Director, Writing Resource Center
The John Marshall Law School
315 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, Illinois 60604
BA, Loyola University, summa cum laude
JD, The John Marshall Law School, magna cum laude
Lurene Contento is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Writing Resource Center. She has been teaching legal writing and other skills at The John Marshall Law School since 2001. She believes strongly in interactive teaching and experiential learning and has developed her courses based on these principles. Courses taught include Lawyering Skills I, a first-semester writing, reasoning, research, and speaking skills course; Writing for the Practice of Law, a third-year course that prepares students for the bar and for practice; Counseling & Negotiations; and SCALES, a writing course for conditionally admitted students. Professor Contento also works closely with the school's international students and has taught legal writing, research, and other lawyering skills in China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ireland, and Turkey.
As Director of the Writing Resource Center, Professor Contento supervises a staff of professional writing advisors and individually counsels students from 1Ls to graduate law students. Since joining John Marshall's writing center in 2002, she has counseled over 1,500 students in individual appointments. She has also developed a series of workshops aimed at training students in the skills they will need as practicing lawyers.
Professor Contento has lectured widely at national and international conferences, focusing on strategies for interactive teaching and skills training. She has served on planning committees for the series of Global Legal Skills conferences held in the U.S. and abroad, and she is also active in a number of legal writing organizations, including the Legal Writing Institute, where she is the past co-chair of the Global Legal Skills Committee, and the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Legal Writing Reasoning and Research.
After being admitted to the Illinois bar, Professor Contento worked at a small general practice law firm, researching and writing on a range of topics. She earned her JD magna cum laude from The John Marshall Law School and graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University with a BA in English Literature. She has published practical tips for legal writing professionals, and in 2012 was awarded the Deborah Hecht Memorial Award for her article Freeing Students to Write More Effectively – Taking the Fear Out of Plagiarism.
Freeing Students to Write More Effectively — Taking the Fear Out of Plagiarism, The Second Draft 26 (Fall 2011)
Plagiarism: What Every Legal Writer Should Know, 7 Kazanci Peer-Reviewed L.J. 209, Issue 83-84 (2011)
Plagiarism: What Every Legal Writer Should Know, J. Rus. Acad. Leg. Sci. 119, Issue 2 (2011)
Panelist: Legal Writing Institute (LWI) 16th Biennial Conference, "Writing Across Cultures & Languages: Teaching ESL/EFL Students," Philadelphia, PA (July 2014)
Speaker: Global Legal Skills Conference IX, "Get You Students Talking: Emphasizing Speaking Skills in LWR Courses for Foreign Lawyers," Verona, Italy (May 2014)
Speaker: Workshop on Objective Writing, Persuasive Writing, and Negotiation Strategies, University of Limerick School of Law – Limerick, Ireland (March 2014)
Panelist: Legal Writing Institute (LWI) One-Day Workshop, "More than the Memo, The Evolving Legal Writing Classroom," University of Michigan Law School – Ann Arbor, MI (December 2013)
Speaker: Legal Writing Institute (LWI) One-Day Workshop, "Listening and Speaking are Lawyering Skill, Too," University of Michigan Law School – Ann Arbor, MI (December 2013)
Speaker: A Day of American Law, "'Think Long; Write Short' and Other Tips for Writing for a U.S. Audience," Masaryk University – Brno, Czech Republic (October 2013)
Panelist: National Association of Administrative Law Judges, 39th Annual Conference, "How to Write Review-Proof Decisions," Chicago, IL (September 2013) (with Ardath Hamann, Joanne Hodge, Jamie Kleppetsch Mary Nagel, and Anthony Niedwiecki)
Speaker: Southeast Regional Legal Writing Conference, "Stepped Oral Presentations: Incorporating Public Speaking in the First Semester," Savannah Law School, Savannah, Georgia (April 2013)
Speaker: Global Legal Skills VIII Conference, "The Importance of Teaching International Students to Read Before We Teach Them to Write", San Jose, Costa Rica (March 2013) (with Alissa Hartig)
Speaker: "Plagiarism, What Every Law Student Needs to Know," Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, Michigan (February 2013)
Speaker: Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop, "Conferencing Techniques: Drive Your Students Without Driving Yourself Crazy," Northwestern University School of Law (November 2012)
Speaker: "Plagiarism: What Every Student Should Know," Masaryk University Faculty of Law, Brno, Czech Republic (October 2012)
Speaker: A Day of American Law, "Why Writing for a U.S. Audience Matters," Masaryk University Faculty of Law, Brno, Czech Republic (October 2012)
Speaker: CREAC and Plain Language Workshop, "Writing for a U.S. Audience," Masaryk University Faculty of Law, Brno, Czech Republic (October 2012)
Speaker: Legal Writing Institute Biennial Conference, "Demand Letters: A Perfect Tool for Teaching Advocacy, Professionalism, and Persuasion," Palm Desert, California (May 2012)
Speaker: "Plagiarism: What Every Student Should Know," University of Denver, Sturm College of Law (March 2012)
Speaker: Global Legal Skills VII Conference, "Teaching ESL/EFL Students More Effectively: What We Should Teach About Cultural Preferences and How," San Jose, Costa Rica (March 2012)
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