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Eleanor Barrett appointed dean for legal writing

August 28, 2012

Eleanor Roy Barrett L’05, a summa cum laude graduate of Penn Law who has served as a legal writing instructor, has been appointed Associate Dean for Legal Writing and Communications, a new position created to enhance and expand the Law School’s legal writing and skills program. She assumed her new responsibilities on Aug. 27.

In announcing the appointment, Dean Michael A. Fitts said, “Barrett will be working with our faculty to develop  a newly expanded skills program in legal writing, drafting, and communication, building on Penn Law’s strong first-year legal research  and writing program in ways that prepare students for the realities of modern legal practice.”

Fitts added: “In her new role, Barrett will build a series of opportunities for students to gain hands-on, practical, and in-depth experience of the communication and presentation skills required of lawyers in today’s increasingly technological and interdisciplinary practice.”

Prior to her appointment, Barrett clerked for the Hon. Marjorie Rendell, on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. She was also teaching in Penn Law’s Legal Writing Program, working with LL.M. students, an assignment she will continue as Associate Dean.

Barrett has extensive legal experience, in addition to her clerkship. She has done trial work at two firms: Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C., where she represented corporate clients, and Duane Morris in Philadelphia, where she engaged in commercial litigation. Prior to attending Penn Law, Barrett worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs & Co.

Deputy Dean William Burke-White, who chaired the search committee, said that during the interview process “Barrett impressed with her ability not only to envision an expanded first-year program, but also with creative approaches to introducing communication skills into the upper level curriculum and engaging in partnership with our Center on Professionalism initiatives and with her unwavering drive to enhance and expand our legal writing and skills program.”

Barrett is expected to bring a formal proposal for an expanded writing program to the faculty in the spring for implementation in the coming year.