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Stinson becomes president of Association of Legal Writing Directors

September 05, 2008

Professor Judy Stinson, director of the Legal Research and Writing Program at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, became president of the Association of Legal Writing Directors on Aug. 1.

Her new post in the national non-profit professional association will enable her to play a more prominent role in shaping the skills of tomorrow's attorneys.

The AWLD is represents more than 200 directors of legal reasoning, research, writing, analysis, and advocacy programs at more than 150 law schools throughout the United States, Canada and Australia.

Stinson said she's looking forward to helping further ALWD's mission of improving legal education and the analytic, reasoning and writing abilities of lawyers. One of the ways it does that is to advocate for smaller class sizes by conducting and circulating surveys that help law schools make better staffing decisions.

"The best way to teach writing is to teach the necessary underlying organizational and analytical abilities," Stinson said. "Writing takes a lot of practice, with a lot of feedback."

Her commitment to ALWD and willingness to serve in the volunteer post stems from the assistance she's received, both professionally and personally, from its membership.

"It's a spectacular resource and a great group of people," Stinson said.

She acknowledged her election may improve the College of Law's national rankings – its legal writing program is ranked 18th by U.S. News & World Report – but said the program's faculty deserves the most credit.

"What helps the most with this program is we have incredibly wonderful writing professors, who are known nationally" and also publish books and lecture at major conferences, she said.

Stinson, who has J.D. from the University of Arizona, joined the faculty at the College of Law 11 years ago, and she teaches in the areas of legal writing and appellate advocacy. She previously taught at the University of Illinois and practiced law for several years.

Stinson has been affiliated with ALWD for 14 years and has been a member of its board of directors for four years.

Janie Magruder,
(480) 727-9052
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law