Monday, March 30, 2015

Meet the LWI Professional Status Committee: Mary Bowman

LWI LogoThe Legal Writing Institute, the world's largest membership organization for persons concerned with legal writing and its teaching, has established a new Professional Status Committee to examine the national employment situation for professors who teach legal writing.  Read more about the committee by clicking here.  The new committee will serve as a resource for LWI members who are facing specific employment or professional development issues. The committee will also gather information about professional status issues and challenges that will help the LWI Board respond appropriately to various challenges and situations.
The seven members of the new Professional Status Committee are
  • David W. Austin (California Western School of Law, San Diego)
  • Mary Bowman, Co-Chair (Seattle University School of Law)
  • Olympia Duhart (Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida) 
  • Lucy Jewel (University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville)
  • Kristen Tiscione, Co-Chair (Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.)
  • Melissa Weresh (Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa)
  • Cliff Zimmerman (Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois)

Each day this week we are profiling one of the seven members of the committee.

Mary BowmanCommittee Co-Chair Mary Bowman is an Associate Professor of Lawyering Skills and Associate Director of the Legal Writing Program at Seattle University School of Law in Seattle, Washington.

Professor Bowman is the chair of the Law-Review Award Committee for Scribes, the American Society of Legal Writers, which honors the best student-written law review article each year.  Additionally, she has served on various committees for both the Legal Writing Institute and the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Legal Writing, Research and Reasoning. She served as Co-Chair of the June 2014 national workshop, Bringing Outside In: Social Justice Collaborations in the Legal Writing Curriculum. 

Professor Bowman focuses her scholarship on criminal procedure and legal writing issues. Although the two areas are obviously distinct, they intersect in that they raise issues related to ethical advocacy and persuasion, as well as how cognitive science affects these issues.  Her most recent article, Full Disclosure: Cognitive Science, Informants, and Search Warrant Scrutiny is forthcoming in the Akron Law Review; that article builds on the work in her New Mexico Law Review article Truth or Consequences: Self-Incriminating Statements and Informant Veracity.  She is currently working on issues related to rethinking various doctrines related to prosecutorial misconduct at trial based on cognitive science.  She is also the author of Engaging First-Year Law Students through Pro Bono Collaborations, which was published in the spring 2013 issue of the Journal of Legal Education, and a co-author (with colleagues Sara Rankin and Lisa Brodoff) of We Have a Dream: Integrating Skills Courses and Public Interest Work in the First Year of Law School (and Beyond), forthcoming in the Chapman Law Review. 

Professor Bowman received her B.A. summa cum laude from Seattle University in 1995 and her J.D. in 1998 from Stanford Law School in 1998, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif. Before joining the law school's faculty, she clerked for a federal district court judge in Washington State and practiced environmental and employment law in Seattle. 

In the statement that Mary shared with the Legal Writing Listserve to introduce herself as a member of the new Professional Status Committee, Mary stated that although she always loved teaching, she sstruggled at times with contract renewals that felt like she had to reapply for my job as well as differential treatment in terms of title, salary, voting rights, and basic respect for the valuable work that we do as legal writing faculty.  She also said that she benefited significantly from the groundwork laid by colleagues over many years, and with their help and support, she led multiple pushes for the opportunity for legal writing faculty to apply for tenure, including a successful effort in 2011.  Over the last few years, she has consulted informally with legal writing faculty at many schools nationwide on a variety of status issues.

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