Beth McCormack

Biography

Vice Dean McCormack is the Vice Dean for Students and a Professor of Law. She joined the VLS faculty in 2011.  For the 2016-2017 academic year, she served as the Deputy Vice Dean for Academic Affairs.  From 2013-2016, she was the Assistant Director of the Legal Writing Program. For the 2012-2013 academic year, she served as the Assistant Director of the Academic Success Program.

 

Vice Dean McCormack practiced in the litigation section of the Boston law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, P.C. from 2001-2011. She has extensive experience in commercial litigation with a focus in construction law. Her practice included all aspects of state and federal litigation as well as alternative dispute resolution.  She is experienced in arbitration practice and procedure and has represented clients before arbitration panels and in pre-arbitration and post-arbitration proceedings. She was a member of the firm's hiring committee and served as a mentor to new associates.  In addition, from 2003-2011, she was an adjunct professor at Boston University School of Law, where she taught Legal Research and Writing to first-year law students.  In 2007, Vice Dean McCormack served as a special assistant district attorney at the Middlesex District Attorney's Office for a six-month term, where she took more than 20 criminal cases to trial. She is admitted to practice in Vermont, Massachusetts, before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

She received her AB from the University of Chicago and her JD, cum laude, from Boston University School of Law. During law school, she was a member of the Public Interest Law Journal.  She also participated in the Stone Moot Court Competition, the Albers Honors Moot Court Competition, and was a member of the Craven National Moot Court Team.  She was a Paul J. Liacos Scholar and an Edward F. Hennessey Distinguished Scholar. 

 

Vice Dean McCormack is the faculty advisor to the Moot Court Advisory Board and the coach for the National Moot Court Team and the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition Team.  She currently teaches Appellate Advocacy, Legal Writing II and Legal Methods.  She has also taught Arbitration, Advanced Appellate Advocacy, and Legal Writing I.  She has taught the Dispute Resolution Writing Seminar in the Summer Program and Environmental Dispute Resolution in the On-Line Learning Program.

Publications

Articles

Moving Beyond Furthermore and Additionally: Ways to Brighten your Transitions and Paragraph Bridges in 2018, 43 Vt. Bar. J. 20 (Winter 2017).

New Year’s (not Years) Resolution #1:  Improve your Grammar and Punctuation, 42 Vt. Bar J. 16 (Winter 2016).

​Oops, I Want To Do It Again: The Section 10 Ground Most Likely to Succeed in Vacating an Arbitration Award After Hall.​​

Avoiding "Death by PowerPoint" and other Ways to Up your Presentation Game, 40 Vt. Bar J. 25 (Winter 2015)

Quick Proofreading Tips for Busy Attorneys, 39 Vt. Bar J. 30 (Winter 2014)

Pay-If-Paid Clauses: Freedom of Contract or Protecting the Subcontractor From Itself?" The Construction Lawyer, vol. 31, co-authored with William M. Hill (Winter 2011)

Presentations

Ways to Prevent, Identify and Correct Academic Dishonesty in the Legal Writing Classroom, Legal Writing Institute Biennial Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (forthcoming, July, 2018).

Power Posing to Law School Success, New England Consortium of Legal Writing Teachers, Boston, Massachusetts (October 2017).

Five Engaging Ways to Teach Oral Advocacy to Students Who Fear Public Speaking, co-presented with Jennifer Taylor McCloskey, Biennial Moot Court Conference, Chicago, Illinois (April 29, 2017).

Teaching and Modeling Professionalism, co-presented with Robert Volk, Legal Writing Institute Biennial Conference, Portland, Oregon (July 13 2016).

​Classroom Ideas to Teach and Model Professionalism that also KeepStudents Engaged, co-presented with Robert Volk, New England Consortium of Legal Writing Teachers' Conference, Suffolk Law School, Boston, MA, September 18, 2015

May it Please the Classroom: Using Pending Supreme Court Cases to Teach Persuasion and Expose Students to Access to Justice Issues, LWI One Day Legal Writing Workshop, Jacksonville, FL, December 2014

Not Just for Cat Videos Anymore: Ideas for Using YouTube Videos to Teach Persuasion​, September 12, 2014, New England Consortium of Legal Writing Teachers’ Conference, Vermont Law School, South Royalton, Vermont. ​
Partners rather than Just Colleagues: Ways that Legal Writing and Academic Success Can Work Together for the Benefit of Students and Both Programs’ Missions, Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, March 24, 2014.

Movies, David Ortiz, Apple Pie and Powerball: Making Legal Writing their Favorite Class, NewEngland Consortium of Legal Writing Teachers’ Conference, Northeastern University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts, December 2013

Proofreading and Self-Editing Tips: How to Transform your Prose from Flabby to Fit,Vermont Bar ASsociation Annual Meeting, Fairlee, Vermont, September 2013.

Awards & Accomplishments

Awards, Honors or Grants

Phenomenal Faculty Woman of the Year Award, presented by the Women’s Law Group, to a woman faculty member who improves the lives of other women through teaching, service, and scholarship, 2018.

Phenomenal Faculty Woman of the Year Award, presented by the Women’s Law Group, to a woman faculty member who improves the lives of other women through teaching, service, and scholarship, 2016.

​Vermont Law School Student Bar Association Faculty Service Award, presented in recognition of a commitment and dedication to the student body, 2014-2015

​Phenomenal Faculty Woman of the Year Award, presented by the Women's Law Group, to a woman faculty member who improves the lives of other women through teaching, service, and scholarship, 2013 and 2014

​Named “Rising Star Super Lawyer” by the editors of Boston Magazine in 2010

​Named "Rising Star Super Lawyer" by the editors of Boston Magazine in 2008