Linda H. Edwards
E.L. Cord Foundation Professor of Law
B.A., Florida State University
J.D., University of Tennessee
Best Known For: Professor Edwards is a nationally known scholar in the fields of legal reasoning, writing, and persuasion. She is a leader in the study of Law and Myth, exploring the influences of cultural narratives on legal reasoning and on key legal decisions, especially those of the United States Supreme Court. She is the author of four books, the most recent of which is Readings in Persuasion: Briefs That Changed the World, forthcoming from Wolters Kluwer in May 2012. This newest book identifies advanced strategies for legal persuasion and relates those strategies to the briefs filed in some of the most influential Supreme Court decisions of the last fifty years. Professor Edwards’s article Once Upon a Time in Law: Myth, Metaphor, and Authority sparked national attention for its exploration of hidden narrative themes in legal argument, particularly those used in briefs filed in Miranda v. Arizona and Bowers v. Hardwick. In 2009, Professor Edwards received the Thomas F. Blackwell Award for Outstanding Achievement in Legal Writing.
Also Known For: In addition to her work in narrative and persuasion, Professor Edwards is known for her analysis of scholarly trends in legal writing and for her exploration of the underlying intellectual content of legal writing as a discipline. Her article Scholarship By Legal Writing Professors: New Voices in the Legal Academy, co-authored with Professor Terry Pollman, is the most comprehensive analysis of the field to date. In addition to courses in persuasion, Professor Edwards also teaches Property and Wills, Trusts, and Estates. Her book Estates in Land and Future Interests is a widely adopted Property text.
Currently Working On: Continuing her work on Law and Myth, Professor Edwards is presently writing a series of law review articles exploring the impact of cultural narratives in the areas of immigration, abortion, criminal procedure, and capital punishment. Her summer project will take these ideas in a slightly different direction, arguing that cultural critiques and other critical perspectives are legitimate parts of the rhetorical conversation that constitutes law as an institution. This work will appear in Law As a Discourse Community: Critical Perspectives On Legal Discourse, forthcoming from St. Martin’s Press. Finally, Professor Edwards has begun work on a historical article on the writing of the famous “Brandeis Brief” and a more current analysis of the “Voices” briefs from recent abortion cases.
Professor Edwards joined the faculty of the William S. Boyd School of Law in 2008, after serving on the faculty at the Mercer University School of Law for nineteen years. She previously taught in the Lawyering Program at the N.Y.U. School of Law, where she served as Program Coordinator. In 2002, Professor Edwards was a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Law School, researching in the areas of legal theory and persuasion. She co-sponsored the Notre Dame Colloquium on Legal Discourse and served on the faculty of the LWI Writer’s Workshop. She has served as Chair of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research; on the Boards of the Legal Writing Institute and the Association of Legal Writing Directors; on the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT); and on the ABA Committees on Communication Skills and Clinical and Skills Education. In 2010, Professor Edwards was the inaugural ALWD Visiting Scholar in Rhetoric at the University of Arizona College of Law. She teaches narrative persuasion for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, working with capital habeas attorneys from across the nation. Before joining the academy, Professor Edwards practiced law for ten years in both commercial law and poverty law settings.