Melissa Weresh Prof ile
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Professor of Law

Areas of Expertise

Legal Writing, Appellate Advocacy, Environmental Law, Ethics and Professional Responsibility


J.D. University of Iowa College of Law, Order of Coif,
  Law Review, Senior Note and Comment Editor
B.A. Wake Forest University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa


Drake Professor since 1997
Associate, Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, Akron, OH

Selected Publications

"The Chicken or the Egg? Public Service Orientation and Lawyer Well-Being," 36 UALR Law Review (forthcoming 2014)

"Uncommon Results: The Power of Team-Based Learning in the Legal Writing Classroom," JOURNAL OF THE LEGAL WRITING INSTITUTE (forthcoming 2014)

"Stargate: Malleability as a Threshold Concept in Legal Education," 63 JOURNAL OF LEGAL EDUCATION 689 (2014)

"Service: A Prescription for the Lost Lawyer," 2014 THE JOURNAL OF THE PROFESSIONAL LAWYER 45 (2014)

"Transitioning to Team-Based Learning: A Primer for Pioneers," OREGON LAW REVIEW ONLINE (2014)

Legal Research Supplement: Exercises on Lexis Advance (Lexis/Nexis 2013) (with Karen Wallace)

"Morality, Trust, and Illusion: Ethos as Relationship," 9 LEG. COMMUNICATION & RHETORIC: JALWD 229 (2012)

Iowa Legal Research (Carolina Academic Press, 2011) (with John Edwards, Sara Lowe and Karen Wallace)

"I’ll Start Walking Your Way, You Start Walking Mine: Sociological Perspectives on Professional Identity Development and Influence of Generational Differences," 61 South Carolina Law Review (forthcoming Spring 2010).

Legal Professionalism in The Real World, National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 2009 (co-authored with Lisa Penland)

Legal Writing: Ethical and Professional Considerations, 2D. ED. (Lexis/Nexis, Matthew Bender, 2009)

"Geographic Inequity in Medicare Reimbursement: Effect of Geographic Practice Cost Indices on Physician Reimbursement and Patient Access," 5 Rutgers Journal of Law and Public Policy 361, (Spring 2008)

An Integrated Approach to Teaching Ethics and Professionalism, 18, No. 2 PROF. LAW 25 (2007).

"Fostering a Respect For Our Students, Our Specialty, and the Legal Profession: Introducing Ethics and Professionalism into the Legal Writing Curriculum," 21 Touro Law Review 427

Significant Accomplishments

President, Legal Writing Institute (an organization of over 2100 members)

Member LexisNexis Law School Publishing Advisory Board
Editorial Board Member - Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD

Recipient - 2010 University of Iowa College of Law Alumni Service award

Immediate Past Chair – American Association of Law Schools Section on Teaching Methods

Legal Analysis: Fostering Perspective and Balance

"Society often depicts lawyers as overly zealous advocates pursuing the interests of their clients with little or no regard for justice or common ethical considerations. This is a dim and largely inaccurate depiction. In fact, to be a good lawyer, one must critically consider the interests of the opposing party. Good lawyers strive to settle disputes, not litigate them. In such a pursuit, one must fully understand the merits of each party's position. Further, lawyers are governed by extensive ethical considerations which I believe most adhere to.

In the legal writing program, first-year law students are introduced to legal analysis. In predictive writing, students learn to objectively predict the outcome of a legal issue based on an analysis of the facts within the context of the applicable legal rule. As the students progress to legal advocacy, they continue to use predictive analysis to articulate the best arguments for their client and to anticipate and respond to the opposing position. Ethical considerations, such as disclosing adverse authority, cannot be ignored. I find it enormously gratifying to work with students as they develop these skills and as they see the impact their advocacy and attention to ethical considerations has on concrete legal issues."

Last Modified: 12/21/2015 8:34:00 AM by Kayla Choate