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 Director of the John Marshall Law School's Writing Resource Center. In her role as Director, she counsels John Marshall students from 1Ls to international LLM students, presents workshops on legal writing topics ranging from basic grammar to persuasive techniques, and supervises a staff of professional writing advisors.
She teaches Lawyering Skills I, a first-semester legal skills course, and Writing for the Practice of Law, an upper-level writing class designed to help students prepare for practice and the bar. She has also taught in the SCALES program for conditionally admitted students. Since joining John Marshall's writing center in 2002, Lurene has counseled over 1,500 students in individual appointments. She also works closely with the school’s international students and has taught legal writing, research, and other lawyering skills in China, Costa Rica, and the Czech Republic. Lurene has published practical tips for legal writing professionals and has presented at local, national, and international conferences.
After being admitted to the Illinois bar, Lurene worked at a small general practice law firm, researching and writing on a range of topics. Lurene 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.
Lurene was recently awarded the 2012 Deborah Hecht Memorial Award for her article Freeing Students to Write More Effectively – Taking the Fear Out of Plagiarism. The award was presented during the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 LWI Biennial Conference in Palm Desert, California.
Freeing Students to Write More Effectively — Taking the Fear Out of Plagiarism, The Second Draft, Vol. 25, No. 2 (Fall 2011)
Plagiarism: What Every Legal Writer Should Know, 7 Kazancı 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)
Back to Basics: Retro Visual Exercises that Promote Active Learning, The Second Draft, Vol. 22, No. 2 (2008)
Presenter: Southeast Regional Legal Writing Conference, "Stepped Oral Presentations: Incorporating Public Speaking in the First Semester," Savannah Law School, Savannah, Georgia (April 27, 2013)
Presenter: Global Legal Skills VIII Conference, "The Importance of Teaching International Students to Read Before We Teach Them to Write" (with Alissa Hartig), San Jose, Costa Rica (March 2013)
Presenter: "Plagiarism, What Every Law Student Needs to Know," Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, Michigan (Feb. 2013)
Presenter: Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop, "Conferencing Techniques: Drive Your Students Without Driving Yourself Crazy," Northwestern University School of Law (Nov. 30, 2012)
Presenter: "Plagiarism: What Every Student Should Know," Masaryk University Faculty of Law, Brno, Czech Republic (Oct. 2012)
Presenter: A Day of American Law, "Why Writing for a U.S. Audience Matters," Masaryk University Faculty of Law, Brno, Czech Republic (Oct. 2012)
Presenter: CREAC and Plain Language Workshop, "Writing for a U.S. Audience," Masaryk University Faculty of Law, Brno, Czech Republic (Oct. 2012)
Presenter: Legal Writing Institute Biennial Conference, "Demand Letters: A Perfect Tool for Teaching Advocacy, Professionalism, and Persuasion," Palm Desert, California (May 30, 2012)
Lecturer: "Plagiarism: What Every Student Should Know," University of Denver, Sturm College of Law (March 30, 2012)
Presenter: 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 12, 2012)
Presenter: Central States Legal Writing Conference, "Demand Letters: A Perfect First Step Towards Persuasion and Advocacy," The John Marshall Law School (Sept. 16 & 17, 2011)
Lecturer: "Plagiarism and Paraphrasing: Mastering the 'Rules'," Northwestern University (July 2011)
2011 Applied Legal Storytelling Conference, "Creating Better Lawyers Through Creative Writing," University of Denver, Sturm College of Law (July 2011)
American Association of Legal Writing Directors Biennial Conference, "Reassessing Plagiarism Policies: Education Before Execution," University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law (June 2011)
Twenty-First Century Legal Skills Conference, "Plagiarism and Paraphrasing: What Foreign Lawyers Need to Know," Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul, Turkey (June 2011)
Capital Area Conference, "Moving from Indictment Toward Education," The George Washington University Law School (Feb. 2011)
Legal Writing Institute, One-Day Workshop for Adjunct and New Legal Writing Professors, "Writing Center Tips: Avoiding Pitfalls," The John Marshall Law School (Dec. 2010)
Legal Writing Institute Biennial Conference, "You Make the Call – the Law School Version" (with Juli Campagna and Mary Nagel), Marco Island, Florida (June 2010)
"U.S. Legal Writing for Foreign Lawyers," Law Firm of Arias & Munoz, San Jose, Costa Rica (May 2010)
Global Legal Skills V Conference, "Plagiarism and the Non-U.S. Law Student: Moving Away From Impeachment and Toward Education" (with Juli Campagna), Facultad Libre De Derecho De Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico (Feb. 2010)
Legal Writing Institute, One-Day Workshop for Adjunct and New Legal Writing Professors, "How Writing Specialists Can Save You," The John Marshall Law School (Dec. 2009)
Legal Writing Institute Central Region Conference on the Teaching of Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing, "Writing Centers Can Increase Your Legal Writing Mileage: An Inside Look at a Model That Works" (with Writing Resource Center staff), Marquette University Law School (Oct. 2009)
Global Legal Skills IV Conference, "How to Teach International Students About Plagiarism," Georgetown University Law Center (June 2009)
Panelist: Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting, LWRR Section, "Assessing Acts of Collaboration and Plagiarism," San Diego, California (Jan. 2009)
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