Always Connect: How Studying Creative Writing Helped Me Become A Better Legal Writing Professor

On the day of my first graduate creative-writing workshop, my professor walked into class with a stack of papers in hand. All twelve of us grew quiet; the week before, he’d brought a similarly sized stack that had turned out to contain copies of the original first page of a story my classmate had turned in as a revision. My professor had brought the original to show how it was possible to revise the life out of a story, and he methodically worked through the original first page as compared to the new one to make his point.

From the Dojo to the Classroom: Applying Martial Arts Coaching Skills to Teaching Legal Writing

     When it comes to martial arts, I’m definitely a late bloomer. My husband convinced me to try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (“BJJ”) during my first year of teaching legal writing at Pepperdine, when I was just shy of my thirty-ninth birthday. I was hesitant, having no prior martial arts experience; he told me it was a good way to get in shape (leaving out the part about rolling around on the ground trying to choke people). But like many BJJ practitioners, I quickly became obsessed with the sport.