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School of Law | UDSL Welcomes New Legal Writing Professor

UDSL Welcomes New Legal Writing Professor

"Rewarding work is working for something greater than yourself," said Adam Todd, who joined the faculty this fall as a member of the Legal Profession Program.

That's why his approach to teaching, and his interest in such areas as public interest law and human rights, he said, "is consistent with the reasons I went to law school" to make the world a better place."

In the classroom, he said, he likes to focus on contemporary issues and economic justice, challenging students to consider "whether the justice system is responsive to people of middle and low income."

So if students leave law school with a better sense of this challenge and pass the bar exam, Todd said, "I feel like I have achieved something worthwhile."

As director of academic support at Northern Kentucky, Todd focused on assisting "populations that have historically been excluded from the legal profession," helping students who were entering school at a disadvantage succeed.

Now at Dayton Law, Todd is teaching legal writing and research. He said he's been long impressed with the Legal Profession Program. Attending conferences around the country, Todd got to know some of the program's faculty.

After receiving an undergrad degree in international relations, Todd enrolled in law school because he was interested in working for organizations promoting social justice. After receiving his J.D. from Rutgers in 1990, he joined a legal services office where he represented low income clients in matters relating to housing, government benefits and domestic abuse. .

His legal teaching career began at Hamline University School of Law and the University of Minnesota Law School. Todd and his family then moved to Springfield, Ohio, east of Dayton, when his wife, Cynthia Richards, joined the faculty in the English department at Wittenberg University.

It was at this point that Todd began what he describes as a "peripatetic life," one that involved long commutes for 15 years from Springfield to law schools in Northern Kentucky, Baltimore and, most recently, Dallas, Texas.

He commuted from Springfield to Northern Kentucky University's Chase College of Law, where he taught Legal Writing, Legal Drafting, Comparative Law, Conflicts of Law and Public Interest Law, and served as director of academic support.

In 2006, he joined the faculty at the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he taught Torts, Contracts, Appellate Advocacy and Legal Skills and directed the moot court programs. His family, who also includes his children Lily, 14, and son Samuel, 9, remained in Springfield, so Todd would, as he put it, "commute by airplane" to Baltimore.

Last year, he was invited to serve as a visiting associate professor of law at Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law, where he taught Torts and Advanced Contracts. Again, he was commuting by airplane. "I would often leave Tuesday mornings [for SMU] and fly back for dinner on Thursday," he said.

"I saw my commuting years as a great adventure because I got to meet a lot of great people and expand my skills as a teacher and scholar at some great institutions," he said.

He also served as a Visiting Fulbright Professor at Palacky University in the Czech Republic, where he taught courses on the American legal system and comparative legal discourse.

Todd has published articles in the areas of postmodern legal theory, legal writing, housing law, and academic support. His most recent research examines how recently enacted health care laws impact the torts process.

"I'm looking forward to expanding my scholarship while I'm here," he said. "Scholarship and writing makes a nice complement to being in the classroom."


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