Teaching in Practice: Legal Writing Faculty as Expert Writing Consultants to Law Firms

31 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2008 Last revised: 10 Dec 2012

See all articles by Joan Blum

Joan Blum

Boston College - Law School

Kathleen Elliott Vinson

Suffolk University Law School


As experts in the pedagogy and substance of legal writing, full-time legal writing faculty who serve as writing consultants to law firms help fill an increasing need for training and support of lawyers. In addition to providing a direct benefit to lawyers and their firms, this practice benefits the legal academy by providing fresh ideas for teaching and scholarship. This article discusses generally the practice of legal writing consulting in law firms by full-time legal writing faculty. The article provides background in theory and practice, addressing why law firms seek outside consultants for this type of training and support and why full time legal writing faculty are appropriate writing consultants. For this, the Article draws on, among other sources, the recently published Carnegie Study and Best Practices in Legal Education. The Article then describes the nuts and bolts of a consulting practice, including various ways services might be configured, and asks whether realistic goals can be set and met. Finally, the article addresses ethical and other challenging issues that may arise in this type of consulting practice.

Keywords: legal writing, legal writing consultation, consulting

Suggested Citation

Blum, Joan and Vinson, Kathleen Elliott, Teaching in Practice: Legal Writing Faculty as Expert Writing Consultants to Law Firms. Mercer Law Review, Vol. 60, p. 761, 2009 ; Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 152; Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 08-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1115852

Joan Blum (Contact Author)

Boston College - Law School ( email )

885 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459-1163
United States

Kathleen Elliott Vinson

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108
United States

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