Faculty Profiles

Timothy P. Terrell

Timothy P. Terrell

Professor of Law

Areas of Expertise

Constitutional Law, Professional Responsibility

Professor Timothy P. Terrell has three distinct areas of teaching and scholarly reputation: legal writing, legal ethics, and legal theory. He has published extensively on all these topics, and frequently conducts continuing legal education programs on them as well. Concerning legal writing in particular, he is, among law faculty nationwide, the leading presenter of programs for practicing lawyers and judges, not just in the United States, but around the world. He has consulted often for law firms on issues of legal ethics and has served on numerous occasions as an expert witness in litigation involving issues such as conflicts of interest, confidentiality, and lawyer malpractice.

Professor Terrell joined the Emory faculty in 1976. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Maryland (1971); his law degree is from Yale Law School (1974); and he has a post-graduate Diploma in Law from Oxford University, England (1980).

After graduation from Yale, Professor Terrell was an associate in the Atlanta law firm of Kilpatrick Stockton (now Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton). Since joining the faculty at Emory he has been awarded two Fulbright grants, one to attend Oxford University to study political philosophy, and another to teach legal theory at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England. Professor Terrell developed, and then served briefly in, the position of Director of Professional Development at King & Spalding in Atlanta.

At Emory, Professor Terrell teaches the first-year course in Property, and upper level courses in Legal Ethics, Jurisprudence, and Advanced Legal Writing. His publications, most often involving the intersection of legal theory and legal doctrine, have appeared in law journals at the law schools at Georgetown, Duke, Northwestern, California, and Emory, among others. He has organized conferences at Emory on topics such as “Rethinking Liberalism,” “Human Rights and Human Wrongs: Investigating the Jurisprudential Foundations for a Right to Violence,” and “The Role of General Counsel.”

Regarding legal writing, Professor Terrell has for more than a decade conducted the writing and editing portion of the training program for new appellate judges at NYU Law School’s Institute of Judicial Administration. In addition to presenting programs around the country to law firms and bar associations, he is the primary consultant on legal writing to the international association of law firms called Lex Mundi and has conducted programs at its member firms around the world. He is the coauthor of a popular text on legal writing, entitled Thinking Like a Writer: A Lawyer’s Guide to Effective Writing and Editing (3d ed., 2008, Practicing Law Institute).

In the legal ethics area, Professor Terrell has developed three videotape-based instructional programs—one involving the criminal justice area, another for lawyers in the health care industry—and an extensive program for law office staff personnel. He has also published several articles on the values that constitute lawyer professionalism, and frequently makes presentations on that topic to law firms and bar organizations. He was the primary consultant for the Lex Mundi association as it developed its “Statement of Shared Professional Values,” which can be examined at that organization’s website, www.lexmundi.com »

Education: Diploma in Law, Oxford University, 1980; JD, Yale University, 1974; BA, University of Maryland, 1971

Books

Thinking Like a Writer: A Lawyer’s Guide to Effective Writing and Editing, Practicing Law Institute, 3.ed. 2008 (with S. Armstrong) 

Journal Articles

"The Right to Shop: An Essay on Normative, Social, and Legal Fundamentals," Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy (2013) (forthcoming)

"The Art of Legal Reasoning and the Angst of Judging: Of Balls, Strikes, and Moments of Truth," 8 Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy 35 (2012)

"Confronting the Legal Meaning of Religious Faith: Wringing Universal Values Out of Pluralism Itself," 54 Emory Law Journal 337 (2005) (substantially exerpted and reprinted in Howard Lesnick, ed., Religion in Legal Thought and Practice (Cambridge University Press (2010) 

"Statutory Epistemology," 53 Emory Law Journal 523 (2004)

"Privacy, Technology, and Terrorism: Bartnicki, Kyllo, and the Normative Struggle Behind Competing Claims to Solitude and Security," 51 Emory Law Journal 1469 (2002) (with A. Jacobs)

"Turmoil at the Normative Core of Lawyering: Uncomfortable Lessons from the Metaethics of Legal Ethics," 49 Emory Law Journal 87 (2000)

"Rethinking Professionalism," 41 Emory Law Journal 403 (1992) (with J. Wildman) (this essay was presented to the ABA Commission on Professional Responsibility at the ABA Annual Meeting, 1991, and was the central paper for a symposium edition of the Emory Law Journal)

"Flatlaw: An Essay on the Dimensions of Legal Reasoning and the Development of Fundamental Normative Principles," 72 California Law Review 288 (1984)

"'Property,' 'Due Process,' and the Distinction Between Definition and Theory in Legal Analysis," 70 Georgetown Law Review 861 (1982)