David Cleveland

David R. Cleveland

  • Clinical Professor of Law
  • Director of Legal Research & Writing
448 Mondale Hall


  • Western Michigan University, B.A.
  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.


  • Analytical Methods
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Federal Courts
  • Legal Ethics
  • Legal History
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David Cleveland is a classically trained educator who has taught at the high school, college, and law school levels. He is also an experienced litigator and accomplished scholar, specializing in legal writing, legal ethics, and federal court reform issues. He has been teaching legal research, writing, and analysis in law schools since 2005. Over the years, his teaching has included in-person, online, and hybrid instruction. He has taught a variety of J.D. courses including first-year legal writing, upper-level appellate advocacy, legal ethics, administrative law research, and gaming law seminars. He has also taught masters of law courses on federalism issues and business organizations.

Professor Cleveland is a nationally recognized expert in federal court structure and reform and a leader in the legal writing community. His widely cited scholarship includes works on federal court reform, legal writing pedagogy and history, and discrimination law. He has served in a variety of leadership roles in the legal writing community, including as a member of the board of the Association of Legal Writing Directors. He has a history of service and leadership in the law school setting having previously served as Dean, Associate Dean, and Legal Writing Director. In 2017, he was awarded the Jack A. Hiller Distinguished Faculty Award for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service and in 2020 he was selected for the Legal Writing Institute’s rarely-given Terri LeClercq Courage Award.

Professor Cleveland is first and foremost an energetic and innovative teacher. He is also a devoted advisor to students, often serving as a co-curricular or academic advisor and as a supervising professor for independent scholarly research. Professor Cleveland holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from the College of Education at Western Michigan University.

Legal Research and Writing

Professional Responsibility - General

Legal Research & Writing Student Instructor

Senior Legal Research & Writing Instructor

Journal Articles

Legal Writing: A History From the End of the Civil War to the 1930s, 24 Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute 81 (2020)
Jeffrey D. Jackson
Appellate Court Rules Governing Publication, Citation, and Precedential Value of Opinions: An Update, 16 Journal of Appellate Practice and Process 257 (2015)
Discrimination Law’s Dirty Secret: The Equal Opportunity Sexual Harasser Loophole, 58 Howard Law Journal 5 (2014)
Legal Writing: A History from the Colonial Era to the End of the Civil War, 19 Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute 191 (2014) 
Jeffrey D. Jackson
Post-Crisis Reconsideration of Federal Court Reform, 61 Cleveland State Law Review 47 (2013)
The Decline of Oral Argument in the Federal Courts of Appeals: A Modest Proposal for Reform, 13 Journal of Appellate Practice and Process 119 (2012)
Steven Wisotsky
Clarion Call or Sturm und Drang: A Response to Pierre Schlag’s Spam Jurisprudence, 35 Nova Law Review 503 (2011)
Precedent and Justice, 49 Duquesne Law Review 35 (2011)
William D. Bader
Clear as Mud: How the Uncertain Precedential Status of Unpublished Opinions Muddles Qualified Immunity Determinations, 65 University of Miami Law Review 45 (2010)
Local Rules in the Wake of Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1, 11 Journal of Appellate Practice and Process 19 (2010)
Draining the Morass: Ending the Jurisprudentially Unsound Unpublication System, 92 Marquette Law Review 685 (2009)
Overturning the Last Stone: The Final Step in Returning Precedential Status to All Opinions, 10 Journal of Appellate Practice and Process 61 (2009)
The Ermine and Woolsack: Disciplinary Proceedings Involving Judges, Attorney-Magistrates, and Other Judicial Figures, 14 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 1037 (2001) (Note)
Jason Masimore

Book Chapters

Pedagogical Methods in First-Year Courses, in Legal Writing Sourcebook ( J. Lyn Entrikin & Mary B. Trevor, eds., American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, 3d ed., 2020)
Olympia Duhart
American Legal Education: A History of Integrated Instruction, in Linda Edwards, The Doctrine-Skills Divide: Legal Education's Self-Inflicted Wound (Carolina Academic Press, 2017)
Jeffrey D. Jackson

Book Reviews

Book Review, 10 UNLV Gaming Law Journal 283 (2020) (reviewing Robert M. Jarvis, Gambling Under the Swastika: Casinos, Horse Racing, Lotteries, and Other Forms of Betting in Nazi Germany (Carolina Academic Press, 2019))

Other Publications

Introduction to Leslie W. Abramson’s Article, Deciding Recusal Motions: Who Judges the Judges?, 53 Valparaiso University Law Review 1083 (2020)
Tribute to Valparaiso University Law School: The Dean’s Comment, 53 Valparaiso University Law Review 833 (2020)