Professor Brooke Coleman honored for teaching excellence

September 14, 2015

Brooke ColemanKnown for her compassion, her humor, and her unwaveringly high academic standards, Professor Brooke Coleman has been named the new William C. Oltman Professor of Teaching Excellence.

"Professor Coleman is like the Peace Corps of our law school," said Dean Annette Clark '89. "She really is the toughest teacher you'll ever love."

A 1999 graduate of Harvard Law School, Professor Coleman joined the faculty of Seattle University School of Law in 2009. She's a familiar face to first-year students, many of whom take her foundational civil procedure course. She also teaches advanced litigation and federal courts. She has received numerous honors for her teaching, including the law school's Outstanding Faculty Award in 2013.

"She sets the bar high for her students and expects the best from every one of them," said Professor John Eason, associate dean for academic affairs. "But she's also very supportive, so she gets their best."

Students describe her as a master of making incredibly difficult concepts accessible. "She takes a complicated subject like civil procedure, breaks it apart, teaches it in manageable pieces, and puts it all back together again," said Erin Lecocq, who also works as Professor Coleman's research assistant.

Professor Coleman's research and teaching interests focus on procedure and procedural justice. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the Boston College Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, and Tulane Law Review, among others. She is also the co-author of an innovative civil procedure casebook, Learning Civil Procedure.

Prior to joining our faculty, Professor Coleman was a Thomas C. Grey Fellow at Stanford Law School. She also clerked for Honorable David F. Levi, district judge in the Eastern District of California and then-chair of the Standing Committee on the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure. During that time, she worked on a variety of procedural amendments, including the civil rule amendments to account for electronic discovery and the appellate rule amendments governing citation to unpublished opinions.

Professor Coleman's installation as the William C. Oltman Professor of Teaching Excellence will take place on Jan. 20, 2016. The honor is named for Professor William C. Oltman, who retired in 2008 after 34 years of outstanding teaching in the areas of property and trusts and estates. Professor Oltman demonstrated an unwavering commitment to excellence, demanding the best of himself, his students and his colleagues. He is also co-author of the leading treatise on wills and trusts under Washington law.