Speakers and Panelists

Home | Schedule | Speakers & Panelists | Location | Travel
Food & Fun Nearby | Contact Us | Gallery

Keynote Speaker

Barry Currier
Managing Director, Accreditation and Legal Education
ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar

Barry Currier

Barry Currier is the Managing Director of Accreditation and Legal Education at the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. He is a legal educator and higher education executive with experience in a variety of teaching and leadership roles. He has been a faculty member at four law schools, including many years at the University of Florida College of Law; visited others, including Monash University in Melbourne, Australia; and been Dean at two schools (Concord Law School, 2004-2010; Cumberland Law School of Samford University, 1996-2000). He previously served as the Deputy Consultant on Legal Education at the American Bar Association (2000-2004). He has a particular interest in the use of technology in legal education, including but not limited to online learning.

Mr. Currier is a member of Order of the Coif and a Life Member of the American Law Institute and the American Bar Foundation. He was admitted to practice in California, where he worked at Latham & Watkins. He served as a Law Clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He is a graduate of UCLA and the University of Southern California Law School.

Speakers and Panelists

Andrea A. Curcio
Professor of Law and Co-Director Externship Program
Georgia State University College of Law

Andrea Curcio

Andrea (Andi) Curcio is a Full Professor at Georgia State University College of Law where she teaches Evidence and Civil Procedure and Co-Directs the Externship Program. Professor Curcio has engaged in extensive scholarship about assessment and student learning. Her scholarly work includes empirical research about the impact of formative assessment on law student learning, exploration of alternative methods of assessment and critiques of the existing bar licensing method and suggestions for improving that process. Most recently, she has worked with colleagues to develop a valid and reliable method to assess student cultural sensibility learning outcomes. Professor Curcio has also written on a wide range of doctrinal topics. She has received numerous teaching awards from the College of Law as well as the University. For over a decade, she has worked with the Society of American Law Teachers’ Committee on Issues in Legal Education, including working with that committee to draft comments on proposed changes to the ABA accreditation standards. In 2007, Professor Curcio was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach civil procedure and tort law in Guangzhou, China.


Judith Daar
Professor of Law
Whittier Law School

Judy Daar

Since joining the faculty in 1990, Professor Daar has focused her teaching and scholarship at the intersection of law, medicine and ethics. Holding a joint appointment at the law school and the UCI School of Medicine, she enjoys teaching future doctors and lawyers about what each can learn from these companion professional disciplines. Her interdisciplinary work in law and medicine focuses in the area of reproductive medicine, where she holds leadership positions including Chair of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Ethics Committee. In 2005, Professor Daar became Chair of the Association of American Law School’s Section on Law, Medicine and Health Care, and in 2006 she was named to the Board of Directors of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. She was elected President of ASLME in 2009 and re-elected for a second term in 2010. In 2007, she was appointed to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Committee on Informed Consent in ART, an interdisciplinary group of physicians and attorneys charged with drafting a model informed consent document for patients undergoing in vitro fertilization. From 2008 to 2012, Professor Daar served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. In 2012, she was elected to the American Law Institute.

Professor Daar is a member of the UCI Medical Center Medical Ethics Committee, where she serves on the Bioethics Consultation Team. She has also served as a member of the Harbor-UCLA Hospital Institutional Review Board, and the ABA Coordinating Group on Bioethics. Professor Daar has lectured extensively in the field of reproductive medicine, including giving testimony to the California legislature and the National Academies of Science, Committee on Science, Technology, and Law on the issue of oversight and regulation of reproductive medicine. Her scholarship focuses in the area of assisted reproductive technologies where she has authored over one hundred articles, book chapters, editorials and white papers on topics including stem cell research, human cloning, frozen embryo disputes, the use of genetic technologies and the regulation of reproductive medicine. Her first book, Reproductive Technologies and the Law, was published in January 2006, with a second edition appearing in 2013. Her most recent book, The New Eugenics: Selective Breeding in an Era of Reproductive Technologies, will be published by Yale University Press.


Susan Duncan
Dean and Professor of Law
University of Louisville
Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Susan Duncan

Susan Hanley Duncan received a B.A. from Miami University and a J.D. from the University of Louisville. She joined the Brandeis School of Law faculty as an adjunct in 1997 and full time in 2000. She is serving as dean from 2012-2017.

Dean Duncan’s teaching and research interests are in lawyering skills, education law and restorative practices. Her scholarship has focused primarily on the issues surrounding children, including the need for anti-bullying laws and laws protecting children from pornography on the Internet. Her recent scholarship focuses on use of restorative practices in schools, universities and in the workplace.

Dean Duncan is past chair of the University’s Commission on the Status of Women and is a member of multiple university committees. Nationally, she served in leadership positions on several boards that focus on the development of new legal writing professors. The Louisville Bar Association awarded the 2010 Distinguished Service Award to Dean Duncan for chairing numerous LBA committees. Business First recently named Dean Duncan as one of the top 20 people to know in the field of education. She frequently presents on legal writing and education law topics.

Dean Duncan has been a visiting professor at the University of Montpellier, France, University KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Johannes Gutenberg University, in Mainz Germany, at the University of Leeds, England, and the University of Turku, Finland.


Barbara Glesner Fines
Executive Associate Dean for Faculty and Academics
Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law
University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law

Barbara Glesner Fines

Barbara Glesner Fines is the Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law and Executive Associate Dean for Faculty and Academics at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law. She teaches a variety of courses from classroom to clinic to community, including Professional Responsibility, Family Violence, and Legal Aid Clinic. She has been involved in creating several innovative law school courses that bring students and practitioners together for joint academic class and CLE programs. She helped establish the Guardian Ad Litem Workshop, which provides training for students and attorneys, which leads to state supreme court certification as guardians ad litem. She is one of the founding faculty members of the Entrepreneurial Lawyering: Solo & Small Firm Practice Program, which prepares students with critical law practice management skills. At UMKC, she serves as the campus assessment mentor, guiding faculty in a variety of disciplines in developing and implementing their assessment plans.

Professor Glesner Fines is an expert on legal education and the formation of professional identity and has authored numerous articles on the subject, which can be downloaded from the social science research network at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=157694. She is a frequent presenter at national conferences on assessment of learning. She has authored a variety of innovative teaching materials in the field, including computer-assisted lessons, podcasts, and simulation problem sets. She is the former President of the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction and continues to serve on the editorial board. She is also a member of the American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility, the current Chair-elect of the American Association of Law Schools Section on Professional Responsibility, and the immediate past chair of the AALS Section on Teaching Methods. As a member of the CLEA Best Practices in Legal Education Implementation Committee, she is the principle author of the assessment chapter of Beyond Best Practices, the follow-up text to Best Practices in Legal Education.


Andrea Susnir Funk
Associate Dean for Lawyering Skills and Institutional Assessment
Professor of Lawyering Skills
Whittier Law School

Andrea Susnir Funk

After graduating from UCLA School of Law, Andrea Susnir Funk clerked for a federal district court judge and then practiced law in both state and federal courts for six years before joining the faculty at Whittier Law School. Dean Funk served as a full-time legal writing professor for three years and has directed the Lawyering Skills Institute since 2000.

Dean Funk’s passion is teaching students how to practice law. To that end, she has designed and implemented a comprehensive legal writing and professional skills curriculum that prepares students to transition from student to lawyer. Dean Funk believes that lawyers must write well and act professionally. Through the Institute, her goal is to impress the importance of these two principles upon her students with the hope that they will carry them into practice — and to life — once they graduate.

A dedicated proponent of assessment in legal education, Dean Funk has concentrated her energies for the last five years on the rapidly developing area of law school assessment. She has shared her experience with the legal community through her publications, presentations, and service on both national and institutional committees. She serves as the Chair of Whittier’s Assessment Committee and focuses her work on making assessment understandable and accessible to all of the law school’s constituencies. Currently, Dean Funk is working on a book to contribute her point of view to the assessment dialogue.


Cassandra L. Hill
Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development
Associate Professor of Law
Texas Southern University
Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Cassandra L. Hill

Cassandra Louise Hill is the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and an Associate Professor of Law at Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law (TMSL). Professor Hill brings over fifteen years of law school teaching and law practice experience to TMSL’s legal writing program. After graduating from law school, Professor Hill served as a federal law clerk for the Honorable Vanessa D. Gilmore, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and practiced with the law firm of Baker Botts L.L.P. in the Tax/Employee Benefits section. Professor Hill began her teaching career at UCLA School of Law.

Professor Hill’s research interests include legal analysis and writing, law school pedagogy, education theory, and assessment in education. Her book (co-authored with Katherine Vukadin), Legal Analysis: 100 Exercises for Mastery, was published in 2012 with Matthew Bender Publishing (LexisNexis) (2nd edition forthcoming) and is now in use at more than fourteen law schools nationwide. Her recent article, The Elephant in the Law School Assessment Room: The Role of Student Responsibility and Motivating Our Students to Learn, was published in the Howard Law Journal in 2013. Professor Hill also has written and presented on students’ development of collaboration skills and her article, Peer Editing: A Comprehensive Pedagogical Approach to Maximize Assessment Opportunities, Integrate Collaborative Learning, and Achieve Desired Outcomes, was published in the Nevada Law Journal. This work led to an invitation to give the keynote speech at the North and South Carolinas Legal Writing Symposium. Professor Hill also has written several essays on law school pedagogy and assessment and recently presented on program assessment and using data to reform the curriculum at the 2014 Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) Symposium.

Professor Hill received a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and Spanish from the University of Virginia. She also is a recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Key. Professor Hill graduated first in her class from Howard University School of Law and served as an Articles Editor for the Howard Law Journal.

Professor Hill is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the District of Columbia Bar, and the New York State Bar. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Legal Writing Institute (LWI) and serves on the Editorial Board for the LWI Monograph Series.


Maryann Jones
Dean Emerita, Western State College of Law, and Educational Consultant

Maryann Jones

Maryann Jones is Dean Emerita of Western State College of Law and presently serves as an educational consultant focusing mainly on regional accreditation. Dean Jones has extensive experience with both ABA and WASC accreditation and has been a member of numerous WASC site visit teams, having served as both Assistant Chair and Chair. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of United States University. Dean Jones was a member of the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar’s Outcome Measures Committee.


Susan Keller
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law
Western State College of Law

Susan Keller

Susan Keller first joined the faculty at Western State College of Law in 1989 after teaching at the University of Miami and clerking for the Hon. Robert N. Wilentz, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. She has published extensively in the area of Feminist Legal Theory, exploring the legal treatment of gender and sexuality. Her teaching areas include Property, Torts, and Gender and the Law. In 2002, she received a Masters degree in Creative Writing at the University of California at Irvine. From 2004 to 2007, Dean Keller served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, overseeing the academic program. After returning to teaching for three years, she resumed the position of Associate Dean in 2010. She has served on the Eligibility Review Committee for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (a regional accreditor) and has worked closely with the Assessment Task Force at Western State in developing its Learning Outcomes and approach to assessment.


Patricia Leary
Distinguished Teaching Professor of Law
Whittier Law School

Patricia Leary

Professor Leary began her law career in Florida as a judicial clerk, legal writing teacher, and director of a legal policy clinic. She moved to California after receiving a Masters degree in Law from Columbia University and has been teaching at Whittier Law School since 1992.

As a Distinguished Teaching Professor, she sees her life’s work as student-centered, both inside and outside of the classroom. She is deeply committed to teaching students to think clearly and critically about law, to helping students to refine the art of legal reasoning and analysis, and to encouraging students to navigate with joy and purpose the life changing experience of law school.

Professor Leary is also actively involved in the life of the campus community. She devotes a great deal of her time to coaching students in appellate advocacy, and serving as faculty advisor to numerous student organizations. In 1999 she helped to found On Common Ground, a student organization that annually produces a series of events designed to raise awareness of multiple social and legal issues including race, class, gender, and sexual orientation.


Kelley M. Mauerman
Assistant Director of Lawyering Skills and Institutional Assessment
Professor of Lawyering Skills
Whittier Law School

Kelley M. Mauerman

Professor Mauerman received her B.A. from Northwestern University and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law, where she was the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Torts, Remedies, and Criminal Procedure, and was a member of the Order of the Coif. She also received the honors of Best Appellate Brief and Best Oralist, and completed an externship with Judge Gordon Thompson, Jr. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. After graduation from law school, Professor Mauerman clerked for Magistrate Judge Cynthia G. Aaron in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Professor Mauerman taught Professional Skills I as an adjunct faculty member of the law school beginning in 2000. Before joining the law faculty as a full-time member in 2008, she practiced law in the area of wills, trusts, and estate planning. Within the law school, Professor Mauerman teaches first-year Lawyering Skills, Professional Responsibility, Pretrial Litigation, International Sports Law, and E-Discovery. She also serves as the Assistant Director of the Lawyering Skills Institute and as a competition coach for the Moot Court Honors Board. Professor Mauerman has focused her recent scholarship on assessment in legal education, and has contributed to the law school’s assessment efforts on both the program and institutional levels.


Michael Hunter Schwartz
Dean and Professor of Law
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
William H. Bowen School of Law

Michael Hunter Schwartz

Dean Schwartz can tie his interest in legal education reform to a moment, years ago, when his wife mocked him. She came to visit his contracts class and, after offering mostly positive feedback, made a statement that echoes in his head to this day, “You have no idea when it works, why it works and when it fails, why it fails.” He had to admit she was right, and he agreed to take an online class her college was offering so he could find out.

Twelve years, 10 books, and three law review articles, more than 190 presentations at conferences and law schools later, Dean Schwartz is generally regarded as one of the leading experts on law teaching, learning, assessment and curriculum design in the United States. Dean Schwartz was voted one of National Jurist magazine’s 2014 “25 Most Influential People in Legal Education.”

Dean Schwartz has a passion for preparing new law students to be effective law students and for preparing all law students to be skilled, happy, balanced, professional, service-oriented, problem-solving lawyers.

Dean Schwartz’s scholarly works include Teaching Law by Design: Engaging Students from the Syllabus to the Final Exam (Carolina Academic Press 2010), Techniques for Teaching Law II (Carolina Academic Press 2011) and, most recently, What the Best Law Teachers Do (Harvard University Press 2013), the product of a four-year, qualitative study of 26 of the most effective law teachers in the United States. Dean Schwartz has a law review article forthcoming in the Valparaiso Law Review and another book scheduled to be published, Assessment: A Comprehensive Guidebook for Law Schools (Carolina Academic Press). Dean Schwartz’s books also include a contracts casebook, which was the first book in a casebook series for which he is the designer and editor. Dean Schwartz is the former Academic Curriculum Consultant to the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO), and he is the chair of the AALS Section on Teaching Methods and the former chair of the AALS Section on Balance in Legal Education. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Experiential Learning and a member of the Law Casebook Series Advisory Board, Carolina Academic Press. Dean Schwartz’s conference presentations include an AALS Presidential Program, multiple plenary sessions at a variety of conferences, and the keynote address at a national teaching conference at a leading German law school. He has trained dozens of law teachers in the United States as well as the Republic of Georgia, Iran, Turkey, and Chile. His contracts course recently was honored by the Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Project as a model course reflecting “exemplary innovative teaching.”


Sandra Simpson
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Associate Professor of Legal Research and Writing
Gonzaga University School of Law

Sandra Simpson

Sandra Simpson joined the law faculty as an Assistant Professor of Legal Research and Writing in August 2007 and was promoted to Associate Professor in August of 2012. Dean Simpson was promoted to Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in June of 2013. Prior to joining the law faculty at Gonzaga Law School, she spent three years teaching at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. Before entering the teaching field, Dean Simpson spent two years in general practice in Iowa City, Iowa, and five years as an employment defense litigator for Workland and Witherspoon, P.L.L.C., in Spokane, Washington.

In addition to teaching, Dean Simpson is actively pursuing her passion and commitment to respecting all human life from conception to natural death. To this end, she has published articles in the area of the death penalty and protecting caregivers in the workplace. As a co-director for the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, Dean Simpson also researches, publishes, and speaks in the area of assessment and teaching pedagogy.


David Thomson
Professor of Practice and John C. Dwan Chair in Online Learning
University of Denver Sturm College of Law

David Thomson

David Thomson is Professor of Practice and the John C. Dwan Chair in Online Learning at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, where he has taught for 18 years. He teaches Lawyering Process and an upper-level whole-course simulation in Discovery Law, and has written and presented extensively on the intersection of technology, assessment, and legal education. Professor Thomson serves on the University’s Distance Learning Council and recently completed his service on the University’s Strategic Issues Panel on the Future of Higher Education. He was also the recipient of the 2012 University of Denver’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Professor Thomson is a Fellow of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, an initiative of the Institute for the Advancement of the Legal System (IAALS). He is the author of Law School 2.0: Legal Education for a Digital Age (LexisNexis/Matthew Bender 2009). He is also co-Series Editor of the Skills & Values hybrid law school textbooks published by Lexis and has published two books in that series, Skills & Values: Discovery Practice (LexisNexis/Matthew Bender 2010) and Skills & Values: Lawyering Process (LexisNexis/Matthew Bender 2013). Professor Thomson blogs at http://www.lawschool2.org and is active on Twitter @dicthomson.


Victoria VanZandt
Professor of Lawyering Skills and Coordinator of the Legal Profession Program
University of Dayton School of Law

Victoria VanZandt

Victoria VanZandt is a Professor of Lawyering Skills at University of Dayton School of Law and Coordinator of Dayton’s Legal Profession Program. She teaches in the research and writing curriculum and also teaches legislation. Her scholarship focus is on institutional assessment. She is the co-author of Student Learning Outcomes and Law School Assessment: A Practical Guide to Measuring Institutional Effectiveness. Additionally, she is co-coordinator of Institutional Assessment at her law school, working on the implementation of the school’s assessment plan, and she is the former Chair of the Legal Writing Institute’s Outcomes Measures and Assessment Resource Committee.


Judith Wegner
Burton Craige Professor of Law
University of North Carolina School of Law

Judith Wegner

Professor Wegner is a long-time member of the Carolina law faculty. She served as dean of the School of Law from 1989 to 1999, after serving for eight years as a member of the faculty and for two years as associate dean. She recently completed a research leave as Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and has been principal investigator on the Foundation’s major study on legal education, part of its “Program on Preparation for the Professions.” Following graduation from law school, Professor Wegner served as law clerk to United States District Judge Warren J. Ferguson (then of the Central District of California and later of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals). She then was an attorney-adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel and an appellate attorney in the Lands and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice. She also was special assistant to United States Secretary of Education Shirley M. Hufstedler. Professor Wegner visited at the College of Law, University of Iowa before joining the UNC-Chapel Hill law faculty in 1981. She has taught and written in the areas of legal education, land use, property law, state and local government law, and the rights of disabled persons. Professor Wegner was president of American legal education’s learned society, the Association of American Law Schools, in 1995, and also served on the national executive committee of The Order of the Coif. She has served as chair of the faculty for UNC-Chapel Hill and as chair of the UNC (System) Faculty Assembly.