Ruth Anne  Robbins

Ruth Anne Robbins

Distinguished Clinical Professor of Law

Contact Information

Law Office: E213
V: (856) 225-6456
F: (856) 225-6666

Areas of Expertise

Courses Recently Taught



Ruth Anne Robbins teaches courses across the lawyering curriculum, including upper level writing, the LAWR series, and the Advanced DV Clinic or related. She has created several courses in the curriculum including Persuasion in Legal Writing, the Domestic Violence Clinic, and Advanced Legal Writing. She also spent four years reimagining and redesigning the Hunter program to meet the writing-intensive criteria by borrowing materials and methods from the advanced writing curriculum. Professor Robbins has received The Chancellor's Teaching Excellence Award, has been honored by the Women's Law Caucus, and has been selected by graduating students as Lawyering Professor of the Year. She was selected for a campus Digital Teaching Fellowship for the 2016-17 Academic Year.

Robbins co-authors a 1L textbook about persuasive legal writing that is based on a client-centered rather than document-centered model; co-authored two sections of the Building Best Practice book about legal education published by the Clinical Legal Education Association; and co-authors the practitioner treatise on New Jersey Domestic Violence Practice and Procedure. Her most recent scholarship focuses on the process of choosing portraits for our paper currency. She has also authored an article and shorter pieces about the civil right to counsel in domestic violence cases. The body of her other work has focused on persuasion theory in the two areas of storytelling/narrative and visual design in legal documents. One of her articles appeared by invitation on the website of the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit from 2004 through the April 2016. 

Nationally, she serves as co-editor in chief of the peer-edited journal, Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD, which publishes scholarly articles about legal writing and lawyering, written for a practitioner audience. She is the co-founder of the international biennial conference series, Applied Legal Storytelling. Professor Robbins was elected the President of the Legal Writing Institute (LWI), serving from 2008-10, and served on the Board of Directors from 2004 through 2016. She has also served on a national committee that wrote a glossary of experiential legal education vocabulary for law schools. 

Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty, she was an associate at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis in Philadelphia, and at Eisenberg, Gold & Cettei in South Jersey. She clerked for a presiding judge of the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division, the Hon. Michael Patrick King, P.J.A.D. She earned a B.A. in biology from the University of Pennsylvania and was a Westinghouse Science Scholar.


Three 3Ls, Kairos, and the Civil Right to Counsel in Domestic Violence Cases, 2015 State U. L. Rev. 1359 (Part of the Symposium, Persuasion in Civil Rights Advocacy). 

95 Years of Waiting for a Woman on Paper Currency, Women You Should Know (January 28, 2016) (with Genevieve Tung),

Writing the Client Into the Argument: Image Decision, Word-Choice Precision, LegalED Pedagogy Series (filmed March 2015, American University, Washington College of Law).

Art-iculating the Analysis: Visuals as Legal Reasoning, (with Steven J. Johansen) 20 Legal Writing 57 (2015). available at 

Revisiting the Traditional Foundational Legal Skills of Analysis, Research, and Communication (with Kristen K. Tiscione and Amy Sloan), in Building on Best Practices & Carnegie’s Educating Lawyers: Legal Education in a Changing World (Maranville, Sedillo Lopez, Bliss, & Kaas, eds., 2015).

Your Client's Story: Persuasive Legal Writing (with Steve Johansen and Ken Chestek) (Wolters Kluwer L. & Bus. 2013)(textbook).

Finding Perspective in the Institution, The Second Draft 20–23 (Fall 2015), at (as part of written legal storytelling offering a method for locating and presenting the perspectives of an institutional client).

A Cautionary Tale Showing the Need for Civil Right to Counsel in Domestic Violence Cases, Rutgers Journal of Law & Public Policy Blog (with Brian J. Foley) (October 15, 2015), at

Harry Potter as Client in a Lawsuit, Chapter in The Law & Harry Potter (Jeffrey E. Thomas & Franklin G. Snyder, eds., Carolina Acad. Press 2010).

Conserving the Canvas: Reducing the Environmental Footprint of Legal Briefs by Re-Imagining Court Rules and Legal Briefs, 7 J. ALWD 193 (2010).

New Jersey Domestic Violence Practice and Procedure 3d ed. (with the Hon. A. DiCamillo and M.A. Abatemarco) (N.J. Inst. of CLE 2009) (practitioner treatise). *2d edition published in 2005 and 1st edition published in 2002.

An Introduction to Applied Storytelling, 14 J. Legal Writing 3 (2008).

Harry Potter, Ruby Slippers and Merlin: Telling the Client's Story Using the Characters and Paradigm of the Archetypal Hero's Journey, 29 No. 4 Seattle L. Rev. 767 (2006)(lead article).

Painting with Print: Incorporating concepts of typographic and layout design into the text of legal writing documents, 2 J. ALWD 108 (2004); reproduced on the website of the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Creating New Learning Experiences Through Collaborations Between Law Librarians and Legal Writing Faculty (with Susan A. King), 11 No. 3 Perspectives 110 (Spring 2003).

Fiction 101: A Primer for Lawyers On How To Use Fiction Writing Techniques To Write Persuasive Facts Sections (with Brian Foley), 32, No. 2, Rutgers L.J. 459 (Winter, 2001).
*Reprinted in 51 No. 1 Defense L.J. 149 (Spring 2002)

Various shorter pieces appear in multiple issues of The Second Draft, available at and include President's Columns (between 2008-10) and The Next Step #1 Starting a Dialogue About Upper Level Writing (beginning of a regular column). Other shorter pieces appear in various newsletters, and Op-Eds.


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