Professor Ben Bratman teaches the required first-year courses Legal Analysis & Writing and Legislation & Regulation. Having studied and performed improvisational theater, he also specializes in teaching a broad set of communication skills for lawyers through a course that he created, entitled Applied Improv for Lawyers. In addition, Professor Bratman coordinates Pitt Law’s first-year legal writing program. In that capacity, he launched a “standardized client” program providing every first-year student the experience of interviewing a mock client portrayed by a trained standardized patient from Pitt’s School of Medicine.
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 exam reform, legal education, and the intersection between the two. For several years he was a contributing writer for the Best Practices for Legal Education blog, hosted by Albany Law School.
Since 2020, Bratman has served as faculty advisor to the Pitt Legal Income Sharing Foundation (PLISF), and he was selected by Pitt Law students as the Distinguished Public Interest Professor for 2021. He has served previously as the faculty advisor to the student Moot Court Board and as the law school’s liaison to the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners. 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 Annual List of Leg-Reg/Administrative Law Course Requirements, Yale Journal on Regulation (July 19, 2023).
- The Folly of the Embedded Full Citation: How the Bluebook and ALWD Manuals Encourage Weak Legal Writing, The Second Draft (April 2021).
- Selected posts as contributor to the blog Best Practices for Legal Education:
- The Latest Data on Legislation & Regulation and Administrative Law Course Requirements at US Law Schools, July 9, 2021
- The Next Generation of the Bar Exam, NCBE Style, January 14, 2021
- 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-Millennial 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.
- Applied Improv and the Law, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning annual conference, University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, June 2, 2023.
- 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.
- Attorneys Against Hunger Committee, Allegheny County Bar Foundation
- 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