Kathleen Elliott Vinson

Professor of Legal Writing & Director of Legal Writing, Research, & Written Advocacy

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Biography

As Director of Legal Writing, Research, and Written Advocacy, Professor Vinson is an active leader in the legal writing field on a national, regional, and local level. Under her directorship, Suffolk’s LPS program has been ranked in the Top 10 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report since 2013. Professor Vinson received the Mary S. Lawrence Award from the Legal Writing Institute (LWI) for pioneering scholarship and innovative curriculum or program design. She is also the recipient of several Suffolk University Teaching and Learning Innovation Grants. Professor Vinson served as Chair and Secretary of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. She was also the President of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) and served on its Executive Committee. In addition, Professor Vinson served on the Board of the LWI. She was also an editor of the LWI Journal, the LWI Monograph Series, and LWI’s The Second Draft. In addition, she co-founded the New England Legal Writing Regional Consortium. Professor Vinson serves on the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Balance and Well-being in Legal Education. She serves on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Advisory Committee for Professionalism in Practice and Chaired the Subcommittee on Professional Identity. She has chaired numerous committees in the legal writing organizations as well as at Suffolk, including the Dean Search Committee. Professor Vinson has served as a consultant and coach on legal writing at law firms and government agencies. Professor Vinson co-authored the book, LEGAL ANALYSIS: THE FUNDAMENTAL SKILL and the book, MINDFUL LAWYERING: THE KEY TO CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING. She has also published numerous law review articles. In addition, she created the Legal Writing Matters blog. She has given numerous presentations across the country and internationally on her scholarship, teaching, and leadership. In addition to teaching at Suffolk, Professor Vinson has taught legal writing at Boston College Law School as a visitor. She also served as the Acting Director of the Academic Support Program at Suffolk. Before joining the faculty at Suffolk Law School, Professor Vinson clerked for Justice Howard Dana of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Education

  • BA, magna cum laude, from Stonehill College
  • JD, cum laude, Suffolk University Law School

Selected Publications

Articles

Books

  • LEGAL ANALYSIS: THE FUNDAMENTAL SKILL (co-author David Romantz) (1998) (2d ed. 2009) (3D ED. 2020)
  • MINDFUL LAWYERING: THE KEY TO CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING (co-author Shailini George and Samantha Moppett ) (2018)

Book Chapters

  • Chapter 9, Social Networking in the Medical Community, in SOCIAL MEDIA AND MEDICINE (New Forums Press, 2012)
  • Chapter 7, LEGAL ANALYSIS: THE FUNDAMENTAL SKILL, reprinted in DRAFTING EFFECTIVE LITIGATION DOCUMENTS 53-78 (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education), in (1998) (with David S. Romantz) 

Media

Honors and Awards

  • Mary S. Lawrence Award Recipient (2018) (for pioneering scholarship and innovative curriculum or program design)
  • Teaching and Learning Innovation Grant (2012, 2019-2020)
  • Chair, Immediate Past-Chair, Chair-Elect, and Secretary of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research (2010-2014).
  • President, Immediate Past President, President-Elect, Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) (2012-2015)
  • Board of Directors, ALWD (2009-2015)Board of Directors, Legal Writing Institute (2004-2006)
  • Editor, LWI Journal (2016-2020)
  • Editor, the LWI Monograph Series (2007-2013)
  • Editor, LWI’s The Second Draft (2005-2010)
  • Co-founder, New England Legal Writing Regional Consortium (2000)
  • Executive Committee, AALS Section on Balance and Well-being in Legal Education (2020-2022).
  • Member, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Advisory Committee for Professionalism in Practice (2015-2023)
  • Member, AALS Section on Leadership (2020-present)
  • Legal Writing Institute/Association of Legal Writing Directors (LWI/ALWD) Scholarship Grant Recipient (2005)
  • Top 15 App for Lawyers by Daily Business Review (for iWrite Legal app) (2013)

Bar Admittance

  • MA
  • Federal District Court of MA
  • First Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Supreme Court
Kathy Vinson portrait.

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Courses Taught

  • Legal Practice Skills
  • Lawyers as Leaders
  • Problem Solving
  • Persuasive Legal Advocacy in a Global Context

Curriculum Vitae


Professional Links

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