Courses: Legal Analysis and Writing I, Legal Analysis and Writing II, Law Review Workshop
Expertise: Louisiana Civil Procedure, Culturally Relevant Teaching, Legal Analysis and Writing, Law of Notaries
Professor Stephenson joined the SULC faculty in March 2004 as the Director of Legal Analysis & Writing. Before becoming a full-time faculty member, she taught as an adjunct, teaching legal writing lab at SULC for three semesters and appellate advocacy at Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center from 1997 through 2002. She was named adviser to the Southern University Law Review in May 2005.
Professor Stephenson received her juris doctorate from the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 1984, where she was a member of the Louisiana Law Review and Order of the Coif. She was inducted into the Paul M. Hebert Hall of Fame in 1987. She received her B.A. with honors from Northwestern State University of Louisiana in 1976, where she was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, Purple Jackets, and the Political Science Honor Society.
After receiving her law degree, Professor Stephenson served as a law clerk to Judge Frank J. Polozola of the United States District Court, Middle District of Louisiana, 1984-1986. She worked as a law clerk and research attorney for Judge Melvin Shortess of the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal from 1986 to 1988 and 1991 to 2000. She then was promoted to the court’s Administrative General Counsel, where she served until joining SULC. She also practiced corporate and insurance defense and was director of litigation with the firm now known as Henchy, Verbois & Hackenberg from 1988 to 1991.
Professor Stephenson is active with state and local bar associations. She has been a member of the editorial board for the Louisiana Bar Journal since 1999 and serves as the recent developments editor. She was named 2014 Distinguished Law Professor by the Louisiana Bar Foundation. She was elected to the Baton Rouge Bar Association board of directors in 2004, served five terms on the board, and held every office, including serving as president in 2012. In 2002 she received the President’s Award for her work with the Publications and Holiday Star Committees. She is assistant editor of the BRBA’s monthly magazine, Around the Bar, and authors a regularly featured column, “Gail’s Grammar.” She is active in the Baton Rouge Association of Women attorneys, serving as its president in 1995 and being a long-time member of its scholarship committee.
She served as editor for the Notary Commission Policies and Procedures Manual for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, published in 2004, and is now a consultant with Louisiana State University for the statewide notary exam. She is an associate editor for the official Louisiana notary study guide, Fundamentals of Louisiana Notarial Law and Practice. She was appointed a member of the Louisiana Legislative Notary Education Study Committee, HCR 45, in 2011, and currently serves on the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Task Force on Notarial Legislation.