Paula Lustbader

Paula Lustbader

Professor Emerita

 Sullivan Hall 430


Email Paula


  • Criminal Law
  • Legal Writing
  • Study Strategies


  • B.S., cum laude, Southern Oregon State College (now Southern Oregon University), 1982
  • J.D., cum laude, University of Puget Sound (now Seattle University) School of Law, 1988
  • Admitted to practice in Washington state


Professor Paula Lustbader is best known in the Seattle Legal community for her passion and energy in her work as the co-founder and director of the Academic Resource Center and its Access Admissions program at Seattle University School of Law. Through her innovated work in providing instruction, support, and mentorship to law students from underrepresented groups, she has been instrumental in changing the face of the legal profession. In the 25 years since she started this work, she has touched the lives of over 800 law students who have then gone on to touch the lives of their communities. In 2006, Professor Lustbader was the co-recipient of the Washington State Bar Association Award for Excellence in Diversity. In 2010 she was awarded the Loren Miller Bar Association Presidents Award for her service in increasing the diversity of the profession.

She is a nationally recognized leader, scholar, and speaker on law school academic support programs, learning theory, teaching methods and diversity. In addition to being the past chair of both the Teaching Methods and Academic Support Sections of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), she has been a frequent program organizer and presenter at conferences sponsored by the AALS, the Law School Admission Council Institutes for Academic Support, the Institute for Law School Teaching, the Society of American Law Teachers, the Legal Writing Institute, the Teaching Professor and the Academy for Creative Teaching. She has made presentations on teaching in England, Switzerland, and Spain. Her work on faculty development focuses on teaching and thus is useful beyond the law school arena. Professor Lustbader has been teaching at the AALS New Faculty Institute since1999; served on the planning committee and as a facilitator for the New Faculty Institute at Seattle University from 2001-2007; served on the committee to establish a Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Seattle University; and served as a faculty consultant to that center.

In recent years, Professor Lustbader has begun to address issues of civility. She is the president and creator of Robert's Fund,, a foundation created by her father in homage to his brother. Robert's Fund strives to promote consciousness, creativity, and community to foster civility in the professions. Professor Lustbader has spearheaded a variety of civility initiatives. In addition to sponsoring and facilitating conversations on civility with focus groups, as well as making presentations and providing consulting, the foundation has partnered with Seattle University School of Law to offer The Promise of Civility continuing education seminars in Seattle and Tuscany, Italy, for lawyers, judges, and mental health care workers. Plans are underway to expand offerings to other professions in the near future.



  • Principles for Enhancing Legal Education (Institute for Law School Teaching 2001) (teaching manual and video).
  • Teach to the Whole Class: Barriers and Pathways to Learning (Institute for Law School Teaching 1998) (teaching manual and video).


  • Cultivating a Campus Culture of Civility, WACRA 2017 Conference Papers. (January 2017). Embracing Our Shared Humanity: Civility for Our Times, A response application essay for Alfie Scholars (March 2016)
  • Professor Paula Lustbader
    Co-authored with Tim Jaasko-Fisher, Practical Tools for Promoting a More Civil Approach to Law in Child Welfare Cases, The National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) 2015 Conference Papers.
  • Listening from the Bench Fosters Civility and Promotes Justice, Seattle Journal of Social Justice: Vol. 13: Iss. 3, Article 13. (Spring 2015)
  • Co-authored with Janet Dickson: Manners, Mindfulness, and a Modicum of Respect: Teaching Professionalism and Civility, WACRA 2013 Conference Papers.
  • Painting Beyond the Numbers: The Art of Providing Access in Law School Admissions To Ensure Full Representation in the Profession, 40 Capital L. Rev. 71 (Winter 2012).
  • Creator and co-editor: Raising the Bar: The Promise of Civility in the Our Profession, a series in the Washington State Bar News, co-sponsored by Robert's Fund. January 2011- December 2011.
  • Co-author, From Both Sides Now: The Job Talk's Role in Matching Candidates with Law School, forthcoming in the Toledo Law Review Deans' Leadership Series, volume 40:03)
  • Igniting a Culture of Civility in the Legal Profession, Washington State Bar News, January 2011.
  • Can the Professor Come Out and Play? Scholarship, Teaching, and Theories of Play,Journal of Legal Education Vol. 5804 (2009) (with Bryan Adamson, Marilyn Berger, Lisa Brodoff, Anne Enquist, and John B. Mitchell).
  • You Are Not in Kansas Anymore: Orientation Programs Can Help Students Fly Over the Rainbow
  • Walk the Talk: Creating Learning Communities to Promote a Pedagogy of Justice, 4 (2) Seattle Journal for Social Justice 613, Spring/Summer 2006.
  • Principle 7: Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning (Seven Principles for Good Practice in Legal Education), 49 J. Legal Educ. 448 (1999).
  • Conclusion: Adapting the Seven Principles to Legal Education (Seven Principles for Good Practice in Legal Education), 49 J. Legal Educ. 459 (1999).
  • Teach in Context: Responding to Diverse Student Voices Helps All Students Learn, 48 J. Legal Educ. 402 (1998).
  • From Dreams to Reality: The Emerging Role of Law School Academic Support Programs, 31 U.S.F. L. Rev. 839 (1997).
  • Construction Sites, Building Types, and Bridging Gaps: A Cognitive Theory of the Learning Progression of Law Students, 33 Willamette L. Rev. 315 (1997).
  • Memorial to Professor Andrew Walkover, 12 U. Puget Sound L. Rev. xviii (1988).
  • , 47 Washburn Law Journal, 327, No. 2, Winter 2008.