|Associate Professor of Law
B.A., Baylor University
M.F.A, Vermont College
J.D., University of Texas School of Law
I teach at Mercer University School of Law and direct their Advanced Legal Writing Certificate program. A theme runs through my teaching and scholarship– “By employing the best methods both to tell accurate stories and to ensure that rules preserve accuracy in non-fiction storytelling, we can achieve not only a more just but a better functioning world.”
My scholarship and Op Eds reveal how lawyers, heads of state, and political figures use story to persuade. Used ethically, effective story techniques win the day. Used to distort, they spread post-truthism. I teach my students, CLE participants, and occasional lawyer clients how to disarm falsehood with an effective counter-story.
Twenty-five years of legal storytelling has honed my expertise. I first won with story as a litigator and appellate attorney. I mastered more advanced storytelling techniques after obtaining my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College in 2008. Since then, I have published and presented Applied Legal Storytelling topics every year. My early scholarship shows lawyers how to apply advanced storytelling techniques. Most of these articles introduce a specific concept never before detailed in a full law review article.
Recently, I also provided storytelling workshops for Vecina, a pro bono asylum organization and for Once Upon a Law, a Malaysian Applied Legal Storytelling competition. I also served as a competition advisor and judge. Finally, I served on the site committee for the most recent Applied Legal Storytelling conference.
As my scholarship evolves, my articles now focus on the intersection of story and post-truth. As a result, Karen Burgess, the Dean of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers contracted with me to edit her dean’s address on Post-Truth and the Rule of Law to the academy.
In free time, I write fiction. This summer Walter Jon Williams and Nancy Kress invited me to participate in the exclusive Taos Toolbox Writing Workshop with Game of Thrones author, George RR Martin. I am currently editing the YA fantasy novel I workshopped, The Stained Maiden’s Gate, Book One in Demons of our Better Nature. The story follows a maiden who walks alone in the forest when the sky grows dark. Twilight comes early, and a wraith spirits her away. Her freedom rests on the answer to a question, “Have I sinned?”
I also serve as co-chair of LWI’s New Member Committee and SEALS Writing Connections Committee.
I do a lot of Yoga and swim a lot, and I love to snow-ski.