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Ben Bratman

Ben Bratman

Professor of Legal Writing
(412) 383-7671

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Ben Bratman teaches the required first-year skills course Legal Analysis & Writing and Legislation & Regulation, and he coordinates Pitt Law Academy, the year-long speaker series on professional development for the first-year students. He has also taught Advanced Legal Writing and Employment Discrimination. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Bratman serves as faculty advisor to the Director of Academic Success and Bar Exam Services. 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 published articles and commentaries concerning bar exams, bar exam reform, and the intersection between bar exams and legal education; and is a contributor to the Best Practices for Legal Education blog, hosted by Albany Law School.

Upon his arrival at Pitt Law in 2002, 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. Bratman currently works jointly with the Director of Academic Success and Bar Exam Services to advance programming and initiatives dedicated to bar exam preparation and success. 

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.

JD, Vanderbilt University Law School
BA, University of Washington


  • 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.
  • Toward a Deeper Understanding of Professionalism: Learning to Write and Writing to Learn during the First Two Weeks of Law School, 32 J. Legal Prof. 115 (2008). Also available on SSRN.
  • 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.


  • 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