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Faculty and Staff

Suzanne Rowe

Professor Suzanne Rowe is the director of Legal Research and Writing at Oregon Law. She is an author of six books on legal research and edits the Legal Research Series published by Carolina Academic Press; her newest title is Federal Legal Research. She has written articles on the Americans with Disabilities Act and on legal writing programs and pedagogy. She originated a monthly column, The Legal Writer, in the Oregon State Bar Bulletin, which takes a fresh look at writing problems.

In 2011, Professor Rowe received the law school's Orlando J. Hollis Faculty Teaching Award. She is the 2012 recipient of the Thomas F. Blackwell Award for outstanding achievement in legal writing.

Below is a Q&A with Professor Rowe on what she enjoys about her life as a legal educator. 

Q. Why do you teach?

A. Teaching first-year law students essential lawyering skills is simply the best job on the planet. I love our students’ energy, dedication, and eagerness to learn.

Q. What are your expectations of students?

A. I expect students to begin learning to be professionals on the first day of law school. I hold them to professional standards for analysis, writing, editing, and conduct, and I dedicate class time and office hours to helping them achieve those high standards.

Q. How does your scholarship enhance the classroom experience?

A. My primary publications are about legal research and the law school classroom. I edit a series of books on legal research that are used across the country. I contribute to a monthly column in the state bar magazine that addresses legal writing. And I write about how students learn and how we can be better teachers. That means there is a clear, obvious connection between my writing and teaching. (By the way, during my sabbatical this spring, I am in Uruguay studying Spanish. Being a student again makes me appreciate anew how eager my students are to learn and how I can be a more effective teacher.)

Q. What are the skills and knowledge that students will gain from your courses?

A. In Legal Research and Writing, students learn the fundamentals of being a lawyer: how to conduct legal research, how to analyze new issues, how to write legal documents to courts and clients, and how to argue before a panel of judges.

In Writing Colloquium, the tables turn and students provide the comments and feedback on each others work (and some of my work). We write a variety of documents and critique them in a small, workshop setting.

Q. What kind of service or leadership role do you play in the local or larger community?

A. I’ve been a leader in the national legal writing community for many years, serving on boards of directors and chairing important organizations. For several years, I participated in the ABA’s review of standards for law schools. My most important national service, though, is mentoring new legal writing professors across the country.

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