Laurel Currie Oates
Professor of Law
Professor Laurel Oates was the Director of Seattle University’s Legal Writing Program until 2012, which has been ranked by U.S. and World Reports as the top legal writing program in the United States. After receiving her J.D. cum laude from the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University School of Law), Professor Oates clerked for Division II of the Washington State Court of Appeals.
In 1984, Professor Oates helped co-found the Legal Writing Institute, which has more than 2000 members from more than 150 law schools and which works to improve the teaching of legal writing. As a member of the Legal Writing Institute, Professor Oates helped establish The Second Draft, which is the Institute’s bulletin, and helped organize and host seven national conferences, including the 1984, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 Legal Writing conferences.
Professor Oates is the co-author of five books, including The Legal Writing Handbook, which is now in its fourth edition, and Just Research, Just Memos, Just Briefs, Just Writing, and a Practice Book. She has also authored a number of articles, which are listed in the publications list.
During Spring Semester 2007, Professor Oates and Professor Samuel provided workshops on effective writing for judges, magistrates, attorneys, and law students in India, Uganda, and South Africa. In addition, during March 2007, Professors Samuel Oates and Samuel hosted the first legal writing conference to be held in East Africa and helped establish an organization to promote the exchange of ideas about the teaching of legal writing between professors in Africa and the United States. In June 2007, Professor Oates received the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.
The Legal Writing Handbook: Research, Analysis, and Writing (Aspen Publishers 4h ed. 2006) (with accompanying Workbook and Teacher's Manual) (with Anne Enquist & Kelly Kunsch).
Just Research (Aspen 2005) (with Anne Enquist).
Just Memos, Second Edition (Aspen Law and Business 2007) (with Anne Enquist).
Just Briefs, Second Edition (Aspen Law and Business 2007) (with Anne Enquist and Connie Krontz).
Just Writing, Second Edition (Aspen Law and Business 2005) (with Anne Enquist).
Did Harvard Get It Right?, 59 Mercer L. Rev. 675 (Winter 2008).
Leveling the Playing Field: Helping Students Succeed by Helping Them Learn to Read as Expert Lawyers, 80 St. John’s L. Rev. 227 (Spring 2006).
From Oppression to Outsourcing: New Opportunities for Uganda’s Growing Number of Attorneys in Today’s Flattening, 4 Seattle J. for Social Justice 836 (Spring 2006) (with Mimi Samuel).
The Paperless Writing Class, 15 The Second Draft 18 (2001).
I Know That I Taught Them How to Do That, 7 Legal Writing 1 (2001).
Beyond Communication: Writing as a Means of Learning, 6 Legal Writing 1 (2000).
Education's Promise, 3 Legal Writing 1 (1997) (with Sam Wineberg).
Beating the Odds: Reading Strategies of Law Students Admitted Through Alternative Admissions Programs, 83 Iowa L. Rev. 139 (1997).
Seattle University School of Law
Phone: (206) 398.4014