Diane Penneys Edelman

Professor Emeritus


Diane Penneys Edelman retired in 2023 from Villanova Law. She first joined the school in 1993, serving as its director of international programs and director of the legal writing program from 2000 through 2008. She taught legal research, analysis, writing, and oral advocacy I and II, advanced appellate advocacy, and legal analysis and writing for undergraduates. She also created and taught a unique international advocacy course for first-year law students, in which more than 600 students participated. She has written and spoken regionally and nationally about legal writing, the connection between international law and legal writing, and teaching legal writing to students whose first language is not English. She is a co-author of From Product to Process: Evolution of a Legal Writing Program, published in the Pittsburgh Law Review, as well as articles in the Brooklyn Journal of International Law, Drexel Law Review, the ABA’s Careers in International Law (4th ed.), and Perspectives. Edelman is also the author of Legal Writing in an International Context: A Text for Legal Writing Courses and Law School Competitions.

As director of international programs, Professor Edelman designed and taught in Villanova’s summer program in Montréal in 2004 and 2005. She also designed the Villanova – University of St. Thomas summer program in Rome, which she directed and in which she taught International Art and Cultural Heritage Law for nine years. Professor Edelman also developed Villanova's JD/LLM International Studies program in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, the University of Leiden, Birkbeck College of the University of London, the National University of Singapore, and the City University of Hong Kong.

Edelman served on the editorial board of Legal Writing, The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, on the board and executive committee of the Association of Legal Writing Directors and as president and a member of the board of directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (www.culturalheritagelaw.org). She is a former member of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) and a member of the Legal Writing Institute. She also served as chair of the Citation Manual Advisory Committee of ALWD and as chair of the International Legal Exchange Section of the Association of American Law Schools. She has served as co-chair of the American Bar Association Section of International Law’s International Legal Education and Specialist Certification Committee, and the Philadelphia Bar Association’s International Law Committee.

Professor Edelman has helped develop legal skills training programs for foreign lawyers and law professors. Her activities in this area include:

  • Visiting Professor, Pericles Law Center Jessup Summer School, Moscow, Russian Federation, July 2017
  • Fulbright Specialist, European Humanities University, Vilnius, Lithuania (October 2009 and April 2010) (5 weeks total)
  • Co-Chair, Preparing for Practice: A Conference on Legal Skills Training in Central and Eastern Europe, Prague, Czech Republic (May 2005)
  • Faculty Advisor for Fulbright Scholar from Belarus (subject: legal analysis and writing) (Fall 2002)
  • Coordinator, Distance Learning at Villanova Law School program for visiting dean of the Law School of Beijing University, People’s Republic of China (May 2001)
  • Coordinator, Legal Writing, Legal Research and Technology in the Classroom, for members of the Yerevan State University Faculty of Law of the Republic of Armenia (November 2000)
  • Instructor, Legal English, International Law Institute, Washington, D.C. (intensive two-week course, summer 1998 and 1999)

Practice Experience

  • 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.
Edelman, Diane


Previous Courses and Seminars

  • Legal Analysis, Writing & Oral Advocacy I and II
  • International Advocacy (Legal Analysis, Writing, & Oral Advocacy II)
  • International Art & Cultural Heritage Law
  • Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Externship
  • Barnes Foundation General Counsel's Office Externship
  • Legal Analysis & Writing for Undergraduates
  • Advanced Appellate Advocacy


  • Brooklyn Law School, JD (Editor-in-Chief, Brooklyn Journal of International Law)
  • Princeton University, AB