Lurene M. Contento

Professor of Legal Writing
565 W. Adams St., Room 811
Chicago, IL 60661


  • J.D., John Marshall Law School
  • B.A., Loyola University Chicago


Lurene M. Contento joined Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2019, and teaches Legal Writing IV for international LL.M. students and Legal English.  During the 2020-2021 pandemic year, she taught legal skills remotely to international LL.M. students in the Graduate Lawyering Program at St. John’s School of Law in New York City.

Contento has over twenty years’ experience teaching legal writing, negotiations, and other legal skills to JDs and to international attorneys and students. While on the faculty at the John Marshall Law School, she taught at the China Intellectual Property Training Center in Beijing and at the Summer Institute for International IP Professionals.  She has lectured and taught extensively abroad, including in Australia, Costa Rica, Czechia, Ireland, Italy, and Mexico.

Contento began her teaching career at the John Marshall Law School in 2001, first as an adjunct professor and later as an assistant professor and director of the Writing Resource Center.  As director, she built the center into a professionally staffed resource that held more than 1,500 advising sessions per year. Contento has personally counseled thousands of students—both J.D. and international LL.M. students on how to improve their legal writing.

Before embarking on her teaching career, Contento was an attorney in a general practice law firm; areas of practice included divorce, real estate, probate, personal injury, and bankruptcy. She earned a B.A. in English literature summa cum laude from Loyola University Chicago and was awarded Loyola's Martin J. Svaglic Literary Excellence Award. She earned her J.D. magna cum laude from the John Marshall Law School. Where she earned several CALI awards. Contento is licensed to practice law in Illinois.

Contento was awarded the Global Legal Skills Award in 2017 and the Deborah Hecht Memorial Writing Award in 2012.  She served as head of the Association of Legal Writing Specialists from 2012 through 2018 and she has chaired or co-chaired committees for the Global Legal Skills Conference Series, the Legal Writing Institute, and the Association of American Law Schools. From 2015 to 2018 she was on the editorial board of the Scrivener, the newsletter of Scribes: The American Society of Legal Writers. She has written about legal writing and related topics for Scrivener and The Second Draft, published by the Legal Writing Institute, and has presented widely, both domestically and internationally, on legal pedagogy and skills training.

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

Writing Centers and Writing Specialists, in ABA Sourcebook on Legal Writing (ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, 3rd ed., forthcoming).


Plagiarism: What Every Legal Writer Should Know, 7 Kaczncı Peer-Reviewed Law Journal 209, Issue 83-84 (2011).

Plagiarism: What Every Legal Writer Should Know, J. Rus. Acad. Leg. Sci. 119, Issue 2 (2011).


Why Online Resources Won’t Replace Writing Specialists—At Least Anytime Soon!, Legal Writing Institute, The Second Draft, Vol. 29, No. 1 (Spring 2016).

Way Beyond Grammar: What Today’s Legal Writing Specialist Can do for You, The Scrivener, Scribes: The American Society of Legal Writers (Summer 2015).

Freeing Students to Write More Effectively—Taking the Fear Out of Plagiarism, Legal Writing Institute, The Second Draft, Vol. 25, No. 2 (Fall 2011), winner of the 2012 Deborah Hecht Memorial Writing Award.