Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The Wyoming School of Law has named legal writing professor extraordinaire Michael Smith as the Winston S. Howard Distinguished Professor of Law. This endowed professorship is named after one of the two founders of Denver’s oldest law firm, Sherman & Howard.
Michael Smith has been a Professor of Law and the Director of Legal Writing at the University of Wyoming College of Law since 2006. He administers the law school’s legal writing program and teaches classes in Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy.
Before joining the University of Wyoming College of Law, he taught in two nationally-ranked legal writing programs. Immediately prior to coming to the University of Wyoming, he was an Associate Professor of Law at Mercer University School of Law. Before that he legal writing at Temple University School of Law, the University of San Diego College of Law (1992-1996); and the University of Florida College of Law (1990-1992).
Before teaching law, he practiced law in Pensacola, Florida with the law firm of Carlton, Fields, Ward, Emmanuel, Smith & Cutler and in Newport Beach, California with the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
His primary areas of scholarly interest are the psychology of persuasion and, more generally, the cognitive processes underlying effective legal writing. He has written extensively in these areas and has given numerous presentations, both in the United States and abroad. In 2002, Smith published his book, Advanced Legal Writing: Theories and Strategies in Persuasive Writing (Aspen 2002). This multi-disciplinary book has been hailed as a groundbreaking work in the area of persuasive legal writing and, as one reviewer noted, "a must read for every legal writing and advocacy teacher."*
* Kathryn M. Stanchi, Moving Beyond Instinct: Persuasion in the Era of Professional Legal Writing (A Book Review of Advanced Legal Writing by Michael R. Smith), 9 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 935, 936 (2005).
hat tip: Prof. Ruth Anne Robbins (Rutgers-Camden)
(spl and mew)