Ben Bratman

Professor of Legal Writing
Coordinator, Legal Writing Program

Biography

Professor Ben Bratman teaches the required first-year courses Legal Analysis & Writing and Legislation & Regulation. In addition, he coordinates Pitt Law’s first-year legal writing program, collaborating with the entire legal writing faculty to achieve the program’s goals and to advance educational innovations within the Legal Analysis & Writing course. Among Professor Bratman’s first acts as coordinator was to partner with the Standardized Patient (SP) Program at Pitt’s School of Medicine to launch a “standardized client” program at the law school providing every first-year student the invaluable experience of interviewing a mock client played by a trained SP.

Professor Bratman has published several articles and spoken at various conferences about his teaching methods and course exercises, and some of his exercises from Legal Analysis & Writing are in use throughout the country, having been adopted by professors at other law schools. He has also published articles and commentaries concerning bar exams, bar exam reform, and the intersection between bar exams and legal education. Since 2015, he has been a contributor to the Best Practices for Legal Education blog, hosted by Albany Law School.

During his many years at Pitt Law, Bratman has taught several additional courses, including Employment Discrimination, Advanced Legal Writing, and Writing for the Legal Professions (an undergraduate course). From 2008 to 2018 he served as the faculty advisor to the student Moot Court Board. Before joining the Pitt Law faculty in 2002, Bratman clerked for a United States Magistrate Judge and practiced law in Atlanta, Georgia, and taught for three years at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School. In 2011 – 2012 he served as Visiting Professor of Lawyering Skills at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Key/Recent Publications

Presentations

  • How the Bar Exam Under Emphasizes Legal Writing Even More Than We Might Think, Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop, University of Tennessee College of Law, Dec 1, 2018
  • In Defense of the Chalkboard as Effective Technology in the Legal Writing Classroom, Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Nov 30, 2018
  • Twenty-Five Skills that Legal Education Cannot Ignore (Even if Bar Examiners Will), Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, University of New Mexico School of Law, March 2015.
  • Looking Backward and Looking Forward: The Law Governing Voluntary Affirmative Action for Public and Private Employers, Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Employment Law Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, November 2013.
  • Typographical Errors and the Law: From the Amusing to the Consequential, Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, March 2012.
  • Would a Court Enforce What I Just Drafted? Introducing First-Year Students to “Preventive Law” and Raising the Stakes on the Inter-Office Memo, Second Annual Empire State Legal Writing Conference, St. John’s University School of Law, May 2011.

Other Activities

  • Allegheny County Bar Association
  • The Hay-Sell Pittsburgh Inn of Court (chapter of the American Inns of Court)
    • Law School Faculty Liaison, 2014 - present
    • Executive Committee, 2016-2019
    • Eric W. Springer Professionalism Award, 2015
  • Association of Legal Writing Directors
  • Legal Writing Institute

Programs & Courses