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.
- The Folly of the Embedded Full Citation: How the Bluebook and ALWD Manuals Encourage Weak Legal Writing, The Second Draft (April 2021). Available here.
- Selected posts as contributor to the blog Best Practices for Legal Education:
- Looking Ahead: The Performance Test on the Bar Exam Post COVID-19, Oct. 21, 2020
- A Comprehensive Review of Legislation and Regulation & Administrative Law Course Requirements, July 3, 2020 (featured on Notice & Comment blog of the Yale Journal of Regulation, July 9, 2020)
- Improv for First-Year Law Students?, June 5, 2019 (featured on TaxProf Blog, June 24, 2019)
- On the Value of Gap Years and Non-Legal Experience to Legal Employers (and Law Schools), Sept. 21, 2018
- More Thoughts on the Post-Millenial Generation of Students Arriving in Law School, Sept. 7, 2018
- Studying Better Ways to Test Bar Applicants for Minimum Competence: Another Reason to Care About the California Bar Exam (Besides the Cut Score Debate), June 8, 2017
- Legislation & Regulation and the Bar Exam, Mar. 20, 2017
- The 25 Most Important Lawyering Skills?, Oct. 8, 2015
- Opinion, Why More States Should Not Jump on the Uniform Bar Exam Bandwagon, JD Journal (June 17, 2015). Available here or on SSRN.
- Op-Ed., Reforming the Bar Exam to Produce Better Lawyers, Wall St. J., Feb. 26, 2015, at A17. Available with subscription, here.
- Improving the Performance of the Performance Test: The Key to Meaningful Bar Exam Reform, 83 UMKC L. Rev. 565 (2015). Available on SSRN.
- Legal Research and Writing as a Proxy: Using Traditional Assignments to Achieve a More Fundamental Form of Practice Readiness, The Second Draft, Spring 2011, at 7. Available here.
- A Defense of Sotomayor's "Wise Latina" Remark - with No Rewording Required, FindLaw (July 19, 2009). Available here.
- Brandeis & Warren’s The Right to Privacy and the Birth of the Right to Privacy, 69 Tenn. L. Rev. 623 (2002). Also available on SSRN.
- 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.
- 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