Terri LeClercq Is IIT Chicago-Kent's first Ralph Brill Visiting Professor

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Terri LeClercq, a prolific scholar and nationally recognized authority on legal writing, research and drafting, has been named Chicago-Kent College of Law's first Ralph Brill Visiting Professor. Professor LeClercq will visit the law school during the week of February 22, 2010, to participate in a variety of activities with Chicago-Kent faculty and students and the Chicago legal community.

Professor LeClercq, who retired from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law after more than 20 years on the faculty, was the Fellow, Norman Black Professorship in Ethical Communications in Law there and served as a senior lecturer in legal writing. She taught courses in Advanced Legal Writing, Editing for Editors, Legal Research and Writing, Negotiations and Drafting, and Real Estate Transactions and Drafting.

Professor LeClercq has served as a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Alabama Law School and at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Law School. She is the author of numerous publications on writing well and intelligibly for many disciplines and in many genres and regularly writes articles on composition theory, plagiarism and legal writing. Professor LeClercq is the author of Guide to Legal Writing Style (4th ed. Aspen 2007) and Expert Legal Writing (Univ. of Texas Press 1995). She has worked with universities, law firms and government agencies across the United States and has provided expert opinion and testimony on language issues.

Professor LeClercq received her bachelor's and master's degrees in English from Southwest Texas State University. She earned her Ph.D in English from the University of Texas. In 2006, she became the first non-lawyer to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Association of Law Schools Section on Legal Writing.

"Like Ralph Brill, Professor LeClercq has been instrumental in revolutionizing the field of legal writing," said Chicago-Kent Dean Harold J. Krent. "It is fitting to honor Professor LeClercq as the first Ralph Brill Visiting Professor in recognition of her lifelong efforts."

The Ralph Brill Visiting Professorship is a component of the Ralph Brill Faculty Chair Program, established in 2008 with more than $1.5 million in cash and pledges contributed by more than 400 Chicago-Kent alumni and friends. Chicago-Kent hopes to welcome the first permanent chair holder this fall.

Professor Ralph L. Brill, a member of the Chicago-Kent faculty since 1961, founded both the law school's groundbreaking legal research and writing program and its award-winning moot court program. In nearly five decades, Professor Brill has taught many courses, including torts, products liability, advanced torts, and legal research and writing, to more than 8,000 Chicago-Kent students. He continues to maintain a full-time schedule, teaching torts to first-year students.

Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting institution with programs in engineering, psychology, architecture, business, design and law. Chicago-Kent was the first law school in the nation to require its students to take five semesters of legal writing courses before they graduate. The law school's emphasis on effective analytical, research, and communications skills has served as a model for other institutions.