Professor Kim D. Chanbonpin Named Director of John Marshall Law School’s Nationally Recognized Lawyering Skills Program

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John Marshall Law School Associate Professor Kim D. Chanbonpin will lead the law school’s nationally ranked legal writing program, as the new director of the school’s Lawyering Skills Program.

John Marshall Law School Associate Professor Kim D. Chanbonpin will lead the law school’s nationally ranked legal writing program, as the new director of the school’s Lawyering Skills Program.

The appointment comes as Chanbonpin, a leader in the legal writing community, ends the first year of her two-year term as president-elect of the Legal Writing Institute (LWI). LWI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving all forms of legal communication by supporting the development of teaching and scholarly resources and establishing a forum to discuss the study, practice, and teaching of legal writing.

“Lawyering Skills need to be a priority in any legal education,” Chanbonpin said. “In an often uncertain job market, whether a new lawyer gets a job may come down to her research and writing abilities. As director of the Lawyering Skills Program at John Marshall, I have specific plans—such as introducing a Spanish for Lawyers course—to strengthen an already notable legal writing curriculum.”

John Marshall's Lawyering Skills Program is designed to immerse students in the art of legal writing and research. For the last several years, the program’s legal writing component consistently has been ranked in the top five by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools. The curriculum spans four semesters and is one of the most rigorous research/writing programs nationwide. The core program is staffed by tenured, tenure-track, or long-term faculty who are dedicated to helping students prepare for their future careers and achieve excellence in legal writing.

Since Chanbonpin joined the John Marshall faculty in 2008 she has taught Lawyering Skills, Criminal Law, Torts, Gender Race and Class, and National Security Law. She also taught Introduction to the U.S. Legal System to LL.M. students in China's State Intellectual Property Office.    

Chanbonpin received her bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of California at Berkeley. She earned her J.D. from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, William S. Richardson School of Law, graduating cum laude with a certificate in Asian-Pacific Legal Studies. Chanbonpin also received an LL.M., with distinction, and a Certificate in National Security Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. After law school, she was a law clerk to the late Judge John S.W. Lim, Intermediate Court of Appeals in Honolulu.

Chanbonpin’s scholarly writing has appeared in the U.C. Irvine Law Review, the Washington University Global Studies Law Review, the Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy, and the Chicago-Kent Law Review, among other publications.

In addition to her work with LWI, Chanbonpin also is a member of the Board of Governors for the Society of American Law Teachers and a member of the Criminal Justice Section Council and the Standing Committee on Legal Education Admission & Competence for the Illinois State Bar Association. Recently Chanbonpin worked with John Marshall’s Pro Bono Program in Jones v. Burge, a case that sought legal redress for police torture victims.

For more information about Kim D. Chanbonpin or the Lawyering Skills Program at The John Marshall Law School, please contact Christine Kraly at ckraly(at)jmls(dot)edu.

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Christine Kraly
The John Marshall Law School
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Miller McDonald

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