About Barbara P. Blumenfeld
Barbara Blumenfeld joined the UNM law faculty in 1995 to lead the school's legal writing program. As director, she designs materials for the first-year Legal Reasoning, Research and Writing and Advocacy courses. She established the New Mexico Court of Appeals Annual Appellate Advocacy Tournament for first-year students. Judges for the competition include members of the New Mexico Court of Appeals.
Before retiring in 2012, Blumenfeld also helped second- and third-year students prepare and write research papers. She diagnosed student writing problems and designed special programs and worked with students who needed remedial assistance in that area. From 1996 - 2003, she served as director of the law school's Pre-Enrollment Preparatory Program and developed the curriculum for the summer program. She has also taught in the PLSI Program.
In her teaching, Blumenfeld builds methodically on the basics, with the goal that at the end of the first year, students will have the writing skills necessary to successfully perform in summer clerkship jobs. She concentrates on thinking and reasoning skills, with the belief that good writing naturally flows from good thinking. She also encourages students to become self-critical writers and retain their own writing style within the confinements of composing a legal document.
Blumenfeld came to the UNM law school from Wayne State University Law School where, for eight years, she taught basic and advanced legal writing and analysis. She also designed many teaching materials that are now used by a number of other law schools.
Her interest in legal writing began as a law student at Wayne State University, where she was associate editor of the Wayne Law Review, and continued into a five-year practice focusing on trial and appellate work. She then joined the faculty at her alma mater.
The Electronic Authors Press honored her with an award for innovative teaching materials in the legal writing field.
Books and Book Chapters (2)
Scholarly Articles (7)
Rhetoric, Referential Communication, and the Novice Writer
Legal Communication & Rhetoric: Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (JALWD) (2012)
Classical rhetoric is integral to teaching legal writing, and this essay argues that its use must be enhanced with audience ...