws and resources they are seeking.  When a student can demonstrate to a potential employer that she has excellent basic legal research skills, that student is setting herself apart from others in the job market."

Tig Wartluft
Tig Wartluft
Head of Instructional Services and Professor of Legal Research

LL.M. Writing Faculty

Richard Settgast
Richard Settgast
Director, LL.M. Legal Writing, Research, and Analysis
Co-Director, Indigent Criminal Justice Practicum
Gopal Balachandran

Gopal Balachandran
Director, Externships Program
Co-Director, Indigent Criminal Justice Practicum
Adjunct Professor, LL.M. Legal Writing


Dr. Lindsey Kurtz, Ph.D.