Professor Ben Bratman teaches the required first-year courses Legal Analysis & Writing and Legislation & Regulation. In addition, he coordinates Pitt Law Academy, the year-long speaker series on professional development for the first-year students. Professor Bratman has published several articles and spoken at various conferences about his teaching methods and course exercises, and many 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.
Upon his arrival at Pitt Law in 2002, Professor Bratman developed and led a bar exam preparation initiative designed to increase the school’s bar passage rate. Three years later, he was among the first in the country to create and teach a for-credit bar exam preparation course as part of a law school curriculum. Subsequently, he played an intergral role in hiring and training the school's first Director of Bar Exam Services. 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.
After graduating from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1993, Bratman served as law clerk to The Honorable Joel M. Feldman, United States Magistrate Judge, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, and practiced law with the firm of Pursley, Howell, Lowery & Meeks in Atlanta. Professor Bratman began his teaching career in 1999 at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School. He joined the faculty at Pitt Law in 2002. In 2011 – 2012 he served as Visiting Professor of Lawyering Skills at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
Legislation and Regulation
Employment Law and Employment Discrimination
- Selected posts as contributor to the blog Best Practices for Legal Education:
- 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, March 20, 2017
- The 25 Most Important Lawyering Skills?, October 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 here, or, 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.
- Rand Paul and the Business of Discrimination, Jurist (May 28, 2010). Available here.
- A Defense of Sotomayor's "Wise Latina" Remark - with No Rewording Required, FindLaw (July 19, 2009). Available here.
- For-Credit Bar Exam Preparation: A Legal Writing Model, The Bar Examiner, Nov. 2007, at 26. Also available on SSRN.
- Legal Knowledge: What’s Relevant, What’s Not? Why the Pennsylvania Bar Exam Should Focus on Federal Law, “Fundamental Legal Principles” and Legal Analysis—and Why It Should Stop Testing on Pennsylvania Law, The Pennsylvania Lawyer, March/April 2005, at 24. Also available on SSRN.
- 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.
Selected Professional Activities
- W. Edward Sell Inn of Court (chapter of the American Inns of Court)
- Eric W. Springer Professionalism Award, 2015
- Law School Faculty Liaison, 2014 - present
- Association of Legal Writing Directors/Legal Writing Institute
- Survey Committee, 2013 - present
- Survey Task Force, 2011 - 2012