Legal Analysis, Writing & Communication Faculty

Heather Baum, Associate Professor of Legal Writing

Heather Baum is an Associate Professor of Legal Writing. She received her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law – Camden and her B.A. in History from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Villanova legal writing faculty, Professor Baum was an associate in the litigation department at Fox Rothschild LLP and an associate in the financial services department at Blank Rome LLP.  Her scholarly interests include character development and assessment, transfer of learning theory, and food law and policy. Professor Baum has presented at many regional and national legal writing conferences. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Second Draft, the magazine of the Legal Writing Institute.

Candace Centeno, Professor of Legal Writing

Candace Centeno is a Professor; she teaches in the first year Legal Writing program and an upper level medical malpractice course. She is a graduate of Muhlenberg College (summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) and Boston College Law School (cum laude). Prior to joining the Legal Writing Faculty at Villanova Law School in 2006, Professor Centeno was a defense litigator for thirteen years at the law firm of White & Williams in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she represented physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare professionals in medical malpractice and premise liability actions; she also served as an Arbitrator for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Professor Centeno continues to practice as a volunteer attorney at the Support Center for Child Advocates and is a Hearing Officer for the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board. Professor Centeno is actively involved in the national Legal Writing Institute (LWI): she is currently a member of the LWI Executive Board (treasurer) and she has helped coordinate and plan four LWI national conferences (2010 program committee member and poster presentation chair, 2012 co-chair of program committee, and 2014 conference co-chair). Professor Centeno has published articles in Perspectives and the Second Draft, and she regularly presents at regional and national conferences; her scholarly interests focus on legal writing and analysis, with a particular interest in the incorporation of skills training in the classroom.  

Diane Edelman, Professor of Legal Writing

Diane Penneys Edelman is a Professor of Legal Writing and Director of International Programs at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, where she has taught since 1993. She currently teaches Legal Research, Analysis, Writing, and Oral Communication I and II. With a passion for educating students about the important role that international legal issues play in everyday law practice, Professor Edelman developed and has taught a unique International Advocacy course for first-year law students, in which more than 750 students have participated to date. She has written and spoken regionally, nationally and internationally about legal writing, the connection between international law and legal writing, and teaching legal writing to students whose first language is not English. Her scholarship has appeared in the Pittsburgh Law Review, the Brooklyn Journal of International Law, Drexel Law Review, Penn State International Law Review, Perspectives and the Lithuanian law journal Jurisprudencija, as well as in several ABA publications. She taught intensive legal writing and oral advocacy courses at European Humanities University in Vilnius, Lithuania as a Fulbright Specialist in 2009 and 2010, and taught Oral Advocacy to Russian law students at the Pericles Law Center – Center for Legal Education in summer 2017.  At Villanova Law, Professor Edelman has also taught Advanced Appellate Advocacy and International Art & Cultural Heritage Law, and Legal Writing for Undergraduates (Villanova University Department of English).

Professor Edelman has also served on the Editorial Board of Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, and on the Board and Executive Committee of the Association of Legal Writing Directors. She also served as President of the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation, and has held leadership positions in sections of the Association of American Law Schools and the American Society of International Law. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the International Legal Education and Specialist Certification Committee of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association as well as Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association International Law Committee. Professor Edelman served as Co-Director and then Assistant Dean for Legal Writing at Villanova from 2000 through 2008. Professor Edelman is a graduate of Princeton University and Brooklyn Law School, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Brooklyn Journal of International Law. She clerked for the Honorable I. Leo Glasser of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and practiced law at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in New York and at Hoyle, Morris & Kerr in Philadelphia prior to entering law teaching.

Christine Mooney, Director of Legal Writing Programs

Christine Mooney is the Director of Legal Writing Programs and Director of Professional Skills at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, and a Professor of Law, where she has taught since 1999. She exercises operational control over the writing program.  Professor Mooney teaches Negotiation and Mediation Advocacy, Trial Advocacy and Civil Pretrial. She has also taught Legal Analysis, Writing and Oral Advocacy I, II, and III, a Mediation Practicum and Legal Analysis & Writing for undergraduates. In addition to her teaching and administrative responsibilities, Professor Mooney provides training and consulting services in legal writing and has presented numerous times at regional and national conferences as well as continuing legal education programs. Her scholarly interests focus on negotiation, trial advocacy, legal research and writing, professional skills training and legal education reform. 

Professor Mooney earned her JD from Villanova, where she was an Editor of Student Works of the Villanova Environmental Law Journal.  In addition, she was first place winner of the John Marshall National Moot Court Competition. Before joining the Villanova faculty, she was an attorney with Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox. While there, her practice focused on complex environmental litigation and regulatory matters as well as environmental issues in commercial real estate transactions. Professor Mooney previously served on the Editorial Board of the Second Draft and served as a trustee of the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur, and Chairperson of the Faculty and Education Committee until June 2009.

Mitchell Nathanson, Professor of Legal Writing

Mitchell Nathanson received his JD from the Georgetown University Law Center and his BA from Tulane University. His scholarship focuses primarily on the intersection of sports, law and society. He has written numerous articles examining the interplay between, most notably, baseball and American culture. His article, "The Irrelevance of Baseball's Antitrust Exemption: A Historical Review," won the 2006 McFarland-SABR Award which is presented in recognition of the best historical or biographical baseball articles of the year. His 2008 book, The Fall of the 1977 Phillies: How a Baseball Team’s Collapse Sank a City’s Spirit (McFarland), is a social history of 20th-century Philadelphia as told through the relationship between the city and its baseball teams—the Athletics and the Phillies. In 2009 he was the co-producer and writer of "Base Ball: The Philadelphia Game," a documentary "webisode" on the 19th-century development of the game within the city that is part of a larger documentary project, "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment," currently in production and to which he is a contributing scholar. In addition, he was a scholarly advisor to the 2011 HBO production, "The Curious Case of Curt Flood." In the United States, he has lectured at, among other venues, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and since 2011 has been a Guest Professor in the International Sports Law Program at the Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia in Madrid, Spain. In 2012 he published, A People’s History of Baseball (University of Illinois Press), and in 2015 co-authored the textbook: Understanding Baseball (McFarland). In 2013 his article, "Who Exempted Baseball, Anyway?: The Curious Development of the Antitrust Exemption that Never Was," was published in the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law and won the 2013 McFarland-SABR award. His most recent book, the biography, “God Almighty Hisself: The Life and Legacy of Dick Allen,” was published in March, 2016 by the University of Pennsylvania Press and was a finalist for the 2017 Seymour Medal, which honors the best baseball biographies of the year. He is currently working on a biography of former Yankee hurler and Ball Four author, Jim Bouton, which is scheduled for publication in 2020.

Mary Ann Robinson, Associate Professor of Legal Writing

Mary Ann Robinson is a Professor of Law who teaches the Transactional Writing III class. In addition, Professor Robinson directs the 1L Business and Financial Literacy Module. She received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from Villanova University School of Law, where she was an editor of the Villanova Law Review. Before joining Villanova’s faculty, Professor Robinson taught at Widener University School of Law, practiced with Pepper Hamilton LLP in Philadelphia and Berwyn, Pennsylvania, and was also employed at ALI-ABA (now ALI CLE) as Editor of The Audio Estate Planner® magazine. Professor Robinson has a particular interest in professionalism education and has helped develop a series of three free videos for teaching law students about professionalism in law school and law practice. She also co-created six additional professionalism videos that were produced by Wolters Kluwer and are available on YouTube for law professors to use in their teaching. Professor Robinson has been a speaker at numerous regional and national conferences.

Louis J. Sirico, Jr., Director of Legal Research and Writing

 

Louis J. Sirico, Jr. is the Director of Legal Research and Writing and a Professor of Law.   Professor Sirico was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Criminal Law and an Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review. Before joining the faculty, he was an attorney with several public interest organizations, including the National Public Interest Research Group in Washington, D.C., Fairfield County (Connecticut) Legal Services and the Connecticut Citizens Action Group in Hartford. Professor Sirico is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association and Connecticut Bar. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Legal Writing Institute, the Editorial Board of Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing, a quarterly journal published by The West Group, and the Editorial Board of Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute. He serves on the Editorial Board of the Legal Intelligencer (the Philadelphia region’s legal newspaper), the Advisory Board of the Villanova University Paralegal Program, and the Plain English Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He is a frequent speaker at conferences on legal research and writing. He is the recipient of the Thomas A. Blackwell Award, the highest award bestowed by the Legal Writing Institute and the Association of Legal Writing Directors.

webb

Jessica Webb is an Associate Professor of Legal Writing. Professor Webb developed and teaches Appellate Advocacy, a course that now includes the Theodore L. Reimel Moot Court Competition. She is also the Moot Court Board’s faculty advisor. She received her BA from Penn State University and her JD from the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law (cum laude). During law school, she was a member of the Moot Court Board. After law school, she worked as an associate in the litigation group at Blank Rome LLP. Subsequently, she practiced employment law at Rubin Fortunato & Harbison P.C. and medical malpractice defense at Post & Post LLC, where she specialized in appellate advocacy. Before joining Villanova Law as an Assistant Professor of Legal Writing in 2013, Professor Webb was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Writing at Villanova and an Adjunct Professor of Legal Writing at Widener Law School. In addition, she developed and regularly teaches a graduate level course at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Professor Webb has also presented at regional and national conferences.