Jane Kent Gionfriddo
professor of legal reasoning, research & writing
Boston College Law School
Jane Kent Gionfriddo began teaching in the Legal Reasoning, Research & Writing Program at Boston College Law School in 1982 and was admitted to practice in Massachusetts the same year. In 1985, she became the director of the program and held this position for twenty-two years.
In May 1999, Professor Gionfriddo was awarded the Boston College Distinguished Teaching Award for 1999-2000. She was promoted to Professor of Legal Reasoning, Research & Writing in 2012.
Professor Gionfriddo has held a variety of positions with the Legal Writing Institute (http://www.lwionline.org), an organization devoted to the pedagogy and scholarship of legal analysis and writing and whose almost 2000 members come from law schools and English departments in the United States as well as from foreign countries. She served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Institute from 1995 to 2004, and served as President from 2000 through 2002 (http://www.lwionline.org/past_presidents.html). From 1994 to 2000, she also co-edited, with several LRR&W colleagues from the Law School, the Institute’s semi-annual newsletter, “The Second Draft.”
Professor Gionfriddo has co-chaired many committees for the Legal Writing Institute, including the Election Committee that ran the most recent Board of Directors election and the Monograph Committee that brought forward a proposal for a monograph series to the Board of Directors. Accepting the committee’s proposal, the LWI Board appointed Professor Gionfriddo as the first Editor-in-Chief of the new Monograph Series. This series includes electronic volumes published on the Institute's web site, each one of which will be devoted to a topic relevant to teaching legal analysis and writing. In August 2009, the first volume devoted to "The Art of Critiquing Written Work" was posted to the web site at http://www.lwionline.org/monograph.html. From 2008 to 2010, Professor Gionfriddo also served on the Board of Editors of the Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, which publishes articles on legal analysis and writing issues.
Professor Gionfriddo has worked as a consultant at major Boston law firms, giving presentations to and working individually with associates, and has also been a consultant at other law schools on curricular issues, including Harvard Law School. In addition, Professor Gionfriddo has presented widely, including multiple times at the Legal Writing Institute Conference, at the Association of Legal Writing Directors Conference, at the American Association of Law Schools Annual Conference, and at the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting and Conference. A co-founder of the New England Consortium of Legal Writing Teachers, a regional organization that seeks to promote excellence in teaching, Professor Gionfriddo organized an interactive workshop on analytical feedback on student writing.
Professor Gionfriddo’s scholarship focuses on pedagogical issues concerning legal analysis and writing, including an article published in the Texas Tech Law Review on the importance of lawyers’ synthesizing cases in a sophisticated manner. This article was chosen as a lead article and awarded a Texas Tech Law Review outstanding lead article award. As a member of the American Bar Association Subcommittee on Communication Skills, Professor Gionfriddo worked as a contributing author on the second edition of the Sourcebook on Legal Writing Programs, which discusses “best practices” in the field of legal analysis, writing and research. Most recently, she and her co-author Daniel Barnett published a first-year legal analysis and writing textbook, which is titled “Legal Reasoning and Objective Writing: A Comprehensive Approach.”