Legal Writing professors offered path to tenure

In a move that recognizes and reinforces the strength of its nationally acclaimed Legal Writing Program, Seattle University School of Law has created an opportunity for those teaching in the program to attain tenure. 

Consistently ranked among the nation's elite, the pioneering program is a hallmark of the law school. Seattle University was one of the first law schools to establish a three-year legal writing curriculum and to have a full-time writing advisor. Known for their innovative, practice-oriented legal writing curriculum and cutting-edge use of teaching technology, Seattle University's legal writing professors are dedicated teachers and nationally known authors. Faculty members have published six books and countless articles about legal writing and research. They also founded the Legal Writing Institute, a 2,200-plus member organization that has worked to foster the development of legal writing in law schools across the country and in numerous foreign countries

Professors in the program have historically taught on a contract basis. The change in policy, which was broadly supported by the faculty, will allow faculty teaching Legal Writing to apply for tenure as other faculty members do, and will allow the law school to attract the best and brightest legal writing professors in the future.

"Our legal writing professors are among the best in the country, and our graduates are as well-prepared for practice as any in the nation because of the dedication of their teachers," Dean Mark C. Niles said. "Providing these professors a path to tenure recognizes the great value they provide our school and our students and provides them with the same opportunity for growth available to their faculty colleagues."

Leaders in their field, faculty members have taught legal writing in Russia, India, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa. In recent years, the faculty has developed and implemented the Legal Writing Collaborative, a partnership with the Access to Justice Institute and the local legal services community. Through the Collaborative, first-year students perform research and prepare memos related to problems currently faced by lawyers working in a range of legal services settings.  Although they are not directly working for clients, the students are contributing to the lawyers' efforts to solve real-world problems.