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Legal Writing Program


Professors in the Legal Writing Program bring a rich array of professional experiences to the classroom, and offer individualized instruction designed to improve every student's writing. Our professors have expertise in diverse fields, including alternative dispute resolution, civil rights litigation, health law, political science, and gay rights, and strive to incorporate this expertise into the curriculum. Students select their legal writing class and professor based on their doctrinal interests. Our program blends doctrine and writing in a way that energizes students to tackle challenging writing assignments while exploring important issues spanning the breadth of the law. Students in the program are empowered through interactive, one-on-one work with their professors to master the essentials of effective legal writing.

Photo of Greg JohnsonGregory Johnson
Director, Professor of Law

Greg Johnson has taught legal writing for twenty years, including four years at the University of Oregon School of Law and one year at St. Louis University School of Law. Greg has been at VLS since 1997. He was the Assistant and then Associate Director of the Legal Writing Program for a total of nine years before becoming Director in 2008. Greg has clerked for the Alaska Supreme Court and the Palau Supreme Court. In addition to his legal writing scholarship, Greg has written law review articles and book chapters on same-sex marriage and civil union. He received his B.A. from Cornell University and is a 1985 graduate of Notre Dame Law School. More...

Photo of Brian Porto.Brian Porto
Associate Professor of Law, Coordinator of the Appellate Advocacy Program

Brian Porto is a political scientist as well as a lawyer. He teaches Appellate Advocacy, Election Law, and Legal Writing II. Professor Porto is an experienced appellate lawyer, the author of three books and numerous articles, and a commentator for Vermont Public Radio. His scholarship has addressed appellate brief writing, the governance of college sports, and campaign finance. More...

Photo of Tracy Bach.Tracy Bach
Professor of Law

Since joining the VLS faculty in 1996, Professor Tracy Bach has taught a wide variety of courses, including Health Law and Environmental Health Law; Appellate Advocacy, Dispute Resolution, and Professional Responsibility; and Genocide. A Fulbright Scholar in Dakar, Senegal from 2009-10, Professor's Bach's most recent work has focused on climate change, environmental health, and the implications of both for the developing world. You can read her blog about climate change and Africa at . More.....

Photo of Hillary HoffmanHillary Hoffmann
Associate Professor of Law

Professor Hillary Hoffmann specializes in appellate advocacy, natural resources law, and legal writing. She currently teaches Advanced Appellate Advocacy, Advanced Natural Resources Law, Appellate Advocacy, and Legal Writing at Vermont Law School. More...


Beth McCormack Beth McCormack
Assistant Professor of Law

Before joining VLS, Professor McCormack practiced in the Litigation Section of the Boston law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, P.C. She has extensive experience in commercial litigation, with a particular focus in construction law. Her practice included all aspects of state and federal litigation, as well as alternative dispute resolution. Professor McCormack is also very experienced in arbitration practice and procedure and has represented clients before various arbitration panels and in pre- and post-arbitration proceedings. Professor McCormack was a member of the firm's hiring committee and served as a mentor to new associates. In addition, for the past eight years, Professor McCormack was an instructor at Boston University School of Law where she taught Legal Research and Writing to first year law students. More...