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 Mueller Centeno is a Professor of Legal Writing. 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), and she has helped coordinate and plan three LWI 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 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, Perspectives, and the Lithuanian law journal Jurisprudencija, as well as in ABA publications. 

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, and is President of the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (www.culturalheritagelaw.org), and she has held leadership positions in sections of the Association of American Law Schools, the American Society of International Law, and the International Law Section of the American Bar Association. 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.

Visiting Professor Miller-Wilson

Cathryn Miller-Wilson is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Writing at Villanova University School of Law. Prior to this position she co-taught in the Civil Justice Clinic with Clinical Programs Director, Dveera Segal and Visiting Assistant Professor, Michael Campbell. From September, 2008 through May, 2011 she was both the Deputy Managing Attorney at the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and an adjunct professor at Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law where she taught a Field Clinic. She has been a Custody and Support Master in Philadelphia’s Family Court, coordinator of the Delivery of Legal Services Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Director of the Parents with HIV/AIDS Project at the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and a staff attorney at Community Legal Services, Inc. where she represented parents accused of abuse and neglect. She co-founded, while in law school, the Custody and Support Assistance Clinic (CASAC) and today sits on the board of that organization. She is the primary author of Pennsylvania’s Standby Guardianship Act which became law in December, 1998. With support from the Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law, she created a medical/legal partnership between the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and the Jonathan Lax Treatment Center at Philadelphia FIGHT in 2007. She has made numerous presentations on family law, the unique issues in families affected by HIV/AIDS, standby guardianship, confidentiality and consumer rights issues. She recently co-presented a paper at the American Philosopher’s 2012 Symposium with philosopher, Marjorie C. Miller called “Access to Justice and Technology in the Courts: Bridging the Gap or Deepening the Divide?” In 2009, her article, “Becoming Poor: Stories of the Real ‘Safety Net’ And the Consequences for Middle America” was published in the Quinnipiac University School of Law’s Health Law Journal, Volume 13, No. 1. She graduated from Tufts University in 1989 and from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1993 and currently sits on the law school’s Board of Managers. In 2004 she was awarded the Penn Law Alumni Society’s Young Alumni Award for Professional Achievement.

Christine Mooney, Director for Legal Writing Programs

Christine Mooney is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the Director of the Duane Morris LLP Legal Writing Program at Villanova University School of Law, and a Professor of Legal Writing, where she has taught since 1999.  As Associate Dean, she manages all areas of academic affairs, including the registrar's office, curriculum planning, teaching assignments, hiring and supervising of all adjunct faculty, student academic advising, academic success programs, student affairs, clinical programs, externships, international programs, trial advocacy, and J.D.-M.B.A. and J.D.-M.P.A. programs.

In addition, she exercises operational control over the writing program.  Dean Mooney teaches Legal Analysis, Writing and Oral Advocacy I, II, and III, and she has previously taught a Mediation Practicum and Legal Analysis & Writing for undergraduates.  In summer 2009, she also taught Legal Writing and Logic for Lawyers in Villanova’s PLUS program.  In addition to her teaching and administrative responsibilities, Dean Mooney provides training and consulting services in legal writing and regularly presents at regional and national conferences as well as continuing legal education programs.  Her scholarly interests focus on legal research and writing, professional skills training, and legal education reform. 

Dean Mooney earned her J.D. from Villanova.  At Villanova, 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.  Dean 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 is a Professor of Legal Writing.  He 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, 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 addition to his most recent book, A People’s History of Baseball, he is authoring a chapter on law and politics for the upcoming textbook: Understanding Baseball: Approaches to the Scholarly Study of America’s Game (McFarland & Co., Inc., Publishers). His latest article, "Who Exempted Baseball, Anyway?: The Curious Development of the Antitrust Exemption that Never Was," was published in the Winter, 2013 edition of the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law and won the 2013 McFarland-SABR award.   He is currently at work on a biography of Dick Allen, to be published in 2015 by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Mary Ann Robinson, Associate Professor of Legal Writing

Mary Ann Robinson is an Associate Professor of Legal Writing. She teaches the Transactional Legal Writing III class. She received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. 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 to law professors to use for free 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 Assistant Professor of Legal Writing.  She received her B.A. from Penn State University and her J.D. cum laude from the Villanova University School of Law.  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 Professor of Legal Writing at Villanova for five semesters and an Adjunct Professor of Legal Writing at Widener Law School.  In addition, she has developed and regularly teaches a graduate level course at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and several law and education courses for public school administrators and teachers at the Delaware County Intermediate Unit.  Professor Webb will design and teach a new Advanced Appellate Advocacy course to second year law students commencing in the fall of 2013.  She is admitted to practice in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.