Philip N. Meyer

Biography

Professor Philip N. Meyer is an award winning writer and teacher who received his BA from Brandeis University, his MFA from The Writer's Workshop of the University of Iowa, and his JD from Vermont Law School. After clerking in the Office of the Vermont Defender General in Montpelier, he served as an instructor of legal writing at Vermont Law School from 1980 to 1981. He then served as an attorney with the firm of Slavitt, Connery and Vardamis in Norwalk, Connecticut, and as an instructor in the Legal Skills and Civil Legal Clinic of the University of Bridgeport School of Law. In 1985, he received his LLM from Columbia University. From 1986 to 1987, he served as an instructor of legal writing and lawyering skills at New York University School of Law and was coordinator of the lawyering program from 1987 to 1988.

Professor Meyer served as assistant professor of law and director of legal writing at the University of Connecticut School of Law from 1988 to 1991 and was awarded a citation for teaching excellence. After serving as an adjunct professor at the City University of New York School of Law from 1991 to 1992, he rejoined the VLS faculty in 1992. He has served as program chair of the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research and as chair and program chair of the Section of Law and Humanities. He has also served as the Vermont Law School delegate to the AALS House of Delegates. He served as associate editor of Legal Studies Forum from 1996 to 1998.

Publications

Books

​With Anthony G. Amsterdam, Making Our Clients' Stories Heard: A Guide to Narrative Strategies For Appellate and Postconviction Lawyers, (ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE U.S. COURTS PUB. 2009.)

​With Papke, Huang, Mazur, Menkel-Meadow, Miller, Etc., Law and Popular Culture: Text, Notes, and Questions, (LEXIS/NEXIS - MATTHEW BENDER & CO. 2007).

​Author of Cruising for Burgers, a novel awarded The Mary Roberts Rinehart Foundation Grant in Fiction, 1977.

Chapters

"F. Lee Bailey," entry in Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law, Yale University Press (Roger Newman ed. 2009).
"Revisiting LA​ Law," a chapter in Lawyers in Your Living Room! Law on Television. Michael Asimow, ed., ABA Press, 2009​.
​Chapter, "Adaptation, What Post-Conviction Relief Practitioners Representing Condemned Inmates Might Learn from Popular Storytellers About Narrative Persuasion," reprinted from Vermont Law Review in ​Popular Culture and Law (Ashgate Press 2006).
​"Desperate for Love": Cinematic Influences Upon a Defendant's Closing Argument To A Jury, (18 Vermont Law Review 721) reprinted in Popular Culture and Law: International Library of Essays in Law and Society (Sherwin and Sarat, editors), Ashgate Press (2006).
​Entry, "F. Lee Bailey," in Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law (Yale University Press 2006).
​Chapter, "Desperate for Love: Analysis of a Defendant's Closing Argument to a Jury," reprinted from Vermont Law Review in Popular Culture and Law (Ashgate Press 2006).
​"Adaptation: What Attorneys Representing Condemned Inmates Might Learn From Popular Storytellers About Narrative Persuasion," in Law and Popular Culture, Oxford University Press (2005).​
​Chapter, "Why a Jury Trial Is More Like a Movie Than a Novel," reprinted in Anthologies in Law and Film (Stephen Machura and Peter Robson eds., Blackwell 2001).

Articles

​"When Worlds Collide: Exploring Intersections Between Legal Writing and Clinical Pedagogy, Scholarship and Practice," Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (J.A.L.W.D.) (2007).
"Retelling the Darkest Story: Mystery, Suspense and Detectives in a Brief Written on Behalf of a Condemned Inmate," 58 Mercer Law Review 665 (2007).
​With S. Cusic, Using Nonfiction Films as Visual Texts in the First Year Criminal Law Course, 28 Vt. L. ​Rev. (2004).
The Darkness Visible: Litigation Stories and Lawrence Joseph's Lawyerland, 53 Syracuse L. Rev. 1311 (2003).

Making the Narrative Move: Observations Based Upon Reading Gerry Spence's Closing Argument in The Estate of Karen Silkwood v. Kerr McGee, Inc., 9 Clinical Law Rev. 229 (2002).

Why a Jury Trial Is More Like a Movie Than a Novel, 28 J.L. Soc'y 133 (2001).
Voluntary Acts, 24 Legal Stud. F. 369 (2000).
Desperate for Love III: Rethinking Closing Arguments as Stories, 50 S.C. L. Rev. 715 (1999).

Confessions of Legal Writing Teacher, 46 J. Legal Educ. 27 (1996).

Introduction to Symposium: Legal Writing, Narrative, and the Law, 20 Legal Stud. F. 1 (1996).​
Desperate for Love 2: Further Reflections on the Interpretation of Legal and Popular Storytelling in Closing Arguments to a Jury in a Complex Criminal Case, 30 U.S.​F. L. Rev. 931 (1996).
The Frog Explodes: A Legal Writing Teacher's Dream, 20 Legal Stud. F. 137 (1996).​
​Essay, The Pathology of Practice, 8 St. Thomas L. Rev. 215 (1995).
Desperate for Love: Analysis of a Defendant's Closing Argument to a Jury, 18 Vt. L. Rev. 721 (1994).
Will You Please Be Quiet, Please: Lawyers Learning to Listen to Stories, 18 Vt. L. Rev. 567 (1994).
Fingers Pointing at the Moon: New Perspectives on Teaching Legal Writing and Analysis, 25 Conn. L. Rev. 777 (1993).
Visual Literacy and the Legal Culture: Reading Film as Text in the Law School Setting, 17 Legal Stud. F. 73 (1993).
Convicts, Criminals, Prisoners and Outlaws, 42 J. Legal Educ. 129 (1992).
Law Students Go to the Movies, 24 Conn. L. Rev. 893 (1992).

Other

​Associate editor, Legal Studies Forum, since 1996, and guest editor, "The New Legal Writing Scholarship," 1996.

Presentations

Core Faculty and Plenary Presentation on Writing Style, Persuasion Institute: Advanced Training Program in Narrative Construction for Postconviction Litigators.​ Cornell Law School, September 11-13, 2009.
"Revisiting LA Law,​" ABA Annual Meeting, Administrative Law Section, Chicago, Illinois, J​uly 31, 2009.
​"The Courtroom Trial in American Popular Culture," Law and Popular Culture Symposium, Marquette Law School, Milwaukee, WI, November 2007.​
​​Panelist, "'Narrative,' How Legal Rhetoric Shapes the Law," Washington College of Law, American University, November 2007.
​"How Legal Rhetoric Shapes The Law,​" Symposium Presentation, American University, Washington College of Law, November 2, 2007.​
​Core faculty and presenter at The Persuasion Institute: Advanced Training Program Workshop in Narrative Construction for Postconviction Litigators, Cornell Law School, Ithaca, NY, September 2007.​
"Visual and Narrative Persuasion," Institute for Innovative Trial Techniques, Loyola Los Angeles Law School, Los Angeles, CA, October 2007.​
​"Theoretical Perspectives on the Death Penalty," Congress of the International Ass​ociation of Law and Mental Health, University of Paris, 2005.
​"Narrative Persuasion in Legal Writing," Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting, Section on Legal Writing, San Francisco, CA, 2005.​
​"Using Films as Texts in the First Year Criminal Law Course," Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting, Section on Law and the Humanities, Atlanta, GA., 2004.
"Narrative Elaboration in Post-Conviction Relief Practice on Behalf of Condemned Inmates," New York University Clinical Law Center, 2003.​
​"Lawyer Identity in Popular Culture," annual meeting, Association of American Law Schools, 2003.​
​"American Legal Storytelling Practices," International Colloquium on Law and Popular Culture, University College London Faculty of Law, 2003.​
"Rape and Film," Association of Law, Culture and Humanities, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2002.​
​"The Psychology of Closing Arguments," International Academy of Law and Mental Health, University of Amsterdam, 2002.​
​"Effective Use of Narrative in Closing Arguments," UCLA/IALS International Clinical Conference, University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, 2001.​​
"Law and Media," Columbia University School of Law Symposium, 2000.​
​"Law, Narrative and Popular Culture," New College, Oxford, 1999.​
​"Critical Reasoning: Reading, Writing and Thinking," annual meeting, Association of American Law Schools, 1999.​
"Construing Justice: Recent Contributions to the Cultural Psychology of the Trial," Working Group on Law, Culture and the Humanities, Georgetown Law School, 1998.​
​"Rethinking Closing Arguments as Stories," Fourth International Clinical Conference, University of California School of Law, 1997.​
​"Writing to Learn: Uses of Introspective Narrative," annual meeting, Association of American Law Schools, 1997.​
​"The Place of Narrative," Association of American Law Schools annual meeting, San Antonio, 1996.​
​"Law School Shadows and Dreams," Clason Series, Western New England College School of Law, Springfield, Mass., 1996.​
​"The Blurred Boundary Between Law and Popular Culture," Picturing Justice: Images of Law and Lawyers in the Visual Media, University of San Francisco School of Law, 1996.​

​"Law, Class, and Film," Critical Legal Studies Network Conference, Georgetown Law Center and American University School of Law, 1995.

"Confessions of a Legal Writing Instructor," Legal Writing Institute, Chicago, 1994.​

Awards & Accomplishments

Awards, Honors or Grants

​Awarded Citation for Teaching Excellence, University of Connecticut School of Law, 1990.​

Affiliations

​Chair, Section of Law and the Humanities, AALS, 2005-2006 (and Executive Committee member as Former Chair).

​Chair, 1996–97, and Member, 1995–96, program committee, legal writing and reasoning section, Association of American Law Schools, 1995–96.

  • Professor and Director of Legal Writing Program at Vermont Law School, since 1992.

  • Taught legal writing and lawyering skills at CUNY School of Law (1991–92), University of Connecticut School of Law (1988–91), New York University School of Law (1985–88), and University of Bridgeport School of Law (1982–84).

Service Work

​Program Chair, Legal Writing Section, AALS, 2006-2007.

​School representative, Association of American Law School House of Delegates, 1993–95.

​Program Chair, Section of Law and Humanities, Association of American Law Schools, 2004–05.

​Officer, Law and Humanities Section, Association of American Law Schools, 1993–94.