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Profs. Stephenson and Shea present at Legal Writing Institute, July 10-13

conf(1)Profs. Gail Stephenson and Wendy Shea pictured near the Willamette River in downtown Portland.

Profs. Gail S. Stephenson and Wendy Shea presented “Programs Under Pressure: Weathering the Storm” at the 17th Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute (LWI) in Portland, Oregon, July 10-13, 2016.

The LWI Conference is one of the largest conferences of law professors in the world, second only to the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) annual meeting, and presentation slots are highly competitive.

In preparation for their presentation, Profs. Stephenson and Shea surveyed legal writing programs nationwide. They found that the vast majority of respondents reported lower morale due to the effects of decreased enrollment, budget issues, and lower enrollment standards. The professors’ interactive presentation focused on methods of handling higher student/teacher ratios, a problem at many law schools, and dealing with a more stressful work environment.

Stephenson is SULC’s director of legal analysis & writing and a professor of law. She is also the Louisiana Outside Counsel A. A. Lenoir Endowed Professor. Her research focuses on culturally diverse teaching, Louisiana civil procedure, and civil law notaries. She is a former president of both the Baton Rouge Bar Association and the Baton Rouge Association of Women Attorneys, and she was named the 2014 Louisiana Bar Foundation Distinguished Professor.

Shea is an associate professor of legal analysis & writing. She earned a J.D. magna cum laude from Valparaiso University School of Law, where she was a Presidential Honors Scholar and an associate editor for the VUSL Law Review. She is the co-author of Louisiana Criminal Law: Cases and Materials and the Louisiana Criminal Law Treatise. She is active with the Baton Rouge Bar Association’s youth education programs, especially the Junior Partners Academy, and won the BRBA President’s Award in 2012 for her work with those programs.