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Emily B. Zimmerman

Director of the Criminal Law Program

Professor of Law

Professor Emily Zimmerman


Office: School of Law, Room 231
Phone: 215.571.4713

Administrative Support:
Tyra Mwai
Phone: 215.571.4715


Emily Zimmerman conducts empirical research to assess strengths and weaknesses in legal pedagogy and methods for promoting student enthusiasm.

Professor Zimmerman came to the law school from Villanova University School of Law, where she was an associate professor of legal writing. As an academic visitor at the School of Law of the City University of Hong Kong, she was course leader for a legal writing and drafting course in the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws program.

She has given presentations at numerous regional, national and international conferences, including a seminar on teaching legal methods in Pidgirtsi, Ukraine for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, a conference on the pedagogy of legal writing in Nairobi, Kenya and a conference on global legal skills in Monterrey, Mexico.

Professor Zimmerman has served on the Professional Development Committee of the Legal Writing Institute, on the board of Academics Promoting the Pedagogy of Effective Advocacy in Law and as co-editor of the Legal Writing Journal of the Social Science Research Network.

Before teaching, Professor Zimmerman was the chief of the Civil and Exceptional Litigation Unit for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, where she had also supervised the Municipal Court Unit and worked as a trial prosecutor.

Her publications focus on the teaching of legal writing and legal methods. Her recent articles include “What Do Law Students Want?: The Missing Piece of the Assessment Puzzle,” Rutgers Law Journal and "Do Grades Matter?," Seattle University Law Review. Previous articles include “An Interdisciplinary Framework for Understanding and Cultivating Law Student Enthusiasm,” DePaul Law Review, “Toto, I Don’t Think We’re in Practice Anymore: Making the Transition from Editing as a Practitioner to Giving Feedback as a Legal Writing Professor,” Perspectives, and “The Proverbial Tree Falling in the Legal Writing Forest: Ensuring that Students Receive and Read Our Feedback on Their Final Assignments,” in Perspectives.

Professor Zimmerman clerked in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit after graduating from Yale Law School.