Skip to main content


Rebecca Cochran

Professor Emeritus


School of Law



Before coming to teach at the School of Law in 1991, Rebecca Cochran worked first in a large Chicago law firm and then as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Montgomery County, Ohio.

After she received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in English, she began a career in social work. She directed a Chicago shelter and 24-hour hotline for battered women and their children. Because many of the women needed attorneys and went to court against their abusers, she started accompanying them to court. Eventually, she decided to attend law school herself.

She graduated second in her class at John Marshall Law School. She served on the Law Review, received best oralist award in the Wagner Labor Law National Moot Court Competition and externed at the U.S. EPA. Professor Cochran clerked for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She later became an associate with a Chicago law firm, Sachnoff & Weaver, where she specialized in commercial and FDIC litigation. After moving to Dayton with her family, Professor Cochran served as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Montgomery County, Ohio, where she worked with criminal appeals cases.

Professor Cochran is the 1999 recipient of the University of Dayton’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2009 recipient of the Alumni Association's Honorable Walter H. Rice Honorary Alumni Award. She served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Legal Writing Directors for three years, has been a member of the American Bar Association Communication Skills Committee and was appointed to the Ohio State Bar Association Appellate Law Specialty Board in 2006.

Professor Cochran retired from the University of Dayton School of Law in April 2013.


J.D. summa cum laude, John Marshall Law School, 1984
M.A. with honors, Northwestern University, 1975
B.A. summa cum laude, Colorado College, 1974

Areas Of Law

Civil Litigation

Selected Publications

Teachers Manual, Contract Law and Practice, co-authored (revised 2nd ed., LexisNexis, 2012).

Contract Law and Practice, co-author (revised 2nd ed., LexisNexis, 2009).

Judicial Externships: The Clinic Inside the Courthouse, (3d ed., Lexis Publishing 2005).

Federal Court Certification of Questions of State Law to State Courts: A Theoretical and Empirical Study, 29 Notre Dame Journal of Legislation 157 (2003).

Legal Research and Writing Programs as Vehicles for Law Student Pro Bono Service, 8 Boston University Public Interest Law Review 429 (1999).

Gaining Appellate Review by Manufacturing a Final Judgment, 48 Mercer Law Review 979 (1997).

Using Closed Universe Assignments to Teach Legal Analysis, Writing and Lawyering Skills (with Maria Crist, Westlaw 1996).

Evaluating Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(5) as a Response to Silent and Functionally Silent Privilege Claims, 13 Review of Litigation 219 (1994).

Criminal Discovery for the Civil Litigator 15 Litigation 13 (with Candace J. Fabri, 1988); Reprinted in The Litigation Manual (3d ed., 1999).